The Carmichael Show (Recap) | Man’s World (S2 E10)

by Pilot Viruet | via Vulture

As is the norm for The Carmichael Show, “Man’s World” is driven by a classic sitcom story line with a slightly modernized twist. The catalyst is simplistic and familiar enough: When Maxine offers to change a flat tire, Jerrod laughs at the thought of her doing a “man” task (“I only laughed because I found it really, really funny,” he claims), prompting Maxine to call out the men on their inability to also do similar rough tasks (in this case, fixing the roof). From there, the battle of the sexes is on. The dudes take to the roof while Maxine and Cynthia — who is only competing for the $100, rather than any need to prove Jerrod wrong — head to the garage.

Much has been said, both in these recaps and elsewhere, about how The Carmichael Show is a throwback to old-fashioned hot-button and “controversial” sitcoms. But it’s very much a product of all sitcoms, too — as well as the tropes that routinely propel them. We already got a gender-related episode with season one’s aptly titled “Gender,” a smart and inspired half-hour in which Jerrod meets a transgender youth. “Man’s World” isn’t nearly as creative or refreshing, but instead reminiscent of a number of sitcoms that have tackled similar issues. Even when The Carmichael Show gives us a familiar episode, though, it finds new jokes in old situations.

In the cold open, the men dance around what they’re really thinking, forcing Cynthia to be the one to say that women shouldn’t change a tire. (“Why did you make me say that sexist thing out loud?” she says, blaming Maxine in a nice bait-and-switch moment.) And then, when Maxine protests the stereotype of women cooking and cleaning while their husbands sit back and rub their stomachs, the wide shot reveals that’s exactly what’s happening. The Carmichael Show leans into a standard sitcom trope — the contentious dynamic between men and women — in order to introduce the multiple sides of this week’s debate.

As we’ve seen many times, Carmichael prefers to explore differing opinions of a singular issue. In “Man’s World,” we get that through both sexes. The episode explores masculinity in terms of modernity (“You raised us to be men for a world that doesn’t exist anymore,” Jerrod says) rather than the old-fashioned concept of the rugged handyman that Joe is accustomed to. When it comes to feminism, the episode uses the differences between Maxine and Cynthia to highlight that there isn’t one correct way to be a feminist. “True feminism,” according to Cynthia, “is when a woman knows where she wants to be in the world.” Cynthia wants to be baking cookies in the kitchen, and it’s no one’s place — not even a fellow woman — to tell her that she’s wrong for doing what she wants.

To read the rest of the recap, “Man’s World,” click HERE!!!

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