'Man Up!': So, real men don't use pomegranate body wash?
October 19th, 2011
12:47 PM ET

'Man Up!': So, real men don't use pomegranate body wash?

On Tuesday night, ABC continued its curious examination of gender norms with another sitcom bemoaning the apparent dearth of "real" men.

Up until this fall TV season, I had no idea that I was living amongst a bunch of "pantywaists," but someone out there in comedy development seems to find that to be true.

If Tim Allen's ranting about being the last rough-and-tumble "Man Standing," he's doing it for the three male stars of "Man Up!": Husband and father Will (Mather Zickel), his brother-in-law Kenny (Dan Fogler) and their friend Craig (Christopher Moynihan), all of whom represent the breed of video-game playing modern guys that Allen's character can't stand.

Take, for example, the central problem Will faces in the premiere.

His son is turning 13, and he can't figure out what to get him. (He was unimpressed with his friends' suggestions to get the kid a few hookers, or perhaps a journal.) The issue, as Will explains it to his wife Theresa (Teri Polo), is that he wants "something that says, 'I know you’re a man too. Because I too, am a man.'" But after he asks for non-dairy hazelnut creamer, Theresa calls his manhood into question.

Theresa: "Your grandfather fought in World War II, your father fought in Vietnam, and you play video games and use pomegranate body wash."

Will, as if Theresa's "You're not a man" face wasn't enough of a hint: "Are you saying that I'm not a man?"

Theresa: "You're man-ish."

And there's the set-up for the rest of the show. These "man-ish" men waffle between wanting to be more like the war-fighting men who came before them (a standard that I didn't understand, since plenty, plenty of men and women are doing that today) and succumbing to their "softer" makeups.

(As an aside, Allen's "Last Man Standing" character also had a gripe about citrus smelling bath products. If your sense of self truly rests on the scent of your soaps, I'm afraid we've got bigger problems.)

But let's put aside the off-putting focus on the definitions of man-dom - is "Man Up!" funny? Marginally, yes.

Premieres don't always present the best jokes, and it can sometimes take another episode or three before a comedy hits its stride. The first 20 minutes passed with silence on my end, but one of the final scenes, involving a brawl between our man-ish crew and a bunch of angry groomsmen, did cause some chuckles.

What about for you? Does "Man Up!" have potential to stick around, or are you predicting it'll go the way of "How To Be a Gentleman"? And what did you make of Grant (Henry Simmons), the muscular basketball aficionado who was clearly supposed to remind us of the Old Spice guy?

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Filed under: Fall TV • television • TV recaps

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. dustmop

    scoobydoo....best remark of the day.

    October 20, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. dustmop

    dont you get tired of these worn out sayings that people use while trying to sound cool,up to date....yawn....

    October 20, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. joe

    man up! was great. the next few episodes will probably show that. i think it has staying power.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Irrate

    Okay, Obsever, you DO know that not everything is based and centered around politics, right?

    October 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sorry

    the comment above was for "obsever" :/

    October 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. uhhhh

    Um, u do understand this is for entertainment right and not for learning?

    October 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Observer

    This show, and most of the rest of the current schedule are liberal garbage. Read a book instead. You might just learn something.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maryann - Orlando FL

      Well, I was going to refer to it as Conservative garbage, but whatever.

      October 20, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Politics, really. You got Politics out of that POS? What color is the sky in your world?

      October 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. scooby doo

    I really do like the lavender scented Tide for clothes washing. It is a comforting smell when getting ready for work. Plus when your at work and the day is going bad you can sometimes smell it and it reminds you of happy home. : )

    October 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |

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