7 thoughts on “Why Are Sitcoms With Romances So Obsessed With the “Nice Guy” Trope?

  1. One of the best touches in Promising Young Women was how often the would be rapists were played by actors who had played nice guys in the past.

  2. At least FRIENDS figured out that Ross was a jackass as it went along. HIMYM never quite understood that Ted was insufferable.

  3. One of the best touches in Promising Young Women was how often the would be rapists were played by actors who had played nice guys in the past.

    Yeah, that was brilliant.

  4. At least FRIENDS figured out that Ross was a jackass as it went along. HIMYM never quite understood that Ted was insufferable.

    There’s this new show that I like well enough called the Grand Crew, and the lead there, Noah, is also basically the Black Ted Mosby and it’s ROUGH. Luckily, the rest of the cast is good.

  5. Why? C’mon, Brian, you know the answer to this. At least 75-85% of sitcoms are written and/or produced by men, who either see themselves as “nice guys” or pull for them. The #MeToo movement especially helped expose, for those who were almost deliberately ignorant, how rarely this was true.

    Trends have changed, but because many of those in the industry have been working within it for 20+ years, “recent shifts” sometimes take time to set in. See also the comic book industry, where characters created during the Clinton administration (or even Bush Sr.!) are still considered “new.”

  6. But that’s why Never Have I Ever stands out so much, because that’s NOT the writing staff of that show at all! And yet, the same stuff is happening!

  7. Once tropes become so embedded in the social consciousness that they become cliches, or even “tradition,” they can be tough to move away from. Especially in the realm of entertainment where everyone is encouraged to produce something which can hook and retain an audience. And the “Nice Guy” trope may be one of them. Even among younger and/or more diverse sets of writers and producers. Many TV shows are not rewarded for being original. And once a show is on a while, many times the staff don’t want to “rock the boat.”

    Of course, many shows get canceled even when they stand pat or continue with time honored cliches. But Hollywood can often be very robotic in how they deal with things.

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