Simon Rich’s absurdly unique Man Seeking Woman has done an astounding job at displaying the horrors of dating and looking for love in some of the most surreal ways possible. The series’ star, Josh Greenberg (Jay Baruchel), has run through the gauntlet of trolls, angels, run-of-the-mill monsters, and even the grim reaper as he’s attempted to prove himself in the dating world. In spite of literally having gone to Hell and back, this year sees Josh in his most challenging and rewarding trial yet: a long-term relationship.
Josh’s new love interest, Lucy, kicks off the season’s premiere and really gets a strong opportunity to assert her character. Man Seeking Woman is full of a lot of powerful comedic performers, but Katie Findlay absolutely kills it as Lucy. She’s not only a great foil to use against Josh, but an infectious character in general. Lucy arguably gets even more of a focus this season than Josh does, with this show’s new relationship-heavy perspective. I got the opportunity to chat with the show’s newest cast member, Katie Findlay, about what Lucy brings to the table, the show’s strong female perspective, and futons.
DEN OF GEEK: I kind of love that the first episode of the season really throws you into Lucy’s life. It’s arguably even more from her perspective than it is Josh’s. Did you appreciate the audience getting such a thorough introduction to you?
KATIE FINDLAY:: Oh absolutely. I’ve been nothing but appreciative of the handling of Lucy this entire time. I didn’t really realize in the initial stages what a big part of the show that she was going to be. I was happy just to be a part of the show in the first place. So discovering day by day, and through conversation with Simon [Rich], understanding how important she was to him and how carefully she has been constructed. It would have been intimidating if I had had time to worry about it, but I was sort of discovering piece by piece.
So I think it’s a challenge to ask an audience to care about a new character in the third season of a show, especially when you’re used to identifying with the perspective of one person. We care about Josh. We want Josh to be happy. But I think that’s kind of the way that it had to happen. You had to wake up with this girl first thing in the morning otherwise you’re going to be wondering who she is, what her intentions are—it would be like Attack of the Outsider.
It’s definitely a lot more effective than if you had a bunch of smaller appearances to ease you into Lucy. Waking up with her is absolutely the way to go.
Well, and something else that I realized because I’ve watched our first episode of the season 856 million times, is that in the cold open is that you’re not necessarily 100 percent sure why you’re following this girl—you know, but you don’t really know. And by the time she gets to Josh, you’re as excited to see him as she is. That’s something I just gradually felt the more I had watched it.
So much of this season seems to be structured around stories that Josh and Lucy are going through together rather than it primarily being Josh’s perspective with Lucy just along for the ride. I love that the relationship angle becomes such a drastic filter for the season.
Something I love is that when you spend so much of the series identifying with the perspective of one character like Josh, who’s endlessly warm and kind, you start to feel lonely in his loneliness. When things don’t work out for him, you feel that. You want his happiness. You experience every dating humiliation along with him.
So adding Lucy as someone who’s on your side as opposed to an attaché means that the audience suddenly has an ally. The audience—who is Josh—have the option of being Lucy when they want to and having this choice of perspective is what it’s all about to have a partner. it also warms up the experience to a certain extent because now you know what it’s like to have someone as weird as yourself along for every step of the way.
To go off of that, it’s interesting that the show’s perspective has shifted a little bit towards Lucy getting the more absurd material with Josh becoming the straight man. It’s a nice dynamic that you guys balance.
Josh was really getting put through the wringer. I always make jokes that they brought me in because they were going to kill Jay Baruchel and they couldn’t do with one less Canadian.
I got to talk with Britt Lower last year and her solo Woman Seeking Man episodes are always my favorites. This show has such a strong female perspective and some really talented female writers. It must be great to have Lucy be able to become such a large conduit that that.
Absolutely. Well you know, Britt Lower is just a consummate professional and an incredible performer. It’s funny because it is a show full of boys, but when you get in there there’s a lot of feminine energy. I love when Lucy and Liz get to spend time together. We’ve been pitching like buddy cop movie parodies to the show.
That’d be so good!
Well yeah, plus they get along, they’re both smart. Since Lucy is the female Josh, of course she gets along with Liz because Liz loves Josh. He’s her brother. They’re buddies. So to add a female perspective to his life through Lucy is great for Liz. Liz understands Josh too, so Lucy can go to Liz for Josh problems. It’s a match made in heaven.
Is there going to be another Woman Seeking Man episode this year? I know with you on the show there’s a little less of a need…
Oh, of course! We can’t waste Britt! It’s coming and it’s funny.
I think that doing a “meeting the parents” story as a haunted house/paranormal activity satire is so damn smart. Is there a particular genre or piece of lore that you’d really like to get to tackle on the show?
I’ve been making a lot of Rosemary’s Baby jokes. I’ve been trying to think of a lot of relationship areas that people do together. Also, the moment I got the job I e-mailed Simon and said, “I need you to know I’m open to any and all musical numbers.” Jay got one last season and I’m super jealous. I want to be able to go all out and be super ridiculous. I want an entire hotel lobby of people to be dancing with me.
The Where the Wild Things Are riff really blew my mind. Like, just so, so incredible…
Oh my God! You don’t understand how fucking amazing it is to be walking into the middle of the woods, everybody you know is there, and three 12-foot Muppets. It’s one of those moments where you’re like, “This is my job. This is the job that I do in society.”
Even the Indiana Jones stuff is super well done, too.
I hurt myself on the Indiana Jones one. I pulled a thigh muscle—a quad?—running away from the Russians. I had been doing all of this other stuff and managing to avoid not getting hurt and then I just turned the corner here to get away from two dudes and that was it.
You’ve got to be careful… That gentlemen questing isn’t easy! Do you have a favorite visual or piece of absurdity from the season that’s really stood out for you?
God… I really love the puma from the premiere. I also really love Jay Baruchel’s little head popping out of my bedroom floor in the first episode. And then there’s one with Eric [Andre] that i definitely can’t tell you because it’s in episode nine, but it has to do with a certain much-loved comic book villain.
This question is a bit of a thinker. Of the three monsters in Lucyland—Puffalah, Muffalah, Picklepop—who does Lucy pick in a Fuck, Marry, Kill scenario?
Okay, well Muffalah’s gay, so obviously I would say I would marry him. Puffalah seems to be the one that I have the best relationship with so if we had sex it probably wouldn’t be too weird. He knows me well. He’d be very considerate. So never having made love to a Muppet before, I would assume that that’s a safe choice. And it’s not Picklepop’s fault, but that particular mask scared the absolute living fuck out of me. Something about the smile just completely terrified me because in real life the eyes don’t blink. So they’re all just staring at you.
I didn’t think that’d be so easy, but look at that!
Finally, what’s your opinion on futons? Yay or nay?
I’m an ex-ballerina with scoliosis and a dinosaur spine so futons do not work for me. If someone says I can stay over at their house and they leave me with a futon—I don’t want to say that we’re not going to be friends anymore, but it’s clear that you don’t understand that you’re friends with a bony giraffe. I’ve got issues! If you give the futon a cute name, it does go down easier!
Man Seeking Woman’s third season is currently airing on FXX, Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m.