Handyman Competency Part II: “Fruity Bodies” in Film and Television

4 Jan

Building supplies

The other day I was struck by an amusing scene in Mad Men, which prompted a part two to my previous blog post. It was the episode where Don gives his boy-faced brother-in-law William a terse life lesson about taking responsibility for William and Betty’s father. But before that scene something happens that captures the problem in a nutshell. Don comes home from work and sees William with the sleeves of his blazer rolled up to his elbows, trying to unclog the kitchen sink with a plunger. “Don, don’t worry about this. It’s under control!” Don characteristically says nothing, and leaves the room. Handyman (in)competency is densely symbolic and little else functions as economically to comment upon a character’s masculinity. Continue reading

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