We Are Men

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
We Are Men TV Poster Image
Offensive male bonding comedy has stereotypes, sex talk.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Friendship, particularly of the male variety, is explicitly championed. Too bad the men often have to bond by insulting women. Reinforces the idea that men like "manly" things like beer, barbecuing, watching sports, and ogling women. Really insulting messages about the gullibility and sexual availability of women, especially Asian women.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The men are generally pleasant and friendly toward one another, but they all have different (negative) issues with women which play out in stereotypical ways. The guys are meant to be laughed at to some degree, but the stereotypes still get reinforced. Women are either sexual objects, nags, or adulterers or are just plain cold-hearted.

Violence

Some playful scuffling: a man and a woman fight, and she throws a glass vase at his head.

Sex

Many double entendres, implied consequence-free casual sex, and discussions of sex. Women are sometimes referred to as objects; for example, one is a "sure thing" (will have sex with a character). We see characters in bed, discussing sex.

Language

No cursing, but some unkind language, such as when an ob-gyn refers to helping deliver all three of a man's "chubby, ugly girls."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many scenes take place in bars, with characters drinking cocktails and beer. Characters drink after driving and make jokes about how drunk they are.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that We Are Men reinforces stereotypes about men and women and includes a lot of sexual discussions, including double entendres and jokes about sex and body parts. We see characters in bed who appear to be naked (no private parts are shown), and the camera lingers on scantily clad young women as characters verbally appreciate their bodies. Most of the central male characters are interested in consequence-free casual sex with women who are valued only for their looks and sexual compliance. One character repeatedly states his preference for Asian women. Characters drink beer and cocktails on-screen, drive drunk, and commit minor criminal acts and blame it on being inebriated.

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What's the story?

A few weeks ago, Carter (Chris Smith) was abandoned at the altar by his ex. Now he's out of a job (since he was working for his girlfriend's dad) and needs somewhere new to live. He finds it in Tarzana, at a luxury apartment complex where he meets Frank (Tony Shalhoub), in recovery from his fourth divorce; Stuart (Jerry O'Connell), a doctor on his second divorce; and Gil (Kal Penn), who was cheating on his wife yet hopes she'll still take him back. All four men have been roughed up by love. Now they're bonding with each other, heading out to clubs to find romance (or what passes for it for at night) and finding solace in friendship and beer.

Is it any good?

It's a shame when great comic actors are given limp material to work with, and that's the case here, with four fine actors playing tired horndogs who wouldn't be out of place in a teen sex comedy from the '80s. Really, all these guys, who range from their mid-30s to their 50s, are all going out to clubs? And twentysomething women are giving them attention and even going home with them? C'mon. Though the viewer can easily believe that a divorced man would seek to soothe his battered heart with some female company, are men of these ages likely to both seek and find these partners in a dance club frequented by women who look barely old enough to drink?

It all just feels unrealistic, yet not wacky enough to reach levels of satiric absurdity. And so WE ARE MEN floats in some middle ground, where the audience can recognize that various scenarios are supposed to be hilarious, and yet they're not laughing. There is great comedy to be found in the pain of divorce and reluctant singlehood, but this isn't it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the believability of the characters. Is this how men act together? Is this how they talk and relate to each other? Is We Are Men realistic?

  • Are the characters on We Are Men supposed to be poor, wealthy, or middle class? What kinds of clothes do they wear? What cars do they drive? Where and how do they live? Do characters of their economic status in real life display these consumer signs?

  • Are we supposed to like the men of We Are Men? What about the female characters? Is this show aimed at men, women, or both? What makes you draw this conclusion?

TV details

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