Womanizers in Modern Television

I thought that this week was extremely interesting, and I really enjoyed going through the 1970’s. I think the liberation of women was great for sitcoms, as it added more depth to the characters. Although, I think an interesting trend in modern day television is adding a womanizer to many shows. This is evident in two of the top shows on television with Charlie from Two and Half Men, and Barney from How I met your Mother. In almost every episode Charlie and Barney are featured mistreating woman, and rather see any consequences or punishment for their acts. Although, in both those shows there are many featured liberated woman, which is interesting. I think the contrast between those woman, woman in the 1970’s, and the womanizers you see on television currently is interesting to compare.

— Sam Beckerman

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3 Responses to Womanizers in Modern Television

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I think its interesting you bring up womanizers in present day television. We haven’t seen any episodes from previous decades where there are womanizers in the show (at least nothing compared to what we see on tv today). I wonder when it started to become socially acceptable to depict this womanizer character on tv. This would be an interesting concept to explore.

    -Emily Elliott

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I completely agree with you and Emily! It would be interesting to find out when womanizers became a popular character on sitcoms. With the women’s movement progressing every year, the womanizer character could be an attempt to downplay the progression of the liberated woman or feminist. Absolutely an interesting topic and idea to explore.

    -Sarah Teegarden

    • marymdalton says:

      Arguably, the Hawkeye Pierce character in M*A*S*H is a womanizer. There are also some earlier shows (like Bachelor Father 1957-62) with “playboy” characters, but because the Standards and Practices rules were much stricter and sex (especially outside of marriage) had to be hinted at obliquely, these characters are much more subtle than those you mention. Maybe part of the difference, too, is that we used to think women had to be “protected” but today are stronger and more independent and can take care of themselves! If so, these womanizer characters could even be considered a bit of a step forward. Of course, that may also be an extreme case of “reading against the grain” in terms of interpreting the text! Honestly, I’m not all that fond of this type of character!!!

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