Ever wished for Sex and the City from the point of view of the men?
That seems to be the aim of CBS' new sitcom We Are Men, which debuts tonight. Sadly, it misses the mark by a lot. Not only is it outdated, it's also not funny. Which, hello, is the whole point of a comedy series.
So where did this comedy, which boasts a pretty stellar cast, including Monk's Tony Shalhoub and House's Kal Penn, Jerry O'Connell and Chris Smith go wrong? That's what we're here to discuss as we're reviewing all of the five network's new series in an effort to help you decide what to make room for on your DVR and which series to skip altogether...
We Are Men (CBS)
Premieres: Monday, Sept. 30, 8:30 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: Dancing with the Stars (ABC), Bones (FOX) Hart of Dixie (The CW), The Voice (NBC)
Cast: Chris Smith, Tony Shalhoub, Jerry O'Connell and Kal Penn
Status: We've seen the original pilot episode
The premise is simple (and bland) enough: Four different men bond over their hatred for women (they've all been burned!) while living in a short-term apartment complex. Carter (Smith), is the youngest of the group and was recently dumped at the altar. Frank (Shalhoub) has been divorced four times and is now a ladies' man (the younger, the better). Stuart (O'Connell) is a twice-married OB/GYN who can't seem to keep his shirt on and Gil (Penn) desperately wants to get back together with his wife even though he cheated on her. They lounge by the pool. They drink. They complain (and complain) about women. They hate farmer's markets. They are men, hear them belch!
So yes, it's basically The Mindy Project's "Getting Over It Gang" joke ("Just because we don't have wives doesn't mean we don't have lives," they chant!) turned into a series. Could this premise work as a movie? Sure. (Though isn't Grown Ups the married version of this schtick of man-children and their plight against horrible and nagging women?) It could work as a film because the men, or at least a few of them, would learn something by the end. We Are Men is The Little Rascals' "He-Man Woman Haters Club," expect the members are now "desperate and sad" man-children. (Also, raise your hand if you really wanted to see Monk as a ladies' man. Bueller? Bueller? Why, Shalhoub? Why?!)
The jokes are dated. The ideals are offensive. And let's just say We Are Men is pretty lucky that Fox's Dads also debuted around the same time, as it's become critics' go-to punching bag because of its mission to see how many offensive racial and sexual remarks they could make in one episode of TV. Not a single woman in the premiere is a real character, but then again, are these men fully-formed characters? Nope. So yay for equal opportunity cardboard cut-out characterizations! (One highlight? Smith manages to be pretty darn charming in a pretty darn unappealing sitcom, so there's that!)
But what do we know? This is on CBS, so it'll probably be the next Rules of Engagement and outlive us all.
Verdict: Pass. Duh.
Our Review in .GIF Form: