We Are Men

BY Scott A. GrayPublished Jul 2, 2013

Superficially, everything is framed slightly askew of conventional television tropes in this tepid bro-down starring a bland new face surrounded by a trio of highly recognizable, not-so-in-demand actors.

The generically handsome Christopher Nicholas Smith leads up an ensemble featuring Kumar, Monk and the fat kid from Stand By Me, or, as their agents and parents call them, Kal Penn, Tony Shalhoub and Jerry O'Connell.

Smith narrates as Carter Thomas, a man whose wedding is interrupted by a big romantic gesture. It's a sheltered man's "defining moment," as is repeated ad nauseam throughout the episode. This is where it becomes apparent that despite an off-centre approach to pay-off, the end results are targeted well within the box.

Having gone from living with his parents to living with his high school sweetheart, Carter "discovers" himself at a short term housing complex designed for recently single men, where he's taken under the pervy tutelage of three residents.

Since the show wallows in the primal pack dynamic of wild assemblages of undomesticated males, each member of the group has a clearly defined role. Stuart (O'Connell) is the sleazy high rolling player; Frank (Shalhoub) is the unlikely older lady's man; and Gil (Penn) is the sad sack dreaming of reconciliation with his wife. Carter upsets that balance by stealing Gil's thunder in the whining and pining Olympics, so the rest of the gang make it their mission to help turn their new buddy into the man his domineering former beloved always discouraged him from being.

This juvenile sausage fest lacks a feminine perspective, to put it mildly. But viewers too young for Entourage might find it easier to get away with watching this relatively tame celebration of stereotypical signifiers of manliness: bad diet, immature behaviour and poolside bikini browsing.

There's enough mildly naughty humour to keep adolescents interested, but hopefully We Are Men will expand its comedic territory, and maybe find more for Dave Foley to do than walk on for a one-liner. We Are Men premieres on Monday, September 30th, 2013 at 7:30pm on Global TV. Please note that this review is based on an unfinished pilot copy and is therefore unofficial.

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