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Man Seeking Woman Recap: Ep. 110, “Scepter”

As Mike accompanies Josh through a frozen tundra to meet the last woman on Earth that Josh hasn’t tried to date, they approach Unkluk’tu. She is a tundra native and doesn’t quite understand boxes of chocolates…or English. But she does love music, which makes her dateable to Josh. Unfortunately, she thinks he’s very nice but just wants to remain friends.

Back at his apartment, Josh is sulking while Mike plays video games and suddenly get a phone call from Maggie. She wants to meet up and he thinks they’re getting back together, of course. They meet for lunch and she announces that she and Graham – the boyfriend we met during the destination wedding – are getting married and Josh is shot through the heart. He tries to make small talk about the wedding but his heart falls out, sprays blood all over Maggie, and a waiter comes by to ask if he needs an ambulance. The EMTs arrive and take Josh out of the restaurant on a stretcher while the rest of the patrons record and stare at him, and we discover that Maggie plans to be wholly original by using Oasis’ “Wonderwall” for the first dance at her wedding.

A pack of 2-minute Time Travel pills and some boner pills for my friend.

While he and Mike visit a convenience store, Josh comes to the conclusion that if he hadn’t given Maggie carnations they wouldn’t have had that argument and might still be together (seems like solid logic). Mike is preoccupied with boner pills, drawing Josh’s attention to some cheap-y 2-minute Time Travel pills for $2.50. The clerk warns Josh that use may cause irreparable damage to the space-time continuum. Josh takes the pill and goes back in time.

He goes back in time and accosts his past self. He runs up to himself, screaming about not buying those ill-advised carnations while Past!Josh can only scream in terror (how would you react if you ran up to yourself?!). With a final warning against the carnations, Present!Josh is whisked back to the present in the convenience store. Mike has taken the boner pills and has a huge one…but also liver problems. Maggie walks up to Josh and tells Mike that he shouldn’t have taken them like she said. Josh is stunned; his plan worked! He and Maggie are still together and still in love.

Immediately they go home to have sex because he needs to make up for lost time. Post-nooky, Josh suggests dinner before realizing he doesn’t have enough money to treat Maggie to sushi like he promised. She’s not enthused about his falafel place/dry cleaners alternative, so he takes another 2-minute Time Travel pill and visits himself as a stoner college student hanging out with Mike. Naked Present!Josh appears in Older Past!Josh’s dorm room and screams at him in the moment he decided to be a philosophy major.

Present!Josh: Don’t major in philosophy! Major in economics! You’ll be so much better off, I promise!

Back in the present, Josh and Maggie have a sushi dinner and he has gobs of money in his wallet. Maggie seems happy and admires some guys’ beards, so naturally Josh goes back in time to tell Child!Josh to go against the grain (ha, see what I did there?) and grow distinctive facial hair instead of shaving every day. In the present once more, Josh is at the altar looking like a clean cut Guy Fawkes and marries Maggie.

Josh is excited because his life is finally perfect and he didn’t even screw up the space-time continuum. Except for the hover crafts and general oppression being offered by some group called Trackanon, which plans to kill all. Josh visits the convenience store where he bought the time travel pills and gushes to the clerk about how perfect his life is now, only the clerk has a Kano-style metal plate on the upper right side of his face now. :(

Outside, Trackanon has turned the world into a police state, but Josh and Maggie are leading a happy, well-furnished life. Except his new personality doesn’t like video game magazines anymore, and his favorite show is Meet the Press. Alarmed, Josh goes to visit Mike who is lubing up from head to toe: he’s now working as a sex slave for Trackanon and needs help limbering up. He goes to see his sister Liz who has become a militant leader in her office building. She thought he and Maggie were loyal to Trackanon, and Josh begins a bit of self-reflection.

Josh: I am in golf clubs, are you serious? Wh-what is this? I look like d’Artangnan, I love Meet the Press? Have I really changed that much?
Liz: No, you still have your distinctive, Josh facial hair. Hey, listen, the important thing is you’re happy.

Except Josh is realizing that he isn’t happy and goes home to tell Maggie. She’s upset that he’s now telling her that he’s not being himself and he thinks he can fix it by taking another 2-minute Time Travel pill…only he’s run out. He realizes that he needs to get divorced but they can’t.

Maggie: We can’t get divorced, you idiot! Trackanon is Catholic! We’re married for the rest of your life! Hail Trackanon.

Josh visits Mike to try to meet the head honchos in Trackanon by becoming a sex slave. Mike brings him to a one-eyed creature with lots of folds who is Trackanon. Trackanon wants Mike and Josh to do sexy dances and then pleasure him, but as he approaches, Josh steals his scepter, tells Trackanon that he shouldn’t even exist there, and stabs him in the eye (to Mike’s utter dismay).

I’m not supposed to have facial hair, Maggie! It’s not personal!

Outside, the revolution against Trackanon has spilled into the streets and everyone – including Josh’s parents – know he is the one who killed Trackanon. Josh shaves his beard and goes with Maggie to get a divorce right away and she says he ruined her life. To make up for it, he takes her to meet Graham, the guy she was meant to marry and realizes that he’s finally, actually, over Maggie. But Mike isn’t ready to date just yet; he’s just gotten out of a thing and it’s still a little raw. (Zing!)

The Question: Has season 2 been greenlit yet?

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Man Seeking Woman Recap: Ep. 109, “Teacup”

Josh is frustrated with the ins and outs of seeking a relationship as a guy. Girls have it so much easier! He says girls could just walk outside and get sex. Yup. Mmhmm. Because sex = a relationship.

He calls his sister, Liz, for advice, who ignores his call to deal with the awkward breakup she’s experiencing. We’re called right back to the first episode as Liz walks down the street post-dumping, followed by a storm cloud that curiously drops rain, hail, AND fish.

Liz visits with her friend Katie, who is hosting a tea birthday party for her daughter and her friends (presumably), in an attempt to move on. She sips wine, talks about how great work is, but is in total denial about how hurt she is. Liz decides to be the courier of a bubble water refill for the young ones out back and as she pours fresh servings for the girls, they tell Liz that they’re discussing their husbands.

Liz: I bet you’re married to Mr. Tiger over there, huh? Rawr!
Little Girl 1: My husband’s name is Richard Kaplan.
Liz: Holy crap, is that a real diamond?!
Little Girl 1: It better be or Richard’s in big trouble!

The little girls begin a truly awful conversation about the quality of wedding rings, cuts, settings, etc. All these girls are blinging and Liz is a little shocked that all these girls seem to be married. She calls her friend Katie over to confirm this, but little Jamie is revealed to be the single girl of the tea party. She’s starting karate in the fall, almost certain she’s going to make the honor roll, but she’s not very happy. She’s seven-years-old, AKA her late single digits, and she’s still the single girl at the tea party. Jamie’s going to a dark place, and Liz tries to assure her that she has plenty of time to worry about boys. She’s way older than these kids and she’s not married.

Tea Party Clique: YOU’RE NOT MARRIED?!

Liz needs to get a move on. At 29, she’s older than one of the girls’ dead cat’s bones! Older than bones! The girls want to set Liz up; she doesn’t have as much time as she thinks.

Liz: Excuse me, but my life isn’t defined by whether or not I have a man in it! You might be too young to understand this, but if and when I decide to get married and have a family it’ll be because I want to do it, not because I got bullied by a bunch of second graders. And by the way, 29 is nowhere near a million. you need to brush up on your math.
Little Girl 1: You’re right, I’m not that good with numbers. But even if you meet a guy today, and you only dated him one year before getting engaged, and it takes you a year to plan the wedding, and it takes you at least one year to get pregnant, and you want to have at least two kids, and you want them to be at least two years apart, and you want to do all this before you turn 40 – because man, after that, you’re really playing with fire in terms of a whole host of fertility problems – then I’d say you really don’t have a lot of time to meet this perfect, mystery man. But like you said, I’m still learning math.

OUCH. Liz is cut so deep that she’s unconsciously cuddling one of the stuffed tea party attendees just as Katie brings out Jamie’s birthday cupcakes. Jamie passes them over to Liz to blow out the candles. “You probably need this more than I do,” she says sympathetically, but the whole party has become a downer.

At the office, Liz checks her calendar and realizes that her personal life is chronically empty. On top of that, her 30th birthday is looming. She notices a couple of colleagues in full bandage dress and stiletto regalia and asks if she can tag along with them to…wherever they’re going. In five minutes, Liz dusts off an extremely dusty makeup bag, puts in contacts, hikes her boobs up, takes off her work blazer, puts on some great red lipstick, lets her hair down, and she’s ready!

The ladies arrive at a bar/club situation and Liz is talking to a nice-seeming guy at the bar. He’s attractive and funny and they try to set up a date. Liz suggests coffee, but the guy follows a Paleo diet which just isn’t going to get it for Liz. She excuses herself and makes a “yucky” face as she writes him off. Her friends complain that Liz has found something wrong with all of the guys in the bar, and she says it’s because they all have something wrong with them. What does Liz want in a man?

Liz: I’m looking for, like, a nice, smart guy who’s moderately attractive. And you know, it’d be kind of cool if he played an instrument or something, like a banjo. And he should have some money, because I have some money. But he can’t be into the fact that he has money, or intimidated by the fact that I have money. He’s generous and sensitive. He’s not afraid to cry, but he will kill someone to protect his family. I also want him to live in my neighborhood because I have very limited free time, as you know.
Friends: Yeah, I think you’re going to have to settle for a little bit less than all that. Because that man you just described doesn’t exist.

Erm, hmm. In the bathroom, Liz talks to herself in the mirror. “You’re still young. You’re attractive, and making partner is right around the corner! No, I won’t settle! If he doesn’t exist, I will create him!”

Hello, this is Frank.

Cut to Mad Scientist Liz in a cemetery robbing a grave and taking it to a morgue. Assisted by her Igor, she’s assembled qualities from several men to make her perfect one and he’s alive! His name is Frank, he’s gorgeous, plays classical guitar, he’s Jewish – and he’s gay.

Liz: I thought I made the perfect man!
Frank: You did. And he’s gay.

Liz is saddened and naturally Igor thinks this small showing of vulnerability is an opening to put the moves on her. “No,” she says, “That’s never going to happen. You’re my employee.” So he calls her a bitch. Because she was the one being creepy and inappropriate.

Desperate, Liz lets her mom set her up with Chip, Dr. Fringle’s son who Liz went to summer camp with. Chip, as it turns out, is a robot, calling us back to the first episode when Liz sets Josh up with a troll. Chip is excruciatingly boring and can only speak technically, apparently, so Liz starts crushing the red wine. Then Chip pulls out several cheesy and not so cheesy compliments – he says he’s always had a crush on her, he uses his flamethrower to cook her rare steak a little more – leading to some dancing (the robot, of course) and then back to Liz’s place. With a whir and a boink, the sex began and ended, so Chip begins to make an awkward exit. He doesn’t want a relationship, he just got out of a long term thing, and he can’t bother to find the door to leave so he walks through Liz’s wall instead.

After this fiasco, Liz is flipping through photos of her and Leo when Josh stops by for advice about what he should say to a girl he’s trying to date. He notices Liz crying and tells her that she’s the smartest person he knows and everyone should listen to her about relationships. She’s sad but willing to help him learn to communicate (beginning with realizing that phones do register a call even if you hang up before the call hits voicemail) when he notices the big hole in her wall.

Liz: Yeah, I…I don’t want to talk about that.

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Man Seeking Woman Recap: Ep. 108, “Branzino”

Josh is super excited for the mail today! Mike is nervous that all of the envelopes are thin, like rejection letters from college. Sure enough, they’re rejections from applications Josh sent out for girlfriends. Some are not available for a boyfriend this year, some are not accepting men at all…but the last letter is an acceptance from Rachel! Mike hasn’t heard of any Rachel (who hasn’t heard of a Rachel?) and Josh flies out the door to meet her.

Rachel’s favorite food is soft boiled eggs and Josh thinks he’s in love even though that’s weird and so brings her to meet his mom on her late night talk show, “Late Night with Mom.” She brings Josh and Rachel on stage and they’re really awkward. As they move through standard new relationship information (how long they have been together, what she does for a living), Mom continues to make unfunny late night talk show-like jokes, making this interview really excruciating. As Mom goes to commercial Rachel tries to salvage the interview by asking for Mom’s famous German potato salad recipe for the dinner party she’s planning. And just like that Mom is in love with Rachel, too.

Josh and Rachel take this to mean that they’re perfect for each other and Rachel serves up soft boiled eggs and toast for breakfast. Josh, in true Josh fashion, is grossed out but unwilling to admit it because he needs a girlfriend to live. At the dinner party, Josh and Rachel practice being cute hosts together and Mike shows up ready to party. He’s chugging wine, talking about bestiality videos, and totally freaked out by the branzino Rachel serves for dinner.

Mike: Get that thing away from me, dude! What the shit kinda bullshit shit is that, bro?
Rachel: Branzino.
Mike: Oh man, that thing’s gonna come to life and chew my nuts off in my sleep! It’s like a Steven King movie up in here, bro!

Mike picks up the branzino, handling everyone’s dinner with his forever unclean hands, so Josh stashes him in the bedroom like a puppy who always misbehaves around guests. After everyone’s gone, they find Mike naked and baked on the bedroom floor.

Rachel: Josh, what are we going to do about him? It’s just getting to be so much work. Looking after him, cleaning up his messes…

So Mike is like Josh’s dog now? Complete with unwanted humping and poop on the bed? Okay, sure. Josh and Rachel decide that Mike doesn’t really fit into their lifestyle anymore and bring him to Chill Acres Bro Shelter, a kennel for wayward dudebro pets. As Josh signs Mike in, he is informed that although Mike will get his fill of Call of Duty and Doritos, if the shelter is unable to find a friend for Mike in 30 days he’ll be put down. Mike is 27 and the likelihood of finding a match is slim. Josh is horrified to find out that Mike might be euthanized via 12-pack of crap beer and a sodium thiopental. Noticing that Mike’s hangovers are more intense these days and he can’t really dance well anymore, however, Josh agrees that Mike’s quality of life isn’t what it used to be and heads out. As he leaves, he witnesses Mike’s fate and suddenly wants his Bro back.

As it turns out, this shelter is just an excuse to exterminate all bros! So Josh steals some keys, releases Mike and the rest of the bros, and takes them to a place where bros can run free: a strip club. At lunch with his sister, Liz, Josh and Rachel announce that since her lease is up at the end of the month, why not get surgically conjoined?

Together forever and never to part.

Liz: Doesn’t that seem a little too soon, maybe, to be taking that step? Leo and I have been together four years and we still have separate bodies.

Josh and Rachel are undeterred because Soul Mates. Then we get a montage of all the good times with him attached to her right side and her to his left: walks in the park, making breakfast, playing ping pong, brushing each other’s teeth, and playing piano. Then the montage turns dark: they sit through Rachel’s book club, Josh plays video games while Rachel tries to read, and they awkwardly try to share the toilet. In bed, Josh is a slow reader and Rachel wants to get some action but it’s awkward because…well, they’re conjoined. The logistics are all wrong. Now Josh and Rachel blame each other for the decline of the relationship and decide it’s probably best for them to tear their perforated seam and separate.

Back at the strip club, Josh realizes he and Rachel weren’t Soul Mates after all and has some beers with Mike – as his entire left side oozes blood and fluid from being ripped open.

The Question: Who’s reporting Chill Acres to the state for Bro cruelty?

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Man Seeking Woman Recap: Ep. 7, “Stain”

After last week’s display of poor decision making, Josh is single and depressed again. His sister stops by and invites him dancing with her and her boyfriend and though he doesn’t want to be a third wheel, he agrees. Turns out, they invited him to competitive ice dance with them, underlining what a third wheel he is. Naturally sister and boyfriend are perfect skaters, but Josh is a klutz who can barely stand on skates. A good fall puts him out of his misery, though.

At work, Josh’s boss tasks him with changing the water jug in the water cooler and that old gag where the water changer spills the water all over themselves before putting it where it belongs ensues, covering Josh with water. His coworkers treat him like a pesky ghost and the boss hasn’t stopped calling him Jeff. His temping future is precarious.

Mike is looking through Josh’s mail and finds a wedding invitation. Weddings are depressing for Josh, even for Ben and Becky, due to his painful singledom and he worries that Maggie will be there. Mike convinces him that he should go anyway, and they head out to shop for linens to wear to a nice summer wedding in Hell. Yes, it’s a destination wedding on July 25 in Hell. The wedding registry requests exclusively holy weapons but Josh is not rich enough to afford a $90 gift that will probably get him killed. Mike picks up a sweet pewter sword and they’re off to the airport.

Through the airport, on a really comfortable looking plane to the middle of desert nowhere, into a gaping cavern, across a blood pool, and across a bridge and Josh and Mike arrive at the wedding hotel. Josh complaining about the Jordan Almonds now and Mike has had enough of his griping. Josh readjusts his attitude, always one to give it the old college try, and then Maggie shows up. Her new boyfriend is terribly attractive and a lawyer and loves Jordan Almonds, so naturally Josh feels more inferior, insecure, and out of place. His anxiety is palpable.

Post-wedding everyone arrives at the reception and Josh is distracted by Maggie and her hot boyfriend. Mike encourages him to let it go, then they all discover that they’ve been seated at the same table. Josh buries himself in red wine. Mike is getting along great with the couple and after probing Josh uncomfortably about his current temp pay rate, Maggie’s boyfriend offers to bring him in as a temp at his company because his company can definitely top that rate. Joy, to work with your Big Ex’s current hunky boyfriend!

Never fear!

Just then, a demon crashes the party and Mike is having a hard time unsheathing the sword he bought. Josh is attacked and the new boyfriend saves him because he’s a hunk and of course brought a sword like the website said to, even if it was just a suggestion. The whole room applauds and gets grooving to what would probably have been “Shout” if they’d gotten the rights. On his way tot he dance floor the demon, impaled with the new boyfriend’s sword, really rubs in Josh’s inadequacies, so he asks a girl to dance in an effort to compete with Maggie and her boyfriend. He is instead left on the floor standing awkwardly by himself.

Back at table 19, Mike, Maggie and the lawyer are still vibing but Josh is drowning in wine and embarrassment. The newlywed couple stops by for a chat. They find out that Maggie and her new boyfriend have been together for six weeks, but Josh knows that he slept with Maggie five weeks ago!

Can I crawl into all five of these glasses of wine before anyone notices?

Josh: Well, I don’t want to be a dick here, but how can you be in a relationship for six weeks when you slept with me five weeks ago, hmmmmmm?!?!
Maggie: That was two months ago, you crazy.
Josh: …No, it wasn’t.
Mike: You’ve had enough wine, buddy.

In their struggle for Josh’s wine glass, he throw s his wine all over the bride’s wedding dress, earning the glares of eveyrone in attendance.

Josh wanders around Hell to get some time to think and begins speaking with a chained woman on a rock. He complains that his every day is a nightmare, and she’s like, “You don’t know from everyday torture!” Josh laments that he’s done everything in life that he was supposed to and never colored outside the lines, but he’s still miserable. He invites the woman on a rock and her torturer to come with him back to the wedding and is determined to apologize to Ben and Becky. The impaled demon is still rubbing salt in Josh’s wounds and warns him not to go in because he’ll only make things worse. “What are you, some kind of masochist?!”

Everyone has forggtten about Josh’s blunders because, as Mike so succinctly put it, “Dude, it’s not about you! It’s a wedding!” The happy couple calls for a conga line and ends up behind Josh.

Josh: Becky, I just really wanted to apologize for my behavior earlier. I was out of line.
Becky: It’s okay, Jeff!

The Question: Why didn’t they take advantage of the stares and let some daggers fly from people’s eyes at Josh when he spilled the wine? #missedopportunities

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Man Seeking Woman Recap: Ep. 6, “Gavel”

After dating for a while, Josh makes it official with his new girlfriend, Kayla. Unfortunately their tender moment is interrupted by sex aliens who have come for sex. That’s right, Kayla becomes catatonic and three blue aliens appear, begging for sex from Josh. His “man in a relationship” confidence has apparently turned him into alien catnip. Despite all of the enticing hissing, offers of drugs and Showgirls, Josh shuts them down and punts them back to where they came from with a solid, “I’m not going to cheat on my girlfriend no matter how attractive the offer.” Good on you, Josh.

Later, Mike warns Josh that if he keeps seeing this girl he might just end up married to her! The horror! As soon as Josh leaves Kayla’s job, Mike snatches him up and the next thing you know Josh is on a prison bus complete with other prisoners in jumpsuits who are just too damned close to marrying their girlfriends and moving to…THE SUBURBS!!!

Mike introduces Daniel Schultz, a man who has served 11 years of his life sentence to his wife. No quippy turns of phrase necessary here; that’s the actual language that was used. Daniel is scaring these serious relationship-having suckers straight. “Next thing you know, you’re married, you’re pregnant, gravestone.”

But Josh actually likes having a girlfriend and rushes home to make a dinner of portobello mushrooms and quinoa because he’s vegan now or something. In the thick of dinner preparation, Josh’s Big Ex, Maggie, shows up wet and in tears causing him to torpedo his own date to comfort his ex. And so he’s called into court, charged with Boyfriend Misconduct. He successfully argues his own defense and then eats the dinner he cooked for his girlfriend with his ex. So he has a new court date.

The circumstantial evidence is piling up against Josh: he’s sharing a bottle of wine with Maggie who is not Kayla, touching hands, and she’s mentioned sex more than once. Still, the evidence is only circumstantial and he is absolved. Maggie begins to make a lingering exit but Josh stops her, offering to finish watching Carnivale together which earns him another court appearance. Even though he’s clearly crossing lines, he is off the hook again. Jump back to the couch where Josh and the ex are watching Carnivale and one thing predictably leads to a pants off dance off. Apparently Josh is the kind of guy who cheats.

The next morning Kayla calls and Josh rushes through an insultingly hasty breakup speech because he and Maggie are getting back together, right? Not quite: “Josh, last night was a mistake.” Huge shocker here. I mean, who saw this coming?! As Maggie leaves and Kayla arrives to get her stuff, Josh tries half-heartedly to explain his poor decision making. “You suck, Josh. You suck.”

Yeah, he sucks. In one fell swoop he has unwound all of the sympathy he had garnered over the previous five episodes. He thought it better to invite the ex who left him for Adolf Hitler (see episode one) to the date he had arranged for his girlfriend, and then sleep with her. I called you good six paragraphs ago, man!

The Questions: Are we supposed to get over the fact that we’ve rooted for this hopeless romantic only to watch him shoot himself in the foot and ruin his new relationship? Was Josh’s sister right to set him up with a troll after all (again see episode one)? And which poor instincts will Josh follow next week?

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