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TV Critic’s Corner

‘Man Seeking Woman’ keeps its edge, despite some changes

Jay Baruchel stars in “Man Seeking Woman.”

I’m a little disappointed in myself. Usually, I do my annual rave of FXX’s “Man Seeking Woman” by now; the show returned for a third season three weeks ago.

The thing I love about this comedy, Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m., is not just the fact that it’s filled with surreal fantasies. It’s the way the show — created by Simon Rich — drifts seamlessly into and out of those fantasies, often without a clear demarcation from reality.

They aren’t the little pop-up illusions that single-camera sitcoms have been using in earnest since “Scrubs.” On “Man Seeking Woman,” the surrealism arrives in long, bold sequences, often informed by
Freudian psychology. It sometimes seems as though the characters are walking through living, breathing metaphors.


I love that kind of experimentation, even if, at times, the sequences don’t altogether work. I also love the way all the cleverness doesn’t get in the way of the character development.

When I heard this season would find our hero in a long-term relationship, I was concerned. The series began when Josh (Jay Baruchel — who guests on Wednesday night’s “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon”) got dumped by his girlfriend. The premise was the nightmare of urban dating. Like babies, long-term relationships can push a singles comedy into predictable territory.

But that hasn’t been the case so far, and Katie Findlay, who was Rosie Larsen on “The Killing,” is a likable addition as Josh’s girlfriend.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.