What was set up as an interesting and honest look at men who struggle with their idea of what a successful man is and what their lives have become. It is fascinating that a show has the opportunity to explore this, especially in light of a very interesting article I read this week. Basically, the article posits that men have difficulty changing their role in their own lives and the lives of their loved ones because they can't see how they can have relationships unless they are needed. "This is what being masculine means in our culture: to be necessary.”
I want to watch that sitcom. I want a funny, heartbreaking, relatable perspective of men who are not in relationships, are not in ideal careers, don't feel necessary, who are not sure what to do next--these men finding a Plan B. My brother, an anthropologist, spent a semester studying gender roles in our society. According to him (and his trusty peer-reviewed articles), men are depicted in two roles in the media. Either they are successful in their traditional male gender role or they are not. If they are, they get "rewarded": they find love, work through their other problems, become the men that viewers want to be and be with. If they are not successful, they rely on the successful men to bail them out, they end up with the inferior women or with none at all, and they are unhappy. We need a show that shows the complicated societal perspective of men.
We Are Men could really be a window to look at these issues through the lens of America's favorite defense mechanism (comedy), but it's not. It's just stereotypes mixing with sitcom cliches and baked at predictable degrees. This show is so uninspiring, I can't even come up with a decent metaphor, and I majored in metaphors.
Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Maybe this is a gaping hole in my experience of always being a woman and I'm completely missing the magic of this show. You tell me.