“We Are Men” is one of CBS’ new fall comedies, featuring four men who forge friendships because they are residing in a temporary housing complex as they navigate the various stages of being single after having been married (or almost married).
Kal Penn plays Gil, a man who had the “world’s worst affair” and now desperately wants to put his life back on track with his wife Claire (Aya Cash) and daughter Maisie (Bella Rose). He tells Zap2it that unlike the other guys on the show, his character just wants to put everything back together.
“There’s no doubt that Gil loves his wife,” says Penn. “He made an inexcusable — the worst mistake you could ever make and he’s spent every waking minute since trying to get her back. Unlike the other three guys who are very much moving on with their lives, Gil’s sort of stuck. He has no desire to date other women at all.”
But don’t think that the other guys will be complete women-chasing party animals. They have their romantic sides too.
“The other guys are also romantic, but I don’t think you see it until a couple episodes in. Despite the divorces and the wanting to win the custody battles, these are not bad guys. They’re just incredibly flawed guys,” says Penn. “There are a couple episodes where you see them dating … watching them actually fall for somebody is kind of fun. The pilot sets the tone, but once you get into the individual episodes, you see a lot of nuances too.”
Part of what does make the show so nuanced is the fact that it has a lot of heart at its center because ultimately the show is about four men and their friendship, which is what attracted Penn to the project.
“One of the producers of ‘How I Met Your Mother,’ Rob Greenberg, is a creator of ‘We Are Men’ and it reminded me of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ in terms of the tone. They are able to get away with a lot of more edgy jokes but then each episode of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ ends with a lot of heart and I felt that way about this show too,” says Penn.
“I like the balance. To be able to get away with certain jokes and then
also wrap it up really well. Despite all the flaws of the characters,
it’s a show about friendship and about these guys getting their
lives back on track,” he continues. “It’s not a show
that is either ‘Rah rah, look at these guys!’ but it’s also not a show
about how dumb these guys are. Those are both elements in the show, but
the comedy comes more from the situations and the absurdity that’s
behind all the friendship that comes out in each other.”
“They’re not bad guys, although they give each other the world’s worst
advice. All the advice offered in these episodes, nobody should ever
take. You should always do the exact opposite,” laughs Penn.
“We Are Men” premieres Monday, Sept. 30 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.