OK, this really seems to be the season of redefining what Men are supposed to be. We had the abysmal How To Be a Gentleman which I am pretty sure got pulled before episode 4 aired but now we have two other sitcoms, each with their own approach on it. In the standard running is Last Man Standing, the latest vehicle from the 90s Man's Man, Tim Allen. This time round he is the director of catalog marketing for an outdoors-men store, sort of the MEC of hunting & fishing. His job of traveling around with a camera crew taking delicious shots for the catalog comes to a halt when they decide to focus on the website. So he is now stuck at home with his 3 daughters while his wife returns to a big promotion. This is actually a kind hearted show where the big bravado of Tim's character is meant to be stymied and tempered by the women in his life. And despite his Male Buffoonery, he is still a nice guy at heart. I liked it but still railed at the 1% nature of his lifestyle.
Meanwhile, with Man Up!, we have the other format of sitcom where we have three manchilds who feel they need to be more Real Man. They replace machismo with first person shooters and spend most of their time being ruled by women. This show insults everyone, from the men who think they are standing up to their wives & girlfriends to the women who are walking all over their men to the kids who show less machismo than they do. It is one of those shows where we really are not supposed to like the main characters but I didn't find them funny enough to laugh at.
Enlightened is completely another spectrum of people who annoy the fuck out of me. It's about Laura Dern who goes batshit insane after sleeping with her boss and then being turned down for a promotion. There could have been more to it but that is all we are shown. Suddenly its months later and she is experiencing New Age-y bliss at a retreat in Hawaii swimming with sea turtles and collecting shells. She returns to LA to take back her job and renew relationships. This shows shares my annoyance with people like her who think that just because THEY figured out their issues, everyone else should just fall in line and hug it out. She exchanges one batshit for another as everyone proves to not give an iota that she went to Hawaii and swam with a turtle. I am sure the show is about how she becomes tempered in her emotions but she annoyed me so much in the first episode, I will never give her another chance.
Bonus premiere!! And while not purely in the Fall 2011 release schedule, as it started in the summer, I watched it now so why not mention? This is wacky. Pure wacky. A man who really wants to committ suicide because his life is drab meets his next door neighbor and her dog. Well, dog to everyone else because Ryan sees him as a man in a dog suit. The american remake of an Australian comedy series starring the same dog as the original completely side steps the questions you might have. Like why doesn't Ryan mention this to anyone or does the owner notice that one of Wilfred's toys is a bong? Let's skip the questions and just play into the wackiness as Wilfred helps Ryan through his issues while doing typical dog things and typical guys in a dog suit things as well.