Imagine a table with four woman seated around it, a cheesecake in the center. The woman talk about sex a lot. They tease each other a bit. They share there feelings and emotions. I think they called it “The Golden Girls”.

Imagine a New York City restaurant- just trendy enough to be crowded but always has a table for four at the ready for a group of chic women. They sit around their morning cosmo equivalent and talk about sex a lot. They tease each other a bit. They share feelings and emotions. I think it was called “Sex and the City”.

Imagine a table with four men seated around it, a bowl of pretzels and a pitcher of beer in the middle. They sit around it and talk about sex a lot. They tease each other a bit. They share feelings and emotions. I think it was called….. help me remember- what was the title of the TV show about four male friends and how they relate to one another?

Has there ever been a TV show about men and their friendship that was based on feelings and emotions and not sports and war or crime or police?

Admitedly, ABC really tried to have this show. Last year they debuted “A Million Little Things.” spoiler alert- I’m about to divulge plot details The basic premise of the show was that there are four guys who met when they were stuck in an elevator. While waiting for help, they realized that they all shared a love of the Boston Bruins, and after they were saved from the elevator, they got season tickets together and became close friends. The pilot episode shows one of the four men commit suicide, while the another contemplates it. After that they vow to be more open to sharing their feelings with one another.

Fine. A prime time, major network show that features men talking about feelings.

Great.

Except that after the first few episodes, the show started adding the female characters into any situation revolving around emotion or feelings, as if men are not allowed to be vulnerable to one another, they are only vulnerable with women around.

so

Can you think of any television show that depicts men revealing emotions and feelings, without being aided by women?

Would you be willing to watch a show about four men sitting around a table and discussing their emotions?

Is the media directing the way they want men to act? Are they setting the standards for male behavior patterns?

or

Is the media just responding to what audiences want to see? Are shows about men and emotions not being produced because no one is interested in seeing men explore their feelings?

For today’s assignment, I want you to explore how television and movies portray men, and male friendship. What do you think the message is?

It’s now 2020- are male characters really that different from how they were ten, twenty or thirty years ago?

Discuss…

 

65 thoughts on “Thank You for Being a Friend

  1. I’ve been told by several men that they neither talk about emotions, nor sex with each other. Across 3 different cultures. At least not past a certain age…(teenagers? College students? I don’t know…)

    I don’t know if there are exceptions, or if it’s cultural, or if media influences. Perhaps today’s millenials are different? I’m not sure.

    I loved Golden Girls. I didn’t get hooked into Sex and the City much though…

    None of the men I know talk emotions with each other nor are they interested in watching shows with that premise.

    What does your husband say?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Last night at dinner I actually interviewed my husband about this. That’s tomorrow’s post. Today u wanted to throw out this thought

      Like

  2. Four guys sitting at a table drinking beer and eating pretzels talking about feelings until the shot widens and you see the sporting event on the big screen behind them and you realize that those feelings are all awkwardly related to their views on the big game, not life or their relationships or lack of them, or sex or really anything meaningful.

    Meaning that the concept of men and feelings in the media is a fantasy because real mean do not have emotions… they only play at or circumvent those feelings in the context of assigned, gender biased roles.

    My guess is that the shot would widen even more and we would find the four wives, all at their own table deeply discussing the real issues, which was the entire purpose of the show to begin with.

    Am I being snarky- probably. Am I being sarcastic- yes. Of course society, and thus the media directs and controls and perpetuates gendered beliefs!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m not sure why it should matter to you that most men, typically, don’t spend time talking to anyone about their feelings, except possibly to their wives, partners or a very close friend during a particularly fraught time. They just don’t. It doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings or empathy, but they don’t feel they need to discuss them or even self-analyze for no particular reason. Typically, if you mention a personal problem to a male friend or partner they’re going to suggest a way to fix the problem, not just discuss it. That’s the way it is. Most men I’ve lived and worked with my entire life just don’t get the “I just want to discuss, I’m not interested in you giving me a solution” option. I find it easier to just respect that. If they live on their own they’re not very likely to have houseplants either. That’s fine, too! 😊

    Liked by 7 people

  4. This is why I like most men more than most women. Most men just present themselves without all of the drama. Most of the time when women share problems, they just want to vent to they can feel better. I get that. But it can be exhausting, particularly when they rehash the same issue and never listen to your advice. 😦

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Well if it was a TV show with four women sitting around a table with a pitcher of beer and pretzels while discussing their emotions, I might watch 5 minutes of it. 😉

    But then I’d turn it off. Navel gazing & emoting in front of cameras, regardless of the gender, bores me. I cannot pretend to care.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I never watched it so I’m not 100% sure but there was a show on with Ray Romano, Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher that was supposed to be about midlife men sharing. I may try to find it as I wanted to watch but didn’t make the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I couldn’t help but wonder, if we were all distilled into hairy, manly network-friendly characters and gathered together to discuss stuff a la “Sex and the City”, then how’s a guy to find love and sanity in this city? And still reinforce the cash-money stereotypes and learned behaviors that keep multiple industries flush with cash! Or something like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. They are different now in the respect that their attitudes towards women and family have changed. If men sit around and talk about anything I believe it is because they can solve a problem. When you tell a guy a problem they instantly go into overdrive on how to solve it, not just listen.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. On netflix there was the Kominsky method which was funny. But men don’t talk about sex, they talk about sports, travel, food. Things are generally understood or assumed, we may ask for advice but we don’t vent.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I LOVE A Million Little Things! I’ve heard people say it’s a knock off of This Is Us, but never having watched that one, I don’t know how it compares. Yes, it did begin centered around the four men and it quickly became complicated. I still see the vulnerability of Rome and his struggle with mental health and self esteem. Gary is a hot mess and portrays the stereotypical “guy” response…at least in public. I think the writers do a good job of showing Gary’s inner angst. He is definitely a troubled soul that puts on a different face in public. I think many guys would relate to him. John was very complicated and I’m not sure how I feel about him and the double life he led that caused so much heartache for his family. Eddie opened up a can of worms with his actions that is affecting others as well. While the women have woven themselves into the storylines, I do see the men figuring in as prominent players. Maggie’s cancer story took focus away from Gary, but I thought his response of You keep saying that you need to know who you are without cancer. I get it. While you’re doing that, maybe I need to figure out who I am without you came off as an insightful direction for Gary to go since he loves her. All in all, I enjoy every aspect of the show and how it’s dealing with the grittiness of relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ok..I will say…if you have time to binge a show…please watch This is Us. It’s truly the best show on network tv. No lie. It’s that good!!

      Like

  11. Not being a TV watcher, it’s hard for me to comment on the medium. In real life, I don’t see it happening. My husband and his friends discuss bikes, motorcycles, politics, etc. Nothing deeply personal as far as I can tell. I think art is imitating life, not the other way around.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. LOL – I sat next to some guys at a football game, they like to “kid” and “make fun” of each other. THAT is their idea of good conversation. Sometimes I cringe at how they make fun of each other, a woman would be offended; however, a guy just takes it.

    In a way, I like their form of communication better, because they don’t get emotional and they don’t get hurt feelings like women do. We do “over think” things in conversations and over analyze. Guys don’t do that — they are QUICK to talk, give an opinion and move on.

    Oh… and they can get very “gossipy” about things and people. Amusing to listen to; however, if we try to chime in they get irritated. No women allowed.

    LOL again — Have you ever been at a bar and listened to guys talk? They can talk about the same three subjects over and over for about 4 hours. THAT is when women head to bed… TOO BORING. Thanks for making me laugh today.

    SORRY FOR LONG MESSAGE

    When I talk to my Dad on phone, it is situational as you said. If one emotion is introduced, my father says, “WELL, I think we have EXHAUSTED all good conversation… IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE… I will say, “Well, we were talking about you exercising.” He laughs and says, “And that is where the conversation ends. GOOD BYE…”

    FYI — I purposely mentioned exercising KNOWING what his response would be, because I find it so amusing. MEN< MEN< MEN — RIGHT!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Remember that show several years ago starring Ray Ramono (of Everybody Loves Raymond) and Scott Blakula, I think, plus one other guy who’s name escapes me at the moment? That was the closest show I ever saw about men’s relationships to one another. And it didn’t last long.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I don’t think it would be realistic. Women DO sit around and discuss emotions, feelings, etc men don’t, at least now with a group of other men. Should they? I don’t know. I think men often have a female friend to discuss things with and that seems to work. As long as they can allow themselves to be emotionally vulnerable I don’t think it matters who they do it with. I think men are often able to compartmentalise better than women, and honestly, a group of women talking can often become a gaggle of whining with no positive outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My thing is I don’t know if some men really do discuss their feelings about stuff, even to partners, close friends or anyone. And I think never expressing is just as bad as too much expressing

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Still reading some of your older posts…this particular discussion caught my eye, because I do have conversations with guys about feeling stuff, (and all the other stuff women talk about..my conversations with guys tend to take place one on one. I have no problem being transparent, am not easily shocked, yada, yada, can’t tell you the number of conversations I’ve had with guys over the years..one of my good friends is your typical quiet/ private masculine / former boss supervisor over several dozen men..he and I talk about stuff I know his wife and he have never discussed..not sure why..I guess I feel safe..the really exciting thing for me LA is I have these conversations with my son who is 30. I never personally had this depth of relationship/ conversations with my father..can’t imagine 🙂 Yet my son and I do/ all the time..(we work together periodically so these conversations tend to happen @ lunch time in the pick up..anyway… they happen ..not nearly enough… DM

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s funny, because after I wrote that post, I started to see examples of men trying to be more open. Normally, I would have written a follow up, but you know, corona and all. Thanks for the insight!!

        Like

    1. I think men often have circular conversations, just about different things. I’ve seen my husband and his friends discuss what players would make up best historical teams for hours

      Like

  15. The reason the introduced women into that show, which I’m not sure has a redeeming character, is that it could never work with four men being the focus of any show that wouldn’t be cancelled after a few episodes. Unless of course it’s a show about men doing dumb daredevil stunts for the challenged masses. That would be a hit.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I grew up in a family of militant armchair psychologists, and I am definitely NOT into the emotional thing. I didn’t watch Sex in the City, and I wouldn’t watch the guy version. At a party, I always prefer to discuss sports with the guys than to complain about the husbands with the girls. Unless, of course, there’s a girl there who likes sports and comedy, and then she’s my new best friend.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s