General Question

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

TV couples: Fat guy with a gorgeous wife. Why are there such high standards for TV wives, but not for their husbands?

Asked by jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities (19672points) June 2nd, 2009

While watching some TV today, I was shocked at the couples that we are supposed to believe are real. Fat, lazy men with beautiful wives. According to Jim, King of Queens, even animated shows like Family Guy and The Simpsons are all guilty of this. Why are there no high standards for the men on TV?

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61 Answers

chyna's avatar

I have wondered this myself. Hopefully when they met at age 17, the men weren’t fat and lazy then. (This is tv land.)

eponymoushipster's avatar

uhm, it’s TV.

besides, fat guys are always funny. belushi, chris farley, john candy. exactly.
and all the other fat, non-funny guys out there want a hot wife. (or, at least a skinny wife)

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@eponymoushipster I’ll give you credit for Farley and Candy, but Jim Belushi funny? I think not.

SirBailey's avatar

I’ll bet there are more shows where the husband and wife are both relatively fit. American Dad, Home Improvement, Full House, The Huxtables, Dick Van Dyke, Coach, just off the top.

Likeradar's avatar

@SirBailey Good point.

Also, it reflects on real life. A hot woman with a schlubby guy is fairly accepted. A hot guy with a schlubby wife often makes people question.

chyna's avatar

@likeradar I can’t think of one schlubby wife with a hot guy on TV, can you?

eponymoushipster's avatar

@SirBailey there was no wife in Full House, at least for the first few seasons. unless you count Stamos.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@eponymoushipster John Belushi was amazing. I’d watch a show with him and his gorgeous wife, but not his brother. No thank you.

AstroChuck's avatar

Because it’s a man’s world, baby.

JONESGH's avatar

Well in my opinion the shows you listed are directed at an audience of men anyways. And as for what eponymoushipster said, I think the guys watching these shows are looking for the comedy of the guy, and the aesthetics of the female character, however superficial that may be.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@chyna There really isn’t. The best I can do is Roseanne, although she was married to John Goodman. I think he makes up for it with this though.

applesaucemanny's avatar

sad sad world we live in

Likeradar's avatar

@chyna Nope… me neither (but I sure will be thinking about it all night :) ). I brought that up because the TV people might be following cultural norms (is “norms” this right word? I don’t mean to imply that it’s right, or even true) in their pairings.

SirBailey's avatar

How about a schlubby wife with a thin husband – The Jeffersons?

chyna's avatar

@SirBailey ohh, good answer!

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Likeradar, @chyna Married With Children!

Likeradar's avatar

@eponymoushipster She was waaay hotter than him! Who else can wear spandex with such flair?

chyna's avatar

Did Mike and Gloria have their own show from All in the Family? She was pretty and thin and he was… not.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@eponymoushipster Ha! Well, the one hand down the pants was pretty hot.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Likeradar bah! i found her hideous. Ok. besides that, what about – uhm – yeah. Jon and Kate?

chyna's avatar

@eponymoushipster What do you think about Jon and Kate?

eponymoushipster's avatar

@chyna i think she’s a bitch. and not that great looking. mind you, the body you see in those recently released bikini photos of her is post-plastic surgery. her stomach looked like a sarlaac pit before that.

Jeruba's avatar

Gives the viewer somebody to feel superior to (people love that) and somebody to fantasize about.

chyna's avatar

@Jeruba Very good point.
@Eponymoushipster I think Jon is a little strange looking. I have never seen the show so I don’t know how either of them act.

SeventhSense's avatar

Women are less superficial than men.

chyna's avatar

@SeventhSense damn, I hate to do this, but I have to agree with you. Don’t let this happen again.

SuperMouse's avatar

Bob Newhart had a hot wife in all three of his shows! Still Standing was a chubby not so hot hubby with a good looking wife too. Yes Dear had a dorky (and quite possibly gay) man with a hot wife and a schlubby, lazy, unemployed guy with a hot wife! But Roseanne and Dan were both equally schlubby.

@Jeruba makes a great point, I also think that it gives average guys out there hope that they have a chance at getting with Carmen Electra.

evolverevolve's avatar

Cause men need hot women to look at.

SeventhSense's avatar

@chyna
Well the weaker sex has some positive attributes. :)~

AnnieOakley's avatar

I suspect the shows are mainly written by men.

chyna's avatar

@SeventhSense And he sinks to a new low…

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I don’t know about TV but I can tell you what I see going on right now IRL in regards to tubby hubby and hottie wife. There is pressure on women of all ages to keep up their looks and to strive for rocket bodies but the same pressure is not on the men who are losing their minds when their women stray or divorce to go off with the fit guys who come chasing around.

casheroo's avatar

The only example of a not so good looking woman with a good looking guy that I can think of, is on Grey’s Anatomy. That Merideth character is not good looking, in my opinion, and Patrick Dempsey is a good looking guy.

DarkScribe's avatar

I don’t see why it is regarded as unusual – it reflects real life. I constantly see very average and in a physical sense, below average guys with extremely attractive women. Women are attracted by things a little less superficial than simply looks. More of my male friends, workmates and acquaintances have attractive wives than don’t. Also, many men, who are often superficial, refuse to form a relationship with any women who is not attractive.

There are a lot of fantastic woman out there who are not physically beautiful who have trouble finding permanent mates. You will notice the same disparity among lesbian women, but for an entirely different reason, it is because they are NOT superficial.

By the way casheroo, I think that Meridith from Grey’s Anatomy is gorgeous. Reminds me of a girl who I dated in my twenties.

Interestingly I have a very attractive wife, who is also very intelligent, successful and caring. She was stunning when I met her and is still beautiful now. I have sometimes wondered what would have happened if she hadn’t been beautiful. Once I got to know her, I would still have fallen in love, but if she had not been beautiful, I would probably not have got to know her.

Likeradar's avatar

Edited for being plain ol’ wrong.

wundayatta's avatar

Man bashing. There are very few male characters on TV that anyone would want to look up to. If they aren’t fat, they’re stupid. If they’re not stupid, they’re a geek.

Stop watching TV! It is not where you want to get ideas about what it means to be a decent person.

SuperMouse's avatar

@daloon, great point. As the exception that proves the rule I have two words for you:
Jon Stewart.

Likeradar's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence Isn’t it the personality and brains though? I think he’s a total fox, but because of who he is. Just based on looks alone, meh.

SeventhSense's avatar

@daloon brings up a good point. Every commercial has a dumb guy who is being educated or ridiculed by his wife in some way, shape or form.

Likeradar's avatar

@SeventhSense Pretty true. Based on commercials and a lot of popular TV, a man doesn’t know how to wash a dish, make a sandwich, care for a child, or do laundry. But they are awesome at drinking and watching sports.

wundayatta's avatar

<——- wants to be Jon Stewart for a day, just to see.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@Likeradar Sports, drinking, laziness, and a hot wife? That’s pretty much the American dream, right? Ha!

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Likeradar i hate sports, but i’m pretty good at drinking. and the other stuff. yay me, i’m an anomaly!

aprilsimnel's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence , @Likeradar – I met Jon Stewart’s predecessor (he’s not worth naming) once at a taping of the old Daily Show. Hot? Like fire. But a complete arsehole, the smug bastard.

I haven’t seen Raymond or Queens or Yes, Dear, or whatever from the 00s, and I don’t need to. Just give me Mad Men and I’m good.

Aethelwine's avatar

The guys on Lost are hot. and smart ;)

qualitycontrol's avatar

It seems in these shows the good lookin girl is atttacted to the nice, sensitive man, like Homer from the Simpsons or Kevin James from King of Queens. I think the standard we see on TV, the “fat, lazy man” is the high standard because he is respectful, faithful, loving and honest to his wife. Also, while Homer or Kevin James’ character may be “lazy” he still works to provide for his family, a desirable trait…the man taking care of business. Us men are utilitarian…we’re not supposed to be beautiful lol…we work, protect and provide. We’re searching for good genes to carry on our species so we’re naturally more in to the physical aspects, although there are many other reasons to be attracted to a female.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@aprilsimnel his schtick was that he was smug. but he’s a HUGE morrissey fan, so it makes sense. he was in Old School as well.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@eponymoushipster – Huh. Maybe I caught him having a bad day, or something. My first (and only) impression wasn’t very good.

Facade's avatar

Fat men are funnier than men who are in shape…?

chyna's avatar

@seventhsense It’s called Real Life. :)

SeventhSense's avatar

@Facade
Well we do have a love affair with the fat family man and the just fat -Ralph Kramden, Fred Flinstone, Kevin James – Fatty Arbuckle, W.C. Fields, John Belushi, John Candy, Chris Farley, Peter, Homer. But it’s really the every man lowest common denominator which is non threatening and sells advertising to just about anyone. Brad Pitt might be the alpha but most people can’t relate to the rarified air in that atmosphere. Compared to Peter from the Family Guy most guys have no guilt about buying a triple whopper with cheese with a large coke. For the bottom line Hollywood likes that..as well as Madison Avenue.
@chyna
We’re all pigs.Some of us are sexy too.:)

chyna's avatar

@SeventhSense I agree, some are very sexy.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Having the fat husband opens them up to a whole array of fat jokes they can tell. I mean really how many jokes can you tell about a skinny in shape man?

dpworkin's avatar

I was a fat man with a gorgeous wife. One is already a figure of fun just on account of being fat (I notice for instance that several of you conflate obesity with laziness) but having a gorgeous wife seems to add an extra layer of resentment, and an impulse on the part of some alpha-type males toward cuckoldry. They seem to find it offensive that a beautiful woman could be attracted to a fat man. I understand I am not a TV character; that happens to make the pain all the more poignant. You may wish to re-examine your assumptions.

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