Man Seeking Woman: Like a Traib Wreck or Is a Traib Wreck?

All over the Internet praise has been sung about one of FXX’s latest comedies Man Seeking Woman. A comedy that has set itself apart from other notable FX programs like Married or You’re the Worst because of its, often amusing, use of surrealist elements.

I started watching as soon as it premiered because I kept seeing teasers and Eric André (Mike) blew up Twitter about it. I admit I have a soft spot for both him and Jay Baruchel (Josh Greenberg), thus, the idea of the two together in a new series was appealing regardless of its content. I watched the first episode and thought okay, that was kind of weird, but let me see where this show goes. By the second, I had to ask myself is this like a train wreck…in that I’m in shock it happened and just can’t bring myself to look away…Or is it actually a train wreck of a show, trying to do too much too soon? No one else seems to have any doubts, it’s almost as if some conspiracy is going on pushing this show to every possible person that would watch it, but maybe other comedians genuinely like it (or MSW has a really great PR team, also probably true). I’ve read it referred to as brilliant, witty, original, amazing, hilarious, pure genius etc.

Now, seven episodes in and a couple of rewatches I think I have established my thoughts on it. It’s at least some of those things. The synopsis on IMDb describes it as the following: “A naive romantic goes on a desperate quest for love when his longtime girlfriend dumps him.”
Which does little in preparing the viewer for what they’re going to find themselves getting into. Man Seeking Woman finds absurd ways to illustrate the mundane experiences of millennials while conveying truths many of us are already or would be thinking in similar situations. Like insecurity when dating someone you think is “out of your league” expressed by his new girlfriend having a close friend that’s a Japanese penis monster. Or having to attend a destination wedding that you know your ex significant other will also be attending, in Hell.

If life operated even a little like it does in Josh and Mike’s world, then maybe some of us would be able to navigate the social aspects of it a little better or have rational fears of being insane. This comedy definitely aims to give its audience something fresh and entertaining. And I sure get a kick out of watching it. The show has already been given the green light for a second season, since viewers are clearly tuning in, and people are rejoicing. So, if you want something humorous and downright weird, give Man Seeking Woman a watch and see what all the hubbub is about. Otherwise, don’t. My IMDb rating? 6.5-7/10

*Traib is the title of Episode 2 and probably one of the simplest things that made me laugh the hardest.  


Je Suis Charlie Ou Suis-Je?

With an increase in the black and white avatars spreading across forums and social media, it’s difficult to miss #JeSuisCharlie.  Hopefully, by now, it’s equally difficult for most people to remain oblivious to the events that occurred and are ongoing in Paris, France.
While reading about the event as details unfolded, the news swirled around in my head for a few seconds waiting for my brain to actually grasp it and confirm that yes, this had happened. All I could think was wow, that really sucks*. Seeing how quickly word spread and the world responded by showing signs of support and solidarity for a city on edge and in mourning was almost moving**. The writer, cartoon lover, and Francophile in me was  eager to say something on Twitter and proudly include #JeSuisCharlie. But who was I kidding?
I vaguely knew anything about the satirical publication in question (Charlie Hebdo) and, at that time, hadn’t even seen the controversial cartoons that were at the core of the attack.

Je Suis
Social media is great at bringing people “together” in support of something.
Kind of like sports.
But it also makes it easy for telling pieces of stories and people picking sides without having  a full picture. The more developed the picture becomes, the more I  may think, “hmm do I really want to affiliate myself with that?” Also, I often have qualms drawing attention to myself, much less in the wake of another person or persons’ tragedy. Even further less inclined (to draw attention) if it could come across as an instance of  “Let the record show that hey, I was on team X when Y happened.” Most of this is because I know that when the media storm dies down, a great number of people will no longer give a shit, and everything will resume as it had before. And those that continue to give a shit will be passing around things by people who already agree with them signaling the head nod of united shit giving. One could say Kony 2012 left a very grapefruity*** taste in my mouth. Continue reading

Seventh Moon

Decided to watch Seventh Moon because it was short and ondemand via IFC.
Didn’t know anything about it aside from the cable synopsis so, I had modest expectations. After making it half way through…I’d say the rating on IMDb is about right. Maybe even a teensy bit generous.

Haunting Glimpses

Black Balloon Publishing tweeted asking if one was seeking haunting writers to read this fall, so, I was curious as to whom they suggested and followed the link. They recommended South American writer, Horacio Quiroga. The article did a nice job of introducing readers to this talented, but not well-known, author, his influences and tragic ridden back story.

As it turns out, I have actually read a collection of his short stories. One that included both “The Feather Pillow” and “The Decapitated Chicken.” Thanks to an English professor who was keen on introducing students to Latin American writers, we were required to read and discuss “The Decapitated Chicken.” A  haunting tale, and to this day one of my Quiroga favorites. I was fortunate enough to find a collection of Quiroga’s stories, months later, at a second-hand book store and seized the opportunity to read more of his writing. My collection included paired illustrations, but none as remarkable as the Rene Magritte pairing, as mentioned in the article. I often wonder what it would be like to read his works in Spanish. What sort of key elements to his method of story telling lose some of its punch, if any, in translation? Since I understand some words in other languages mean very specific things, which may have no real English counterpart. Perhaps someday I will, but realize the chances are slim, as my Spanish comprehension is nowhere near the level of my French.

I don’t usually think about reading more horror and chilling tales around the Halloween season, I watch films instead. However, I think this year I will change things up and read at least a handful of short stories, and revisit one or two of Quiroga’s. Suffice to say, I agree with Black Balloon Pub’s suggestion and would encourage anyone that wants something a little different, a little chilling and a good story to give Quiroga a read during this season and any others.

Back in My Hands

Looking at my shelf of books read, if I were to choose one to read again, it would be Miranda July‘s No One Belongs Here More Than You. I purchased the book on a whim two years behind its release, after recognizing the name from Me and You and Everyone We Know. I wasn’t sure what to expect from her writing, but once I started reading, I was smitten. Many criticisms accuse her of trying too hard to be “quirky” or “kooky.” I view her methods as far from traditional or typical, a characteristic that drew me to her. I didn’t have the impression she was going out of her way or otherwise “trying too hard.” Her style felt natural, open, honest. Aspects of her characters or the situations she placed them in resonated with various parts of me. Thoughts her characters expressed, would make people feel vulnerable for having them or ashamed to admit. I appreciate that she encourages us to examine ourselves and the relationships we have or wish to have. My reading of these stories coincided with a puzzling transitional period in my life. The timing might have made me more receptive to the content, but I doubt it affected the experience by much. It would be interesting to see how I feel about No One Belongs Here More Than You now. I haven’t followed her work as closely as I would like, so perhaps revisiting will put me back on track to exploring more.

Brief Look at Deep Breath

The premiere episode of Doctor Who Season 8 provided the closure many fans needed, while getting us pumped for the rest of this year’s run. Deep Breath served as the transitional panel of a family quilt passed off to its succeeding generation. Strong, complementary, but distinctly representing its own place amongst history. Peter Capaldi is bringing a persona to the role that has an inkling of classic Doctors, but fans have yet experienced. I am both pleased and prepared to take a deep breath, and dive into the travels of the 12th Doctor and Clara.