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A positive review!
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Mary Ann
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:16 pm    Post subject: A positive review! Reply with quote

'Modern Men'
Sensitive New Age Guys in Training

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By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
Published: March 17, 2006
FOR young women today, Chicago seems to be the new Alaska a remote, primitive place where single men are plentiful and still relatively unspoiled.

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Greg Gayne/WB
Josh Braaten, left, Jane Seymour and Eric Lively in "Modern Men."


Forum: Television
"Modern Men," which has its premiere tonight on WB, is yet another new sitcom to be set in the Second City "The Loop," on Fox, is also about 20-somethings searching for love in Chicago, and so is "Freddie," on ABC. (Jason Bateman starred in a short-lived 1997 sitcom about three uncouth single men called "Chicago Sons," a series perhaps a few years ahead of its time.)

This one, however, is tailored to WB's core audience of women ages 12 to 24 and purports to offer the male perspective on romance. Actually, it caters to the Elle Girl fantasy that young men have feelings, and with proper tutoring can be trained to explore and express them. It's sweet, if nave: when they are a little older, these viewers will learn that in his 20's, the only feeling a man wants to feel is a feel.

The three childhood friends of "Modern Men" have problems with women and together turn to Dr. Victoria Stangel (Jane Seymour), a sexy and supremely self-confident life coach. Doug (Eric Lively) cannot get over his divorce from his high school sweetheart, the only woman he has ever dated. Tim (Josh Braaten) cannot sustain a meaningful relationship, while Kyle (Max Greenfield) doesn't even try he is a cut-rate Casanova whose promiscuity masks self-doubt. All three fear they will turn 30 without having found true love. ("Unless we want to be old and alone," Tim says, "we have to evolve.")

Tim's sister Molly (Marla Sokoloff), an assertive law student, explains that because women no longer need men, even to have babies, he and others of his sex "have to make us want you." He agrees to see the life coach she recommends and recruits his buddies for treatment trois. They are mocked and discouraged by Tim's father, Tug, a former football player who owns a bar called the Tughouse, and is portrayed by George Wendt (Norm on "Cheers"). Tim is his business partner, and was taught by his father to be a macho, pre-feminism man. (Tug says it is "cute" that Molly is allowed to "pretend" to be a lawyer in moot court.)

The sitcom's setting is crucial: Chicago is more than a city on television, it is a metaphor. Dramas about doctors or police officers use the city to evoke gritty, rundown urban humanity: the setting of "Hill Street Blues" was left unnamed, but the police cars and many exterior shots, including the station house, said Chicago. Later there was "Chicago Hope" and "ER."

On sitcoms, Chicago has a different use: in the button-down days of Bob Newhart, the city was an avatar of normalcy Midwestern common sense viewing the nutty, hedonistic excesses of either coast with wry bemusement. Now, Chicago is becoming the even playing field of television romance.

Only here is it possible to imagine young men so sheltered from the neuroses and narcissism of New York and Los Angeles that they actually are willing and able to change. Only in Chicago do men still take their cues from Mike Ditka, not "Nip/Tuck." And only on "Modern Men" could three friends inhabit a primordial, pre-metrosexual universe in which men hang out in bars and ballparks and are genuinely baffled by the opposite sex.

As the vampy but sharp-tongued Dr. Stangel, Ms. Seymour is less like Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, than a Jaguar-driving Mary Poppins, putting her uncouth clients in their place with such phrases as "Tim, do stop talking" and "God knows you need me." She abhors psychiatric dillydallying and has no interest in her clients' painful childhoods. (She tells them hers was "all ponies and picnics.") Instead, she tells them what to do; she is Dr. Phil in a camisole. There is some resistance. When Dr. Stangel asks them whether they have ever told a woman "the complete, honest, emotional truth," Tim responds, "Well, of course not." And Kyle is even more appalled. "We want to get chicks," he says. "Not be them."

"Modern Men" is funny, but it is actually all about role reversal, depicting an imaginary world in which young men are as deeply concerned about their love lives and future spouses as women are.

In the old westerns, gunslingers and cattlemen could be tamed by the love of a good woman, almost always a prim schoolteacher from the East. (Or as in Ms. Seymour's previous incarnation, a doctor.)

Television has moved on to the midwestern, a mythical place where women can still find plenty of raw but eligible men.

Modern Men

WB, tonight at 9:30, Eastern and Pacific times; 8:30, Central time.

Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and Marsh McCall, executive producers; Ross McCall and Aaron Peters, co-executive producers. From Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Brothers Television Production.

WITH: Josh Braaten (Tim Clarke), Max Greenfield (Kyle Brewster), Eric Lively (Doug Reynolds), Jane Seymour (Dr. Victoria Stangel), Marla Sokoloff (Molly Clarke) and George Wendt (Tug Clarke).
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DQ4ME



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sure hope it does good just because I love Jane and in the interviews she said she has found that she loves to do comedy. I hope it takes off and becomes a number one show!!! Go Jane!!! Good luck Smile
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Lynn



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is about time!
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dqmwartist



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing the article. I can't wait to watch the show, it sounds like it'll be great. Least I'm hoping so. Very Happy
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Mushcs



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is Great... Thanks Mary Ann for the article.
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Anne



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this, Mary Ann!

Looks like the writer has actually taken his time to watch the show before reviewing it. Smile
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Paige



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anne wrote:
Looks like the writer has actually taken his time to watch the show before reviewing it. Smile


That's always good isn't it Anne!! Laughing

Thanks for sharing it with us Mary Ann, great news!! Very Happy
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Mary Ann
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:39 am    Post subject: Somewhat positive Reply with quote

courier-journal.com

Friday, March 17, 2006 E-mail this | Print page


Seymour sets single men straight in 'Modern Men'



Tom Dorsey



Are you ready for another buddy sitcom about young single guys?

Ready or not, here comes "Modern Men," which makes its debut at 9:30 tonight on WB. The newcomer's biggest problem is a lot of young guys will be watching the NCAA Tournament over on CBS.

Why are there so many shows about singles seeking love?

First, because shows about single people 18 to 34 are the ones that are easiest to sell to advertisers, who are in love with viewers that age because of their spending habits.

Second, people seem to like stories about young love or the eternal pursuit of it. Viewers can vicariously re-live their own bachelor or bachelorette days and nights through the antics and agony of these people, who are mostly unlucky at love. It's easier to laugh at others than to face ourselves.



Failing to find romance is the major story line of a whole bunch of girlfriend and guy shows on television. The ones about women are usually about how men are big jerks. The ones starring guys seem to confirm that theme, which brings me back to "Modern Men."

This latest pals' saga is about three guys and their girl problems. The only recognizable faces are Jane Seymour and George Wendt, who is cast as one of the guy's dads, who runs a restaurant. He adds nothing at all to this effort.

Seymour, after years of playing pretty heroines and then graduating to more mature roles like "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," is now reinventing herself as a comic actress at age 55. Go rent "Wedding Crashers" for some outrageous proof but be prepared for a bit of a shock in that film.

Seymour is a bit more reserved here as a female Dr. Phil. Her patients include three guys who have been buddies since they were kids. They're now adult Peter Pans trying to grow up but not able to get the hang of it.

Doug has never gotten over his ex-wife and spends most of his time trying to get her back. Kyle hops from woman to woman but secretly fears none of them want him beyond a one-night stand. Tim is always getting dumped and never knows why.

So they wind up in relationship therapy with Dr. Victoria (Seymour), a life coach and a woman who has the right prescription -- if they're just willing to swallow some bitter medicine about themselves.

Her suggestions seem to work like magic -- at first. But the guys find new ways to blow it and wind up back in her office every week for rehab.

"Modern Men" is producer Jerry Bruckheimer's first stab at doing a sitcom.

Is it funny? Yes, in some places. It's not as good as "How I Met Your Mother," but it's better than "Four Kings" and way better than "Twins." It's got five more weeks to made the grade in order to get on the lineup this fall on the new CW network. Don't bet on it being back, though.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an awful article. That guy does not have a clue, and sounds like he can't actually believe that Jane can do a good job. He doesn't even sound like he belives in the show and that it could even have a chance of succeeding at all. He is very negitive about most of it, to the point that I hope no one will belive what he says and just see it for themselves. I hope everyone will look beyond anything negitive and watch it and get their own opinion about the show. And I hope the success of the show doesn't depend on him!!!!!!
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Mary Ann
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carol, I hate to tell you but that was one of the better reviews. I'm reaching here for anything positive.

Here is what I think, I think that show's humor isn't sharp enough for most of the critics, they cite the 80s humor, which is simpler more naive. Few seem to out Jane down, most just don't care for the material.

I suggest if people like the show that afterward they head to the wb website, and post to the boards there, that can help since that is one thing the WB execs will watch- that and the ratings.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Mary Ann you popped my bubble. I thought the show would have great reviews I will write to WB even though I don't watch TV I would love for Jane's show to do well, because I love her so much! Maybe it is just having a slow take off. (We can only hope). I have read where other shows didn't do so well at first and then they "caught on" so maybe that will be this case. And if that was a good review I would hate to see the rest. I want to rip that guy's head off and tell him to get a real life!!!!!
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Mary Ann
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what was so bad about it? Did I miss something?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well if you are meaning the last article you shared with us, to me he wasn't lifting the show up but rather in a nice way putting it down. I mean he didn't say much in the way of being postive about the show. I mean that is what I got out of the article.
Quote:
Maybe I am wrong but I just feel like he wasn't really up lifting the show.
One thing is he would say something postive then turn around and add something negative. Maybe it is the way I was reading it, but I felt like he didn't do the show a whole lot of good, by being up beat and then turned around and said something dowing the show.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some reviews say they will cancell the show after one episode. I hope we at least get to see all the filmed episodes. The last one has the twins in it. As in all shows the show gets better as it goes on once you know the characters
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Mary Ann
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carol, after reading most of the other reviews online, it seems that not saying anything negative IS being nice. I hate that all the reviewers seem to agree on this mostly because they may scare any potential audience away. I'm told and Lynn knows that it gets better in subsequent eps but if the numbers aren't good enough, they won't let it play out. Then again I think TWINS is horrible and that's been on all season!
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