EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Latkiewicz of truTV’s ‘You Can Do Better’ Talks Handling Life’s Awkward Moments

Life is full of awkward, uncomfortable moments that neither college nor your parents prepared you for: What are the different ways you can order a martini? What’s the polite way to get out of a conversation you’re no longer interested in? How do you bet on a horse? If you know literally none of these things, it’s time for truTV’s You Can Do Better  to become your new guideline for surviving everyday life without looking like a total idiot.

Co-host Matthew Latkiewicz breaks down how they pick topics, how they find solutions for the most uncomfortable moments in life, and what to expect in upcoming episodes.

How do you come up with interesting topics to make people better?

We—Abbi [Crutchfield], myself, the writers—start with our real lives and talk about all the parts we find challenging, awkward, annoying, etc. The show is based on the idea that there are a lot of things in adult life that we all encounter, but for which no one prepared us. I left school with a a great understanding of the Treaty of Versailles, for instance, but no idea about how to argue with other people in a productive way; or how to drink without becoming a lunatic; or how to play craps—all things I have had to figure out on my own whereas I’ve never ONCE had to talk about the Treaty of Versailles. It’s all based on awkward real-life experiences, which all of us have a basically endless supply.

Did you know how to do a lot of these things before doing the show?

No. Sometimes yes. Like, I am really good at drinking. I wrote a whole book on drinking, so that episode I had on lock, but a lot of the show is about opening yourself up to the world and finding the untapped wisdom from those around you. There’s a lot to be learned from barflies, gamblers, drag queens, sex therapists, stoners, etc. if you just open yourself up to the diversity of the world.

 

Where do you get your information? I’m thinking mostly of Types of Talkers episode and how each time limit for each talker was decided.

Some information is gathered via the Google (like how to play craps), but for a lot of things, we get the info by going out into the world and experiencing all it’s awkward annoyances and thinking through how it could be better for everyone involved. In terms of Types of Talkers, that one just came from going to parties and talking to lots of people. The time limits are obviously a bit arbitrary—it’s your life, talk as long as you want—but we’re trying to give people the tools to recognize the patterns in a party and the permission to cut it off when they want to.

Do you find yourself yelling people how to do things outside of the show?

All the time.

Talk about what we can expect to learn to do better in the upcoming new episodes.

We got 13 new topics, some very concrete like gambling—we break down how to bet on horses, how to play street dice, how to get comps at a casino—and some more abstract like sexual identity, where we wade into things like pronoun usage in the trans community and how to avoid the toxic aspects of gender roles. We also have episodes on weddings (with advice for both those planning a wedding and those going to it), on taking risks in life, pet ownership, vanity, tattoos (I get a tattoo in the episode), after hours (like how to really take advantage of the hours between midnight and six AM), and dealing with your sh*t (whether it’s emotional or physical).

You Can Do Better premieres July 11 at 10:30pm ET on truTV.

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