In CBS’ new series “We Are Men,” there are guys. They act macho at times, offensive at others, and like to go on drunken exploits at night. One of them likes to date women significantly younger than him; meanwhile, another is emotional and freaks out at the drop of a dime.
The show stars Carter (nice name!), a guy ditched at the altar who decides to move to a housing complex with some other guys who have been there much longer than him. They help him to find himself, and get the confidence that he needs to be a “guy,” rather than someone controlled by a woman who turns him into something that he is not.
Is there some humor mixed in here? Sure, and Tony Shalhoub is particular great as Frank, a man who is as far from Adrian Monk as a man could be. It’s a nice turnaround for an actor stuck in a certain role for a good decade or so. Kal Penn is also strong as Gil, the aforementioned “sensitive guy” who is still trying his absolute best to get over what happened with his ex. Chris Smith (Carter) is a relative newcomer, especially as a series lead, and he holds his own despite being surrounded by so much talent.
The issue with the show is that the “man jokes” are predictable, and more so than that, this is too much a pilot by the numbers. You meet the characters, there is a conflict that worsens throughout the episode, and then a resolution where everything comes together in the end. For a show with so much established talent, the lack of risk-taking here is stunning. Then again, this is CBS, who has long viewed themselves as a network that doesn’t need to take a risk.
In the end, “We Are Men” is not necessarily a bad show; it has its moments where you will laugh, and there are far worse shows out there in terms of new comedies (see “Dads”). It is just not as great as the talent dictates it should be, and given that this time slot has led to several cancellations on the network since “2 Broke Girls” last occupied it, it needs to get itself together and fast.
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