Written by Allison Lips
Editor’s Note: One week ago Pop-Break’s Allison Lips reviewed the series premiere of CBS’ We Are Men. Barely a week later, the series was cancelled. So we asked our writer who had watched the series’ two episodes if CBS over-reacted or was the cancellation justified?
We Are Men never had a chance. Since the new sitcom pool was overcrowded this year, not every show was going to be sampled and even fewer would be watched for more than one episode, so viewers had to rely on what critics had to say.
The critics either trashed or were indifferent to We Are Men from the beginning. The Huffington Post’s Maureen Ryan was the harshest. She wrote, “The existence of this comedy, which pretends to be brash but mainly succeeds in being more offensive, unfunny and predictable than Dads, told me that we have angered the “gods” and that it was full of “moronic douchebro humor.”
We Are Men wasn’t more offensive than Dads. Stuart Strickland (Jerrry O’Connell) and Frank Russo (Tony Shalhoub) were caricatures, but had the show been given a chance the characters may have been developed past Stuart’s constant speedo wearing and Frank’s need to sleep with any woman who is easy enough. At least, Frank was a caring father, who protected his daughter from horndogs like him. However, Stuart’s lack of understanding how manners work didn’t win over any viewers. As for Frank, viewers probably couldn’t connect with a guy who needs both hands to count his ex-wives and isn’t sorry about it.
So, We Are Men had some definite flaws. My own opinion of the show was wildly different from the first to the second episode. One week I was praising the show. Despite Stuart and Frank’s shortcomings, they cared about Carter (Chris Smith). The following week I wanted to yell at he and Gil Bartis (Kal Penn) for not having better friends. If they had one annoying friend, you could forgive them for putting up with his antics, but they had two annoying friends.
To make matters worse, those two friends were their mentors. Gil was clearly a family man, who had no idea what to do without his wife and seeing his daughter everyday. Carter was one too. All Carter wanted to do was marry the woman he loved. Instead of trying to have Gil and Carter fit into a sleazy depiction of bachelorhood, We Are Men would have worked better had Gil and Carter tried to tame Stuart and Frank, since it’s pretty clear that is impossible.
We Are Men was never going to make it to a full season, but deserved more than two episodes. The show debuted with a mediocre 6.6 million viewers and dropped to an even worse 5.4 million viewers in the second week. CBS couldn’t take a chance on losing a million viewers every week and Internet feedback was only going to put the final nail in the coffin anyway. No one’s going to start “a save We Are Men campaign.” We Are Men will likely be forgotten about as soon as Mike and Molly fills its place.