BLOGS

The Telefile
<i>Man Up!</i>: Can This Stereotypical Yet Surprisingly Funny Show Survive?

I'm curious to see how Man Up! will do in the Tuesday at 8:30 PM on ABC time slot. The premiere of Last Man Standing got great numbers, but for how many minutes can people stand to watch male-centric, gender identity-obsessed characters? Will viewers who hated Home Improvement: Daughter Edition even give this show a chance? Will audiences who saw how badly How to Be a Gentleman did avoid all shows with "man" in the title? Could people deem it to too much of a fool's Modern Family? Time will tell -- but if the ratings ultimately nosedive, I don't think it will be because the pilot was truly terrible on its own.

Coming from the girl who couldn't stand How to Be a Gentleman, I thought the Man Up! debut was funny -- as in, I laughed way more than once in the episode. The chemistry between Will, Kenny and Craig (Mather Zickel, Dan Fogler and Christopher Moynihan, respectively) was well realized, the one-liners were tight (I'll admit that "It's always stool, isn't it?" got me), there were moments of fine comedic timing ("Sha la la la la" in the car immediately after the guys left the church was a nice touch) and the final use of the "fluffin'" gag caught me off-guard. I credit Henry Simmons for his delivery of Grant, the outstandingly handsome baker, lover, basketball player and fighter, for a good amount of laughs in the episode, and the writers for not making it painfully obvious that his character proves that being a man has nothing to do with the nonsense Will and his friends think it does.

On that note, I feel slightly disarmed by my enjoyment of Man Up!, because at its core, I really dislike the show. I'm frustrated by its creation of the non-dilemma of how to define manhood in 2011, as if modern women and geeky children have ruined the male experience for all guys who have never fought in the military. As a general rule, I can't stand it when suggesting a man has female genitalia serves a big punch line -- Fogler's character did it twice and Zickel referred to his crew as part of an "over-evolved generation of pantywaists." I cringed every time Will uttered a line about "being a man," because I knew it would be followed by an emasculating dig within seconds. The stereotypical set-up of "the married one, the divorced one and the eternally single one" irked me, and I would like to meet one 13-year-old who would jump for joy upon getting a shaving kit from a complete stranger on his birthday. But when Will explained how he got permission from his wife to play video games at night -- a cut to him asking his wife Theresa (Teri Polo) if she wanted to have sex -- I chuckled because, well, it was funny.

I'm not sure where these characters are going to go from here, but right now I imagine Man Up!'s formula will grow tiresome, especially if you detest Fogler's comedic styling, or man-children in general. But honestly, I hope that I'm proven wrong next week. Though I wouldn't call this show must-see TV, I could see recording it and watching it Wednesday mornings before checking in with Fox's New Girl (when it comes back on), just to give myself some kind of balance between the genders at their wackiest... that is, if it survives long enough.

Think you're a TV or movie expert? Prove it! Play Trivia Without Pity, our new online trivia game with over 2,000 questions about the shows and films you love -- and love to hate.

What are people saying about your favorite shows and stars right now? Find out with Talk Without Pity, the social media site for real TV fans. See Tweets and Facebook comments in real time and add your own -- all without leaving TWoP. Join the conversation now!

Comments

SHARE THE SNARK

X

Get the most of your experience.
Share the Snark!

See content relevant to you based on what your friends are reading and watching.

Share your activity with your friends to Facebook's News Feed, Timeline and Ticker.

Stay in Control: Delete any item from your activity that you choose not to share.

MOST RECENT POSTS

BLOG ARCHIVES

The Telefile

March 2014

25 ENTRIES

February 2014

24 ENTRIES

January 2014

43 ENTRIES

December 2013

15 ENTRIES

November 2013

28 ENTRIES

October 2013

40 ENTRIES

September 2013

37 ENTRIES

August 2013

16 ENTRIES

July 2013

15 ENTRIES

June 2013

26 ENTRIES

May 2013

38 ENTRIES

April 2013

43 ENTRIES

March 2013

35 ENTRIES

February 2013

58 ENTRIES

January 2013

62 ENTRIES

December 2012

48 ENTRIES

November 2012

60 ENTRIES

October 2012

71 ENTRIES

September 2012

67 ENTRIES

August 2012

66 ENTRIES

July 2012

51 ENTRIES

June 2012

60 ENTRIES

May 2012

70 ENTRIES

April 2012

73 ENTRIES

March 2012

72 ENTRIES

February 2012

64 ENTRIES

January 2012

80 ENTRIES

The Latest Activity On TwOP