We Are Men: TV review

These fellas should be spending less time moaning by the pool and more time delivering punchlines.
Tony Shalhoub, Jerry O'Connell, Kal Penn and Chris Smith star in We Are Me on CBS
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Don't be fooled by the frequent shots of Jerry O'Connell in a Speedo, ladies. This show, true it's title, is not for you. We Are Men joins the ranks of other recent sitcoms about arrested masculinity, following a foursome that's far more whiny than funny. But if you're the type of fella who feels like the lady in your life is the source of all your strife, these might be the guys for you.

When his wife-to-be, Sara (Fiona Gubelmann), leaves him at the altar, Carter (Chris Smith) moves into a short-term housing complex. The place comes furnished, has a pool, and is also complete with a population of other men that have recently been dumped by their wives. Carter finds himself welcomed into a new group of male friends. Divorced four times, Frank (Tony Shalhoub) has a knack for dating and marrying younger women. Stuart (O'Connell) wed a vicious divorce lawyer who took him for everything when the marriage ended and is currently representing his second wife in another divorce. Gill (Kal Penn) is separated from his wife after she caught him having an affair. Carter's new group of friends attempt to help him get over Sara, but after years of bending to her will, he's having a hard time getting over her.

While not as offensive as Man Up!, Work It or other recent entries into this sitcom subset of middle-aged men seeking to reclaim their masculinity, the characters in We Are Men are impossible to connect with. Much of the first episode is invested in demonizing Sara for controlling Carter's life. While it's clear that she was a pretty terrible partner and that the two shouldn't be married, what results is a main character who's establishing characteristic is that he's allowed someone else to dictate every major decision in his life. Similarly, Frank, Stuart and Gill are also defined more by their failed relationships with women than by anything they themselves have done. It's a comedy entirely defined by guys blaming other people for their problems.

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