With lineups that include an astounding number of gender-specific titles for the 2011-2012 season, it's starting to feel like the battle of the sexes is waging a new war on primetime TV.
It's as if the networks are sending out a loud and clear message to their audiences on both sides of the gender pool. Men: You should only be watching shows with the word "man" or some variation of that word in the title! And women: Don't mind the number of shows that had the word b*tch in the title (two: 'G.C.B.' and 'Apartment 23') -- we've changed them to be more female-friendly so you'll feel comfortable tuning in!
Curious how cross-gender, multi-sexual and downright all-inclusive these new un-sexily sex-titled shows are? We've judged and ranked them on a Sexist-o-Meter scale of 1-10, 1 being pretty inoffensive, and 10 being circa-1985 levels of shocking close-mindedness.
Let's take a look ...
'2 Broke Girls' (CBS)
They're girls. And they're broke. Sounds like the ultimate ladies-in-peril-needing-saving-from-men storyline, but luckily it isn't. Sure this show could've benefited from a more clever title, but the two female leads are more empowered women than helpless idiots.
Sexist-o-Meter ranking: 1
'Last Man Standing' (ABC)
Gay jokes, the doldrums of being a stay-at-home dad, the overt need for anything outdoorsy or even remotely tough-guy approved ... Tim Allen's latest comedy milks very few laughs, and they're always at someone else's expense. With an obnoxious laugh track in place, the only thing missing here is the famously manly grunts of Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor.
Sexist-o-Meter ranking: 10
'New Girl' (Fox)
Let it be said that Zooey Deschanel is adorable, and we can't wait to have her on our TVs (that's not sexist, it's merely fact). We just wish her 'New Girl' character was a little stronger post-breakup, when we meet her in the pilot. Also, can we move past the notion that she's not hot because she wears glasses? This isn't 4th grade recess.
Sexist-o-Meter ranking: 3
'The Playboy Club' (NBC)
Working for Hugh Hefner's Playboy Club was empowering for women in the '60s ... or so they'd like you to believe. I'm sorry, but I'm with Gloria Steinem here: a skimpy costume, weight and fitness regulations, secret back rooms and bunny tails do not read privilege to me. I think the correct word is exploitation. But as the name says, it's about the boys at play while the women slave away.
Sexist-o-Meter ranking: 10
'A Gifted Man' (CBS)
Patrick Wilson isn't playing just any man you guys -- he's gifted! Yes, this high-powered, workaholic surgeon can do it all, including talk to his dead ex-wife. I guess this title is better than 'He Sees Dead People,' though. Or is it?
Sexist-o-Meter ranking: 2
'Man Up' (ABC)
This title says one thing to me: Don't be a wuss, guys -- man up! Lucky for all involved, the manliness of this pilot wasn't really that in your face. It's just a couple of average dudes playing video games, showing off on the basketball court and defending their ladies' honor with fist fighting.
Sexist-o-Meter ranking: 4
Short for 'Good Christian Belles' (or 'B*tches,' depending on which of the former titles you prefer), the ladies in this primetime soap all seem to rely on the men in their life to finance their Texas-sized wardrobes and larger-than-life shopping habits, which is unfortunate. And the one whose husband is out of the picture resorts to working at a 'Hooters'-esque establishment to make ends meet. Not unforgivable, but a little too easy.
Sexist-o-Meter ranking: 5
'How to be a Gentleman' (CBS)
Gentlemen, we have a message for you, too: This show will not only introduce you to multiple spineless men, it'll also pound those men to a douchey pulp when their politeness and manners are overpowered by a gym rat neanderthal who spouts his own brand of "wisdom." Stereotypes at their most exaggerated.
Sexist-o-Meter ranking: 9
'I Hate My Teenage Daughter' (Fox)
You think grown women are a handful? Try teenage girls! This show pairs two moms against their two bratty daughters for the ultimate women-hating-women showdown. Personally I can't wait until there's a fight over push-up bras and mango-flavored lip gloss. Women love that stuff.
Sexist-o-Meter ranking: 6
'Whitney'(NBC) / 'Allen Gregory' (Fox) / 'Napoleon Dynamite'(Fox)
Who are these shows about? We can't be trusted to figure that out on our own, people. We realize that character names as titles have been around forever -- 'Seinfeld,' 'Frasier,' 'Laverne and Shirley' -- but this new crop just seems to scream "Look at me! I'm the star!" Oh you mean you on the billboard and bus ads? Well thank god you told us.
Sexist-o-Meter ranking: 0 (but we're still not stupid, dammit!)
And, while we're at it, mad props to these gender-neutral titles that aren't choosing sides ... well, not really. Who are they aimed at? And what are their secret sexist twists? Guess we'll have to watch and see!
'Person of Interest' (CBS)
It could be any person targeted from week to week, and that's what's truly interesting about this series. Even with its male-dominated cast.
Sexist twist: How come the only lady here (Taraji P. Henson as homicide Det. Carter) always seems to be leaps and bounds behind the men she's chasing?
'Prime Suspect' (NBC)
At the heart of this cop drama with a lady boss (Maria Bello) are the interesting cases. Now if the subordinate men on the force will just stop holding the boss' beauty and boobs against her, they'll have a drama worth investing in.
Sexist twist: Bello's Det. Jane Timoney really is pretty overbearing. We're hoping they'll figure out how to soften her edges a bit -- fast -- a la Helen Mirren's award-winning portrayal in the original British series.
'The Finder' (Fox)
Who are they finding? And why are they so good at finding them? We don't know, but Geoff Stults endearingly leads the diverse cast of this 'Bones' spinoff, which was luckily not titled 'The Finder Man.'
Sexist twist: Get ready for more shirtless Geoff Stults than you ever thought you'd ever wanted!
What do you think of all these sex-skewing shows? Men, are you turned off by the lady titles, and women, will you tune in for the guy-geared programming?