Masculinity under threat

23 01 2007

Scrubs – My Hero.

The episode beings with the main character, J.D getting dominated by one of the common female characters in the show. J.D is clearly scared of her and is pushed out of the way as she bumps past him on her way out. He then follows behind her as she leads the way. This first exchange places the female in the dominant position and the lead male as a subservient.

In the next scene he is swung around by another gentlemen in a child like manner. He begins to act like a child and really enjoys it. This shows him to be immature and to be comfortable being lifted up by other men.

Dr.Cox is then introduced to the episode. From previous episodes viewers know that he is an uncompromising man who is in control, he is physically and mentally fit strong minded and people do what he says. He is introduced to this episode as J.D’s ‘hero,’ as he flies out of the window just like superman would. He portrays the dominant masculine stereotype.

Turk and Karla, a couple then appear in the episode. Turk is upset with that he has not been given the job he was after, but Karla his strong willed girlfriend calms him down. However, a female surgeon gets the job instead and begins to taunt Turk. Karla then offers to ‘end her.’ Karla is constantly portrayed as the ‘one who wears the trousers’ in the relationship. This is another aspect that goes against the stereotype of masculinity where men are normally seen as in control of the relationship.

These situations escalate as the episode unfolds. However, even Dr.Cox, the masculine stereotype begins to falter. His friend is diagnosed with cancer and he does not deal with it well. He begins to go missing and when confronted tells J.D he ‘cannot handle’ the fact his friend is ill. He is then shot walking away from the situation and his metaphorical cape is shown falling from his shoulders. The episode constantly has the women in control and portrays the men as childish. Even the dominant male Dr.Cox is shown to deal with troubling times badly.

The overriding image of the male characters is that they all need each other to function. J.D looks up to Dr.Cox and begins to get scared when Dr.Cox shows signs of weakness. Ben, the patient, relies on his friend (Dr.Cox) to support him through his treatment and is upset when Dr.Cox doesn’t show. Turk however, needs Karla and is advised by her through the show. One scene in particular highlights this. J.D, Dr.Cox and Ben are all on the screen but in three separate rooms all sat moving in sequence looking alone. This is accompanied with a voice over from J.D describing how desperate it is to feel alone.

However, in the end all of the male characters confront their fears and learn from them. The episode shows that the male characters aren’t perfect but they do have the courage to admit that and try to better themselves.

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