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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 30, 2011 / 28 Sivan, 5771

Missing the manly men on TV

By Betsy Hart



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Get ready for a fall line-up of television sitcoms that feature men trying to find themselves as, well, men in a world where dads race to get to their child and change his dirty diaper before the wives do.

As The Wall Street Journal chronicled recently in "A New Generation of TV Wimps," some half-dozen sitcoms -- yes, a half-dozen this fall -- will focus on men finding their way in an increasingly woman-ordered world. Of one, "Work It," the writers said that "we're showing how guys are growing and maturing and evolving by listening to women more than they traditionally have." Does that imply that if women listen to men more than they traditionally have that they are "un"-evolving? Interesting.

Many of the shows will feature a dad as the primary caregiver, of course.

You get the drift. The show that intrigues me most is "The Last Man Standing," with the lovable Tim Allen, which will provide "regular diatribes about the softening of American men."

The creators of this show seem to have some sympathy for the plight of real men in a girls' world, but it doesn't take a crystal ball to see that Allen will most likely end up as a caricature of a "real guy" meant to make real guys look like cavemen.

This was similar to the idea for the character of Alex Keaton in "Family Ties," the hit 1980s sitcom. His parents were '70s liberals, but their son, Alex, was a Reagan conservative. Here's the ironic part: Although Alex was generally intended to be a caricature, it didn't work -- he became a respected conservative voice. The bits of conservative wisdom that got through, probably when the writers least understood what they were writing, made him a hero to conservatives everywhere.

That could happen with "Last Man Standing" if Allen's character, stumblingly saying some supposedly cliched male thing, actually makes male viewers (and more than a few females) respond with "Right on, brother!"

In any event, "Studio and network executives say that this year they heard more pitches than ever before for shows about the changing dynamics of men," according to the Journal. Well, all right then -- here's mine (all rights reserved):

How about basing a show on a fellow finding his way in all this who isn't a joke? Who provides for his family without complaining, roughhouses with his kids, loves his wife, but is sympathetically hopeful for more sex than he's getting, is trying to listen to her feelings but legitimately wants her to respect him more. Let the next-door neighbor, Mr. Sensitivity, who shops for organic food, cries with his wife over her difficult day at the office, makes sure his child's diapers are absorbent enough, cautions his son to be careful when climbing the monkey bars -- let him be the goofball caricature of this sitcom.

Few viewers, male or female, will cheer this fellow on. And when he asks his wife to go figure out what's making that noise in the middle of the night? The audience might laugh -- a la Woody Allen squeamishly going after a spider in "Annie Hall." But, they will think he's about as manly, by any definition, as Woody Allen, too.

Well, in the end, whether we realize it or not, I fear our culture is increasingly celebrating Woody Allen as the uber-male. How is that going over? The success or failure of these new sitcoms will, I think, tell us something about that. Stay tuned.

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JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

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