Most people in shows or movies today represent a stereo type of sorts. The characters are often one dimensional. Men in particular are portrayed as bumbling, sex crazed buffoons or just plain wimpy. Yes, we star in action movies, which is great, but surely there is more to manliness than shooting everyone. (Unless your Liam Neeson or Bruce Willis of course, they get a pass.)
Recently we started watching Last Man Standing, which is a really clean show starring Tim Allen as Mike Baxter, a faithful husband and father of three very different daughters, and manly man\marketer for Outdoor Man stores (think Bass Pro). While putting this topic together I quickly searched to see if there were any particular manly shows others may have mentioned of which I was not aware. I happened across this article where Bill Bennett mentions Last Man Standing as the only manly show on television. I had not put together that Bill Bennett (radio host) was the same as William J. Bennett of the Book of Virtues which I mentioned in an earlier article here.
When Joe Scarborough asks “Where are the men?” Bennett responds:
Well, I think they’re there. I mean, we certainly have a lot of good men in American society, but we’re not bringing out the best in them and we’re not encouraging the best in them. Take a look at the fall TV series sitcoms. And the men in these sitcoms are not nobody you’d… not manly. The only one that is is Tim Allen, and the show is called Last Man Standing.
All of that is to say it is a show you should check out.
Here are some things that may help the conversation along:
- Is there a single show that really illustrates what manliness looks like through either one character or a variety of characters?
- Look for commercials that show men being men. Are they common or uncommon?
- Does this mean manliness is more or less appealing that it used to be? Why?
- Fireside Topic articles are interesting topics to get men talking. Find a few friends and throw a question out there and see what develops. Read more here. -