We Are Men
Mondays at 8:30 Eastern / 7:30 Central
Premiering September 30
Because their new comedy We Are Men is about a foursome of recently divorced guy friends who share questionable counsel around their apartment complex’s outdoor pool, Must Hear TV asked each of the new Monday night comedy’s stars to summarize their show using just four words.
“We Are Divorced Men,” says Jerry O’Connell, jumping in proactively much as would his character Stuart, the Speedo-sporting OB/GYN, angry as he suffers through his second contentious nuptial breakup.
“Not Good at Committed Relationships,” adds Tony Shalhoub, whose Frank is a garmento and four-time groom who now lives happily between girlfriends, vowing never to marry again.
“Good Guys, Bad Ideas,” says Chris Nicholas Smith, who plays naïve Carter, the youngest and most recent addition to this cynical group, after he was dumped at the altar in mid-ceremony.
“Friendship, Love, Mistakes, Ridiculousness,” finishes Kal Penn, whose character Gil harbors hopes of reconciling with his ex-wife after he was caught having the world’s least satisfying affair.
About five years ago, at the time himself a new divorcé, “I was basically a little bit of all four of these guys,” remembers We Are Men’s creator Rob Greenberg. After years as a producer of another marital-status-teasing comedy hit, How I Met Your Mother, Greenberg was inspired to write about his new phase of life after noting that “everybody handles divorce in different ways. Some people are wounded, while others attack. Some never want to get in another relationship, and others jump back in. Some are philosophical, some blame their exes. I realized divorce is a ripe area [for comedy] because of how people react to it.”
In We Are Men, the guys form a strong bond over the mutual failures of their marriages, which O’Connell says is what attracted him to the show. “While divorce is in itself a negative situation, I think [Men] takes a positive spin on it, and says that there is life after divorce,” the actor explains. “And that with the help and support of friends, you can get through what is an awful time.”
“These are guys who, a lot like your friends, make mistakes and do ridiculous things, but at the end of the day they’re there for each other,” Penn agrees. When approached about We Are Men, “I thought it was a nice way of depicting friendship, and it’s also pretty real.”
TV has brought us such strong four-way friendships before, in shows like The Golden Girls and Designing Women. But never before have we seen the male version, a show depicting what four such disparate men are truly like, and how they relate to each other, when no women are around. As Greenberg theorizes, “There’s a particular feeling to being alone with your guy friends. You can be more uncensored.” That’s why, he says, these four Men are ready to join the Girls and Women among the ranks of classic TV comedies. “I think Sex and the City is a good model for this show, too, but in reverse,” Greenberg explains. “That show was about four characters’ love lives, work lives and family lives – but ultimately, it was about their friendship when they came together as a foursome.”