Simon Rich’s inventive Man Seeking Woman started humbly on FXX network last year. The ambitious comedy somehow managed to mine new gold from the tired rom-con genre. It subverted overdone tropes like texting, blind dates, and dealing with your ex’s new beau with unrestrained insanity like (actual) trolls. It took on a penis monster from outer space and sent viewers to a destination wedding in hell. In its second season, Josh Greenberg’s (Jay Baruchel) quest for love is under further refinement.
An integral perspective in the series comes from Josh’s workaholic sister, Liz, who is played with precision by Britt Lower. With so much of Man Seeking Woman stemming from Josh’s skewed, neurotic point of view, providing the other side of the conversation is crucial when you consider dating is just as universal an experience to women as it is men.
Both Lower and Liz shine in season one’s “Teacup,” an inverse of the series that focuses on Liz as opposed to Josh. The experiment was such a successful deviation in structure that the show is again turning to it for this week’s episode, “Tinsel.” In lieu of Liz being put back in the spotlight, we touched base with Britt Lower, discussing the show’s unique voice, being its sole feminine perspective, and having sex with Santa Claus.
Den of Geek: I was so happy to see that “Woman Seeking Man” has become a yearly tradition on the series. Last year I brought up to Simon Rich that he should keep this stylistic departure going, whether it was still with you, or focusing on Mike, or whoever. The first take on this, “Teacup,” is maybe my favorite episode of the first season, so seeing those opening credits for “Tinsel” made me really happy.
Britt Lower: Awww, thank you so much. That makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
It must have been a nice vote of confidence when you found out that this is likely going to be an ongoing thing in the show.
Yeah, well I think that Simon and his short stories–he’s so skilled at shifting perspective. He’s able to jump into the brain of a used condom, for example. And just completely live the life of that condom in the most clever and delightful way.
It’s no surprise to me that the writers effortlessly jump from perspectives. You’ll see a little more of that this year, and not just from Liz’s point of view, but from some other points of view that I won’t reveal to you right now.
Very exciting. The first “Woman Seeking Man” episode just showed Liz having bad luck with guys. This one matures things a little further along with where she’s at emotionally and with relationships. Where might you see the next entry in this series being set with Liz and where she’s at with romance?
Her episode this season is definitely about her kind of making mistakes and following this fantasy, and it doesn’t go so well for her. I think that she definitely learns her lesson—or a lesson, rather. She learns a lesson. Where might we be seeing her going next? I’m not exactly sure.
We’d all have to think together a little bit about it, but I know the writers spend a lot of time thinking about the “Woman Seeking Man” episodes in particular because they do seem like a slightly different tone than last season. And I’m not exactly sure if that’s because of a gender perspective shift, or because Liz is a really different human than Josh is.
Switching gears, some really fantastical topics have been indulged in the show as well, whether it’s aliens, the Grim Reaper, time travel, trolls, Cupid…Are there any fantasy or science fiction tropes that you’d like to see the show get into?
Hmm, well we’ve kind of been dipping our toe in Greek mythology. There are so many crazy stories from that world. I just thought of Shakespeare, too. I guess we haven’t really tapped into any literary backgrounds. But there’s a whole world! The writers have kind of allowed themselves to go anywhere, so anything is possible!
I think so! And yeah, to not only be pulling from sci-fi and fantasy iconography, but also whole literary worlds as well could lead to some really great episodes, too. Finally, who would you rather have sex with: a robot or Santa Claus?
Ah man, well because I’ve had fictional intercourse with both of them, I’d have to say that Santa Claus is just a lot warmer. The robot was very cold, and wasn’t very concerned with Liz’s needs.
At least Santa–they have a simultaneous orgasm. I’ll go ahead and spoil that for the audiences.
Man Seeking Woman airs Wednesdays at 10:30pm on FXX.
For more on Man Seeking Woman, we chat with director Jonathan Krisel in our TV IV Podcast. Listen here!