Things I learned from watching television: The Last Girlfriend on Earth

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Here’s a post about a book that came out two years ago because a girl can’t always be on the cutting edge, you know? But how did I discover this? While laying around like a zombie watching television on a Sunday morning instead of contributing to society. The way I discover most great things.* Man Seeking Woman is a show on FXX starring Jay Baruchel based on the book The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich. It’s one of those frustrating shows that critics love but no one watches. Luckily, it’s on FXX instead of one of the sucky major networks so it has been picked up for a second season. The show, which is run and written by Rich, is filmed in Toronto so as a Canadian I’m obligated to watch it if I want to continue receiving health care.

And for once, Canadian citizenship requirements pay off because this show is amazing. If fills the Happy Endings shaped hole in absurdly comedic television. Because I become obsessed with anything that I even sort-of like, I sought out more information about Simon Rich and here’s the scoop. He’s sort of a genius. He looks twelve years old, was the youngest ever writer on SNL and wrote two novels before The Last Girlfriend on Earth, the short story collection upon which the show is based.

Published in 2013, Last Girlfriend is a series of perfectly composed comedic stories. The shortest of the stories is a single page but still constitutes a complete narrative. Like the television show, the stories are about the romantic misadventures of a hapless young man. In one story, a guy successfully picks up a girl at a bar and gets her to come back to his place and sleep with one. The next day he gets a congratulatory call from the President of the United States. The call is interrupted by the MacArthur Foundation’s announcement of his Genius grant. In another story, the single guy’s friends, all of whom are in couples, try to set him up with a friends. They finally find a single friend that is supposed to be perfect for him but when he shows up for the date the girl is a troll. He runs into her a few weeks later when she’s out with her new boyfriend and he has to admit that she’s looking pretty good.

It’s the book I wish I could give my single friends if only my single friends had any sense of humour at all about being single.

*As I write this blog post I’m half-laying on my couch covered in a green blanket, streaming episodes of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and drinking pinot grigio**.

**I hate pinot grigio. My husband accidentally bought it instead of sauvignon blanc because life is awful.

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