Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Clint Eastwood reading (purportedly) Do you recognize the movie?
(and Sylvana Mangano in "The Witches.")
This is a plot device explored to the point of absurdity on many sitcoms. I had thought it a newer concept until I remembered "Bachelor Father" (John Forsythe) from the fifties where Uncle Bentley dated widely. And then there was Bob Cummings, a photographer who did the same in that era. Or Uncle Bill from "Family Affair." So clearly it's been with us for a long time. Dobie Gillis at least thought he was in love with every woman he dated and Thalia Menninger (Tuesday Weld) socked it to him. Is there anything new to say about it?
The uber-slimey womanizer takes things to a new level. David Spade on "Don't Shoot Me." Or the Charlie Sheen character on "Two Men and a Boy"-who'd want to crawl between his overly-washed sheets. Are we supposed to find him attractive? I always thought Joey was the weak link on "Friends" too. Barney, on "How I Met Your Mother," --really sleezy to me. Maybe it's a guy thing though.
Once in a while-someone can almost pull it off-Ted Danson on "Cheers" or all of the doctors on the early "M*A*S*H", but these are the exceptions and it still goes down a bit badly.
How about the whole cast on "Seinfeld"? Or going over to drama, how about Gary on "Thirty-Something" JR. on "Dallas." Gary eventually marries a shrew and pays dearly for not sticking with promiscuity.
I guess these characters are written for the men in the audience: wish fulfillment or something. But as a woman, I'm tired of them. The idea that philanderers are attractive or interesting seems dated. Give me the four doofuses on "The Big Bang Theory" anytime--even if the one who lives with his mother would philander given half a chance. What do you think? Is this an idea whose time has passed? Is there any show that makes it fresh?
Who's the greatest TV philanderer of all time?