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by
Helen Smith

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September 23, 2011 - 4:51 am

I wondered about this as I watched the new show last night Person of Interest. The show is about a different person each week who is either the victim or perpetrator of a violent crime and of course, the “good guys” who put a stop to it before it happens.

In the season premiere, the “person of interest” is a woman, Diane Hanson, an assistant DA for the city. Naturally, it is thought that she is going to be the victim of the crime, perhaps targeted by a gang she is prosecuting or her ex-boyfriend who works in the same office. It turns out, Hanson, the pretty DA, is actually the ring leader of a group of bad cops who she tells to kill her ex who seems to be on to them. So score one for the ex who is actually the good guy here.

I have also noticed in a few commercials lately that it is the wives, not the husbands who are put in a worse light. In one phone commercial, a man tells his wife that he got a contract for a cell phone and she mutters about how wasteful he is with money and how he doesn’t consult her when spending money. It turns out, he got the phone for free and and she looks shocked and shuts up.

In another State Farm commercial, a guy is talking to his agent in the middle of the night innocently while his wife comes downstairs, yelling at him for talking to what she thinks is a woman he is involved with. The male agent is shown at the end of the commercial in his cubicle while the husband just looks slightly exasperated with his jealous wife. These commercials aren’t the best but I wonder if it shows that the tide is turning with the “men are idiots and cheaters” theme.

What do you think? Do you see examples where men are portrayed on television in a more positive light or have I just cherry-picked a few examples that are not part of a trend?

Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.
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