Apparently, Esquire Magazine is launching a television network just for men. Of course, Hugh Hefner is way ahead of them, but he’s wrong about what a man is, so maybe there’s room for Esquire.
Then again, don’t hold your breath. NY Times critic Neil Genzlinger says Esquire’s plans for what it will show and how it describes what a man is lacks quite a bit.
Here’s an example of Genzlinger’s analysis, which explains why he isn’t —and none us should be — encouraged:
Bonnie Hammer, chairwoman of NBC’s cable group, described the new network as “an upscale Bravo for men,” which sounds great until you realize that Bravo is a trashier-than-it-used-to-be network with a female slant. So the comment is roughly like calling the new entity “a nonmusic CMT for Northerners.” Not very enlightening.
The new network’s general manager, Adam Stotsky, was more specific, saying that it will define us modern men as interested in something more than “tattoos or pawn shops or storage lockers or axes or hillbillies.
And it wouldn’t be Esquire without this:
Executives also suggested that a video feature from the magazine’s Web site called “Funny Joke From a Beautiful Woman” might have a place on the network. In the current installment of that feature, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, dressed as provocatively as any Charlie’s Angel ever was, tells a joke about nuns and hot dogs that will not be detailed here.
So, in essence, Esquire’s television plans are nothing new and don’t get us any closer to understanding the truth about men — or, more crucially — what it means to be authentic in our masculinity.