Cable Guys: Television and Masculinities in the 21st Century

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NYU Press, 2014 - Performing Arts - 251 pages
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The emergence of "male-centered serials" such as The Shield, Rescue Me, and Sons Of Anarchy and the challenges these characters face in negotiating modern masculinities. Fromthe meth-dealing but devoted family man Walter White of AMC's Breaking Bad,to the part-time basketball coach, part-time gigolo Ray Drecker of HBO's Hung,depictions of male characters perplexed by societal expectations of men andanxious about changing American masculinity have become standard across thetelevision landscape. Engaging with a wide variety of shows, including TheLeague, Dexter, and Nip/Tuck, among many others, Amanda D. Lotzidentifies the gradual incorporation of second-wave feminism into prevailinggender norms as the catalyst for the contested masculinities on display incontemporary cable dramas.

Examiningthe emergence of "male-centered serials" such as The Shield, Rescue Me, and Sons of Anarchy and the challenges these characters face in negotiatingmodern masculinities, Lotz analyzes how these shows combine feminist approachesto fatherhood and marriage with more traditional constructions of masculineidentity that emphasize men's role as providers. She explores the dynamics ofclose male friendships both in groups, as in Entourage and Men of aCertain Age, wherein characters test the boundaries between the homosocialand homosexual in their relationships with each other, and in the dyadicintimacy depicted in Boston Legal and Scrubs. Cable Guys provides amuch needed look into the under-considered subject of how constructions of masculinitycontinue to evolve on television.

 

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Cable Guys: Television and Masculinities in the 21st Century

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Lotz (communication studies, Univ. of Michigan; Redesigning Women: Television After the Network Era) here explores how cable television is dramatizing contemporary American male masculinity. The ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
1 Understanding Men on Television
19
Struggling with Contemporary Masculinities in Cables MaleCentered Serials
52
The Unbearable Burden of Straight White Man
82
The Homosocial Enclave and Jocular Policing of Masculinity
116
Hetero Intimacy and the New Male Friendship
146
Is It the End of Men as We Know Them?
179
Notes
195
Bibliography
223
Index
235
About the Author
241
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Amanda D. Lotz is Professor in the Departments of Communication Studies and Screen Arts and Culturesnbsp;at the University of Michigan. She is the author of The Television Will Be Revolutionized ,nbsp; Cable Guys: Television and Masculinities in the 21st Century (NYU Press),nbsp;and Redesigning Women: Television After the Network Era , co-author of Understanding Media Industries and Television Studies , and editor of Beyond Prime Time: Television Programming in the Post-Network Era .

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