The focus on masculinity (and super-sizing it), the creation of Spike TV, and just about anything that demands you say “man” two octaves lower than your normal voice – it all can be traced back to 1999, with a single quote from a movie you guys probably didn’t watch:

We’re a generation of men raised by women.

masculathonIt’s from Fight Club. At the time of its release, the film battled nancy-boy movies like Shakespeare in Love (which won Best Picture – Fincher yet again doesn’t get his due), and held onto the torch passed down from the middle-aged-oriented Home Improvement and delivered the fire of machismo to the masses.

There’ve been dozens if not hundreds and thousands of hyper-masculine shows and films, so the web series Masculathon has quite a bit of baggage to carry from the very start. Taking “a demented look at the many issues afflicting modern men,” it starts Paul Bellini (writer/actor, Kids In The Hall) as ‘The Man,’ who brought together a number of average men to compete and carry on the torch to claim his title.

So far, there’s only one main episode, but plenty of extras. The pilot, ‘Eat Fist and Die,’ has a quirky sensibility to it, and the technical side of things are well done, but there wasn’t much to it. It was a simple announcement of the competition (after, quite possibly, the most un-manly fight ever) and that was it.

The real humor came out of one of the extras. The ‘Meet The Masculetes: Men at Work’ video shows a lot of the characters, with one thing in common between them: they’re all broken. Humor so regularly comes out of darkness that if they were to make this a focus we might have a nice comedy on our hands.

The cast is comprised of various comedians and performers, and a lot of the funny in the first episode appears to be more of the sort of jokes that comics enjoy amongst other comics. It’s hard to tell if they’re going for parody or actually embracing a send-up to MANswers and the like, but with more episodes, it should become clear.

Ultimately, this is a show about men, for men. And with too few episodes to watch, I don’t think this can yet be determined as a victory or a failure. Do you think men doing manly things in a manly way is entertaining? You might want to give it a go. Do you enjoy watching Spike TV when you’re at a bar and half a pitcher in? Masculathon may appeal to you.

Give it a whirl and see if your testosterone levels are properly calibrated.

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