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Series Creator Simon Rich Talks Man Seeking Woman [+ “Dram” Preview] 

Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/FXX
Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/FXX

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

I don’t know what I was expecting from this series, but it’s a very strange and quirky take on life and dating. I love the surreal tone throughout and that it’s not just all in Josh’s head. If you’re not watching this comedy, you should be.

Have no idea what you’re in for? This clip will give you an idea.

Talk to the Hand:

TV Goodness participated in a press call with series creator/showrunner/EP Simon Rich last week. We talked about how the series came into being, some of the great guest stars they’ve gotten for the show and casting Jay Baruchel as Josh.

Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta/FX
Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta/FX

When you were writing these stories, did you think about it turning it into a show at some point?

Simon Rich: “When I was first writing the supernatural love stories, I never even imagined that they would get published, let alone be turned into a compilation and, ultimately, a television show. Yes, the stories are very strange and they’re also extremely personal.

I started writing these stories almost as a kind of therapy. I was writing about things that I was going through in my 20s, situations like getting dumped or being resentful of an ex’s new boyfriend. I was just processing it in my own way by writing these insane stories and I was amazed when they started to catch on and really thrilled because I got to write more of them.

I’m so psyched about this show, because now I have all of these writers and they’re bringing in their own personal experiences to the writer’s room. The show’s autobiographical for me, of course, but it’s also hugely autobiographical for all of my writers, for my cast and for my directors and now we all get to play in this strange world together.”

I’ve really enjoyed the series so far and you’ve gotten some really great guest stars. Can you talk about getting them and who you’ve got coming up?

Simon: “Yes, we’ve been extremely lucky to get some super talented people to be on our weird little show. We had my friend, Bill Hader, in the pilot and also Vanessa [Bayer] from SNL and then we were able to get Sarah Silverman to voice Josh’s right hand and Tim Heidecker to play the bartender who ends up recovering Josh’s lost dick in episode 3.

Later on, Fred Armisen, voices Tanaka, who’s a Japanese penis monster from another dimension. Carrie Brownstein makes a great cameo in episode 8. We’ve got a bunch of other surprises. I don’t want to give it all away. Minka Kelly is in episode 5. She is phenomenal. I can’t wait for people to see her in our show. She really nailed it.

It’s a strange show because it requires you to play some very absurd scenes with a lot of dry naturalism and not everybody can pull it off. We’re thrilled that we’ve had such great actors this season, because I think every single one of them has nailed it.”

Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta/FX
Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta/FX

The series’ regulars are so great as well. Can you talk a little bit about what you were looking for in Josh?

Simon: “Obviously, it’s called Man Seeking Woman, so who we cast as the man is the most important creative production decision. I think we won the lottery with Jay because he’s given us everything we needed.

He’s obviously extremely funny and people have known that for a long time. In addition to being hilarious, he is able to play scenes with incredible emotional honesty and subtlety and naturalism, which a show like ours needs desperately in order to balance out all of the heightened supernatural madness we’ve got going on.

I think the show probably wouldn’t work without Jay. He really carries the thing on his back. Our job in the writer’s room, we used to joke, is essentially just to dream up new ways to torture him. That’s what the show is all about, is to figure out new ways to humiliate his character and physically humiliate him. So, Jay’s been a real trooper to go through this journey with us.”

Edited for space and content.

Man Seeking Woman airs Wednesdays at 10:30/9:30c on FXX.

Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/FXX
Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/FXX

“Dram” synopsis, from FX:

Josh feels pressure from his family to settle down.

Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/FXX
Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/FXX

3 Teases:

  • Liz (proudly) displays her Type A personality in helping an unwilling Josh get back into the dating game.
  • Josh’s mother isn’t shy about getting information out of him in any way she can.
  • Torture via social media.

“Dram” preview:

The Inside Story: Jay Baruchel

The Inside Story: Simon Rich

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