Publisher’s Note: The following is being republished because ‘I’m Sorry’ Season 2 hit Netflix this weekend, and even though Mantzoukas could only appear in one episode this season due to scheduling conflicts, the sitcom is still one of the best on television. This is your reminder to watch!
Like so many of the Overlords (and you fine folks), I’m a huge fan of Jason Mantzoukas, bringer of chaos, he of great beard, a near-invincible comedic superhero (unless, of course, someone brings egg salad to craft service). I’m also a big fan of Andrea Savage, the creator/star of truTV’s I’m Sorry (Season One is on Netflix, Season Two premieres January 9th!) who is just as brilliant (and often, just as weird) in her comedy.
While I’ve seen both of them in numerous roles over the years, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered a strange thread tying the two of them together, a multiverse-spanning narrative of love and loss.
I’m talking, of course, about the secret love that bonds Jason Mantzoukas and Andrea Savage, each forever in search of the other soul, over and over and over again, across fictional worlds, regardless of the obstacles fate (and their absurdly busy schedules) places in their path.
Their tale begins in Chicago, on a show that was, theoretically, about fantasy football, as Jason (sorry, I mean “Rafi”) meets a swim instructor named
Andrea Gail, and the two have a brief, torrid relationship.
Alas, the relationship burns out quickly, as it was built on a lie (and also, neither was main cast on The League), and so, to protect Ruxin from the wrath of his wife, Rafi does the only honorable thing, which is, of course, to burn the whole thing to the ground by making out with his sister.
Although this firmly ended the relationship between Rafi and Gail, the two would cross paths again a couple years later, when Rafi challenges Gail’s new boyfriend, Chef Lee Wei Lee, to a fight over Gail, which she is very upset about.
This, too, ends disastrously for our star-crossed lovers, as Rafi loses the fight when Chef Lee uses a technique that has no defense… the dreaded defeces gambit (it’s exactly what it sounds like).
With such a tragic end to their Chicago-based fling, the two would have to wait until they crossed paths in another universe to explore their clear love for one another. Thankfully, another, more stable relationship for our heroes was on its way, this time in a charming little town you might have heard of: New York City.
Sadly, we don’t get to see much of their tale here, as the plot of Sleeping With Other People follows some other couple who are in the midst of falling in love, instead of focusing its attention on the true heroes of this story: Naomi and Xander, the married friends who are still clearly perfect for one another even though they’re in that period of life where work and kids means they can’t spend all their attention on one another. But when they do get a chance to spend time together, it’s pure magic (note: I really wanted to find the end credit sequence, which is given completely to our two heroes to riff, but absent that, this other scene will have to do):
Some might consider this the end of the love story. After all, they’re together, and happy, and the right mix of fun and boring. That’s the dream, right?
Except: there is a higher level of interconnectedness. One that transcends love and marriage and children. A level that allows, nay, requires the joining of souls, where two minds become one.
I’m referring to, of course, a Los Angeles-based writing partnership.
Zouks and Savage ascend to this final plane of true soulmateship in I’m Sorry, and in doing so, are the person the other turns to for everything. Andrea sets
Jason “Kyle” up with her daughter’s pre-school teacher, then breaks the bad news to him when she learns the woman doesn’t want to have kids. Kyle is the one Andrea calls in the middle of the night when she’s all alone in her house and afraid she’s going to be murdered. And of course, there are moments like this:
They’re hilarious and offensive and perfect together, and mercifully, in this universe, there is absolutely no sexual attraction between the two, because you can’t put two alphas together like that without messing things up, like Gail and Rafi. Nor are they happily married, like Naomi and Xander, which is pleasant, but both have been sapped of their energy by life. It is here, in this depiction of creative partnership, that the two are finally, truly unified at the height of their powers.
In short: Zouks & Savage 4EVA.
Image sources (in order of posting): Getty, FXX, FXX, FXX, FXX, IFCFilms, truTV