Bromance in Workaholics

In his article Becker argues that “even when [bromance] relies on a relatively positive view of gay love, the discourse’s structuring logic often works to exclude gay men from the privileges of hegemonic masculinity by reinscribing certain rigid gender norms.” While I think this is most often the cause, especially in the other two episodes we watched, I believe that masculinity in Workaholics is represented in a unique context that creates space for a different interpretation of our traditional gender norms.

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Becker writes  and shows in his article how close male friendships on tv often present an intimacy that “can draw men’s heterosexuality into question” and therefore characters often must find other ways to reinforce their masculinity and heterosexuality. (Becker 3)This is clearly shown in Its Always Sunny by Mac and Dennis’s hesitance to be viewed as too dependent on each other as well as their comments about girls breasts. This idea does not function in the same way in Workaholics. Adam, Blake and Anders attempt to reinforce their masculinity yet the overdone and ironic nature of their attempts further diminishes their masculinity in the eye of the watcher. In the episode we watched this is best shown by Adam’s attempt to compete in a bodybuilding competition. Despite the fact that he is doing a traditionally masculine activity, he is constantly shown looking ridiculous, from his hair and outfit at the women’s house to his actual performance at the competition. SImilarly, overtly homosexual moments in the episode are not dealt with in the same way as they are in other shows. In Its Always Sunny when Mac and Dennis are on a date they quickly and repeatedly reinforce that they are there to see a girl with big boobs. In Workaholics Adam and Blake get boners from fighting each other and while the fact that they are fighting over a woman in some ways attempts to assert their heterosexuality, even this is brought into question because that women is constantly shown demasculinizing Adam while Blake is only seducing her to win back the attention of his male friend.  Moments such as these make fun of the characters attempts at traditional masculinity and in the process present a space for different interpretations of gender.

While Workaholics may challenge traditional versions of accepted masculinity, it does not necessarily create a space for gay men. As Michael from Bromance states “I mean, you talk about sex with girls all day.” (Becker 11) Workaholics still sticks to a specific type of humor that isn’t necessarily relatable for people who aren’t 14-30 year old heterosexual males. But, it does do something interesting in how it represents male friendships or bromances.

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3 thoughts on “Bromance in Workaholics

  1. I think you are right Kate when you say “the overdone and ironic nature of their attempts further diminishes their masculinity in the eye of the watcher.” I definitely thought about the diminished masculinity when Adam interacts with the older woman. He rides on the back of the motorcycle, which is usually reserved for the passive woman. Instead the older woman drives as he holds on to her. Obviously it is funny, but like you said it takes away from Adam’s masculinity especially when he is not the one in control of the motorcycle, let alone the relationship.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your post, Kate. I think that you are right- even though the men in Workaholics are doing seemingly masculine things a good portion of the time (body-building, working out, seducing women), they are still portrayed in this somewhat homo-social light. The fact that they are doing these masculine things and talking about women with large breasts is their attempt at asserting their masculinity and straightness. And yes, the wizard rap. In light of what you talked about in your blog post, do you think that the wizard rap serves as a counter to their masculinity? It is interesting to think about. In my opinion, the idea of the wizard rap is not necessarily MASCULINE (due to the long pink and purple robes), but they do even say at one point that they don’t want to be doing a “fairy rap”. Anders and Blake, however, do not approve of Adam ripping his shirt off (perhaps another way to show his manliness). Why is that? If they want to be perceived as “masculine”, wouldn’t all of them tearing their shirts off do the trick? That’s just something I was thinking about.

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