Cable Guys

Cable Guys

Television and Masculinities in the 21st Century

by Amanda D. Lotz

Published by: NYU Press

251 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 7 black and white illustrations

  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781479800483
  • Published: March 2014


  • Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9781479800742
  • Published: March 2014



The emergence of "male-centered serials" such as The Shield, Rescue Me, and Sons Of Anarchy and the challenges these characters face in negotiating modern masculinities. From
the meth-dealing but devoted family man Walter White of AMC’s Breaking Bad,
to the part-time basketball coach, part-time gigolo Ray Drecker of HBO’s Hung,
depictions of male characters perplexed by societal expectations of men and
anxious about changing American masculinity have become standard across the
television landscape. Engaging with a wide variety of shows, including The
League, Dexter, and Nip/Tuck, among many others, Amanda D. Lotz
identifies the gradual incorporation of second-wave feminism into prevailing
gender norms as the catalyst for the contested masculinities on display in
contemporary cable dramas.

the emergence of “male-centered serials” such as The Shield, Rescue Me, and Sons of Anarchy and the challenges these characters face in negotiating
modern masculinities, Lotz analyzes how these shows combine feminist approaches
to fatherhood and marriage with more traditional constructions of masculine
identity that emphasize men’s role as providers. She explores the dynamics of
close male friendships both in groups, as in Entourage and Men of a
Certain Age, wherein characters test the boundaries between the homosocial
and homosexual in their relationships with each other, and in the dyadic
intimacy depicted in Boston Legal and Scrubs. Cable Guys provides a
much needed look into the under-considered subject of how constructions of masculinity
continue to evolve on television.