By Jarrod Thalheimer
So you want to get to know your man a little better? Well, good luck. We dudes are not the most chatty creatures in the jungle, which can leave you stuck going through dusty old yearbook write-ups, horoscopes or whatever our mothers currently feel like sharing. Not so good (for you!).
But wait … once again it’s Hollywood to the rescue! What could be more revealing about a person’s true character than his favorite television show? Identify your man’s favorite downtime distraction from this list of 10 popular shows and reap the relationship rewards such quality intel provides (because everybody knows nothing is more definitively true than a magazine list article…).
*Note: If your man happens to consider four or more of these shows as his “favorites,” he is clearly watching too much TV and should really get out more!
“Game of Thrones”
A medieval drama about various noble houses at war for control of the Iron Throne and the Seven Kingdoms that kneel before it, “Game of Thrones”is chock full of morally ambiguous characters exploring serious issues of class, faith, loyalty, corruption, sex and punishment.
Why your man watches: Deep down, he thirsts for the purity of a life lived by a code. He wonders if he could thrive, or even survive, an existence forged in hardship and maintained through steel. He also really digs getting to enjoy “Throne’s” hyper-graphic sex scenes “shame-free” thanks to their “storyline necessity.” Way to go, HBO!
“The Walking Dead”
Telling the story of a small group of survivors living in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, “The Walking Dead” focuses on the challenge of maintaining both group and individual humanity during the struggle of simply trying to exist in a newly hostile world.
Why your man watches: He recognizes the falsity of a life based in materialistic pursuit and understands the only things that truly matter are those closest to him and his personal ability to uphold the very best of what civilized humanity has to offer. He also believes the zombie apocalypse will finally be his time to shine, explaining his recent fascination with weapons accumulation, night hunting and the construction of a panic room to hoard essentials. Beware “camping trips.”
Set in New Mexico, “Breaking Bad” is the two-year story of a struggling high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer who turns to a life of organized crime in hopes of securing his family’s financial future before he dies.
Why your man watches: Seeing how easily a good man can transform into pure evil, all while in service of seemingly genuine and sincere intentions, makes this show as boldly entertaining as it is shockingly cautionary. It also reveals just how much aggression and deep-seated disappointment your “average” man may have bottled up inside. Consider doing yoga together or perhaps deep-breathing exercises, but steer way clear of playing “Grand Theft Auto” or enrolling in any beginner chemistry classes. Don’t light this fuse – ever.
An American comedy series done in a mockumentary style, “Modern Family” characters frequently talk into the camera highlighting their issues and frustrations with trying to be good people and solid members of their larger family.
Why your man watches: He sees the inherent humor that exists in everyday life and is capable of recognizing his own struggles and failings, even as they are played out on screen. He’s also thrilled to have found a show you can enjoy together where he can’t get yelled at for ogling Sofia Vergara non-stop. Esa chica!
“Sons of Anarchy”
Centering on the day-to-day dealings of a Northern California outlaw motorcycle club and the lives of its members, “Sons of Anarchy” shows the reality of biker life and those they come into contact with.
Why your man watches: A rebel at heart, your guy appreciates the romance associated with being an outlaw biker but recognizes the stark choices such a supposedly free existence actually represents. And while he would never consider joining an actual motorcycle club, he may start daydreaming about getting a tattoo, purchasing a motorcycle or even calling you his “old lady.” That is, until he realizes the only “old lady” in his house will be the housekeeper he’ll have to hire once you move out.
“The Big Bang Theory”
Centered on four socially awkward guys and a pretty waitress/aspiring actress who lives across the hall, “The Big Bang Theory” mines the geekiness plus the off-the-charts intellect of the four nerds for comic effect.
Why your man watches: He enjoys broad comedy played out in a field of intellectual superiority, helping him make peace with his own “inner nerd.” It may also help him finally come to grips with his rather annoying habit of turning red and giggling every time you turn up naked.
Depicting the post-Edwardian lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants, “Downton Abbey” glides across the great events in history while chronicling their effect on British social hierarchy as a whole.
Why your man watches: He identifies with one or more groups on the show and enjoys the slightly overwrought adventures showcasing the all-too-real class struggles and inter-family dramas that existed during that time in history. He also happens to be too pretentious to simply go and watch the original “Dallas” (or TNT’s “Dallas” remake) where the exact same storylines are played out only with tighter clothes and better looking people. In fact, I’m betting Lady Mary was only dreaming and Matthew was in that new-fangled shower-thingy all along.
“House of Cards”
Telling the story of a Democrat from South Carolina who exacts revenge on those who blocked his path toward becoming Secretary of State, “House of Cards” reminds most normal folks why politics can be a dirty, nasty business.
Why your man watches: Keen to gain insight to a world where nothing ever seems truly right or wrong, your fella imagines what it would be like to possess the kind of malevolent intention (and wield the sort of raw power) such political animals require. He also likes the fact that Netflix appears to be just as gratuitous when it comes to full-frontal nudity and graphic sex as HBO.
“How I Met Your Mother”
A comedy series revolving around one man’s story of how he met his wife, “How I Met Your Mother” showcases the lives of several best friends living in New York City and moving towards their individual futures.
Why your man watches: He recognizes the beauty of how one ultimately meets their mate, and appreciates the humor and goofiness that was a big part of the most important journey of his life. He is also extremely loyal and forgiving because he continues to support a show that has sucked so hard for the past two seasons, most folks can’t even watch an entire episode of this ludicrous mush anymore. Your man’s a keeper, because the show sure as heck isn’t.
A play on the famous English-language human anatomy textbook by Henry Gray, “Grey’s Anatomy” focuses on the fictional lives (and loves) of surgical interns and residents on their way to becoming experienced doctors.
Why your man watches: Any chance to watch a show about smart, accomplished women competing hard against one another is pure catnip to him, especially as he wiles away hours on end polishing his collection of NOW buttons or organizing feminist flash-mobs via Facebook. Your guy is either the most progressively evolved, personally secure male who ever existed or he’s one dangerously smooth psychopath getting ready to take you down for absolutely everything your own. Either way, keep both eyes on this one.