In Man Seeking Woman I definitely identify more with Josh than anything else. Neurotic, overthinking, that’s my sort of guy. Sadly, I think even Josh has more luck with women than I do. This is contrasted directly by Mike, as played by Eric Andre. The serial chauvinist waltzes in and out of Josh’s life, half serving as a catalyst for his misadventures, the other half serving as someone that Josh envies.
I was able to spend a few minutes talking to Eric Andre, the talented actor who plays Mike in Man Seeking Woman last Friday and get a couple of insights on Mike, how Andre sees him, and how the character will evolve as the show continues.
Man Seeking Woman takes a very familiar sitcom trope (guy trying to find love) and throws some ridiculously high concepts onto it. Andre puts it best when he describes Man Seeking Woman as,
“I say cartoon come to life. I say John Cusack Rom-Com mixed with a Salvador Dali painting. I say the Meg Ryan movie ‘You’ve Got Mail’ on Peyote. It’s a psychedelic Rom-Com.”
Andre also does not have a very high opinion of his character. “I take from all of the biggest douchebags I grew up with in Florida and I channel them and put them into Mike.” Furthermore, when Eric was asked if he would hang out with Mike in real life, he responded with a resounding, “No. I would run for the hills.”
If this was the case, I asked what Eric thought Mike saw in Josh.
“That’s a good question. What do I think Mike sees in Josh that most people don’t? I think there’s an inner playboy in Josh that Mike is trying to channel. They have a Mr. Miyagi – Ralph Macchio kind of relationship sometimes there I think he’s trying to change. He sees potential. He thinks Josh is like the young grasshopper, and his flower is waiting to blossom like a Georgia O’Keefe painting.”
If that’s the angle, I can see why Eric thinks Mike is such an asshole. Sure, he’s trying to “help” his friend, but that’s because he sees Josh as either a stepping stool or just someone he can mold. Friendship is about accepting and loving who someone is as a person, warts and all. Trying to change someone, in any relationship, is unhealthy if it’s only a one way street. Josh is obviously in awe of Mike’s ease with women, because no wizard came to help him at puberty (see Pitbull), but I really don’t think Josh has a grasp of who he is as a person, and continually seeks to define himself by the women that he dates, something that Mike sees and preys on. As someone who actually enjoys Mike on the show, this kind of left me in the lurch. It’s not fun to root for assholes. Luckily, when asked if Mark will ever give a piece of good advice, Andre follows up with,
“I think so, with time. In the last episode (Stain), we saw some softer sides of Mike. Towards the end of the season, the subtle nuances of Mike’s character will come out where he’s a bit of a walking contradiction. He has a softer; or he’s in touch with his feminine side more than we think, eventually.”
It will be interesting to watch the development of this seemingly womanizing playboy reveal more of himself, because while the show is centered around Josh, Mike plays a huge part in how Josh sees women and the world around him. Hopefully, we can see their friendship evolve maybe that confidence will rub off on Josh, and Josh can ward off some of Mike’s pervasive chauvinism.
Bromance is a type of romance, right?