Two years ago, an inebriated suitor texted an R-rated picture to my roommate, who shrieked, “Ew! Look!” before shoving her cellphone in my face.
The sender was in violation of “Guy Code,” which mandates “one penis picture is too many” (see: the public pubic perils of Brett Favre and Anthony Weiner).
Debuting as MTV2’s highest-rated series premiere since 2006, Guy Code is Talk Soup as envisioned by the marketing department at Dos Equis and Axe Body Spray. It’s aimed at “male-ennials” and offers bro-ish insight that’s occasionally on point (in the case of ironic dancing, sexting and “manscaping”) but more often mentally assaultive, as when comedian Dean Edwards likens a shaved member to “a sad Muppet.”
In deconstructing topics like one-night stands and veganism, the frat-boyish-ness of guy code — an “unspoken truth between dudes” — comes off as shallow, homophobic or (perhaps worse) mere common sense.
“Bottle service is a waste of money,” says Charlamagne Tha God, one of 17 C-list celebrities giving viewers advice on the cannons of manhood. Thanks, but nightclub high-rollers who can afford to drop $200-$400 on a fifth of Patron aren’t watching MTV2.
The wisdom from other talking heads, such as Vinny Guadagnino (Jersey Shore), is as conventional as Guadagnino’s fake tan. It’s obvious that “Maxim Hometown Hottie” Melanie Iglesias wasn’t cast for her beautiful mind.
Viewers on the older end of the male-ennial bracket — say, those in their late-20s or 30s — will probably wish the witty banter had more wit and fewer befuddling rabbit trails, like the perspectives on why black people don’t go camping, or what makes a “good-ass night.” Tangents like that should be replaced with something practical, like “fast-food items to avoid because they make you gassy,” or “how to tell your buddy that skinny jeans aren’t a good look for him.”
The reality is that hearing “back hair is for werewolves and apes” won’t hasten a furry guy to the waxing salon. The same goes for a man who shares his umbrella with another man, or enjoys cocktails festooned with dainty garnishes.
As an advice show, Guy Code loses sight of the forest for the trees. While “don’t sleep with your friend’s ex” is a solid rule, being secure in your identity is manlier than, say, waxing your back hair.
But then, why are you taking advice from Vinny Guadagnino?
(MTV2, Tuesdays, 11 pm)
One Lucky Elephant
Dumbo. Water for Elephants, Horton Hears a Who. What is it about a pachyderm that tugs on the ol’ heartstrings? The saga of Flora, a “profoundly anti-Disney type of animal story,” explores the beauty and consequences of interspecies bonds through circus producer David Balding, who embarks on a nine-year odyssey to find a home for his adopted African elephant. The documentary is getting lots of buzz on the indie film circuit. (OWN, premieres Dec. 1 at 9 pm)
The untold prequel of Peter Pan? Nerd out! Bob Hoskins reprises his iconic Hook role as Smee in this two-night miniseries. Keira Knightley voices Tinkerbell. Robin Williams, sadly, outgrew those smashing green tights. (SyFy, premieres Dec. 4-5, 9 pm)
Everything you never wanted to know about sewer diving, how ancient Roman nobility pooped, why Mexico City is sinking, or how Paris used to be a complete dump. These fascinatingly filthy exposes on the role of rubbish in history will blow your mind. (Smithsonian, Sundays, 8 pm)