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Anyone Like Ben Better Now?


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> Part of the problem might be that Ben's on-air

> persona seems to be aimed primarily at a male

> audience. I've seen at least a few occasions (I wish

> I could cite them, but alas, I wasn't taking notes)

> where he's said something I found somewhat offensive

> or sexist, which can be kind of annoying, even if the

> rest of his commentary is informative and

> interesting. (Someone earlier cited him describing a

> film as a "weepy chick flick"...) Of course, this

> sort of thing isn't specific by any means to Ben's

> intros on TCM...it's sort of rampant in general

> culture these days.

 

Actually, you're right. Networks are pandering towards the male demographic these days. I'm not sure if TCM is one of them--I'd really love to see a female host (How about me? My asking payrate wouldn't be too high, in fact I'll do it just for the swag!) But men are the new target audience these days--I know for a fact, Food Network is specifically targeting them (which is why they got rid of all the actual chefs and started bringing in hacks, and shows about food travel. But that's another subject for another thread, I'm sure.)

 

I have to admit that Ben's grown on me. I really didn't like him when he first started, but lately, I find him to be funnier than before. Like he's balancing out his sarcasm with dry humor. I remember when TCM showed Peyton Place this year, Ben mentioned something about how a good majority of the cast got Oscar nominations, and then went on about how Scary Movie 4 would rival it--especially Carmen Electra, who was a great actress. Ha! I'm sure a lot of people didn't find it funny, but I did. Very tongue in cheek.

 

So Ben doesn't bug me anymore. There are other hosts in the world to get pissy over. In fact, I'm not really looking forward to some of the Underground movies, but I'm dying to see how Rob Zombie will host--if he's going to have a "too cool" attitude or a genuine fanboy enthusiam for the stuff he's planning to show. That's going to make it or break it.

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I like his money and his family connection. God smiled on him and he is one of His favorites. I always like people who were born with a gold spoon in their mouth and have connections to get great jobs because of their family name. Ben is the boy next store if you happen to live in Beverly Hills. God Bless Him he deserves everything that has come to him after all he probably had to show up once so they would make sure he didn't look like a bumbling idiot with Frankenstein Features! He really applied himself with his Uncle's help to get the host job. More power to him it takes a lot of effort to be a name-dropper!

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Overall, I like Ben okay. I think he's a good offset for Robert Osbourne. I'll be honest and say that I much PREFER Robert Osbourne...but I think Ben is good because it's a different perspective.

 

That said, I WILL say that I agree about some of the quasi-sexist remarks. Even in the 'odd couple' spoof advert (which I quite like, actually), they have him talking about 'total chick flicks', which is pretty sexist remark for a host to make.

 

I mean, you wouldn't hear anyone at TCM refer to a John Wayne film as 'a total guy flick full of cool 'splosions'. *rolleyes*

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Networks are pandering

> towards the male demographic these days. I'm not sure

> if TCM is one of them

 

It seems to me TCM shows more movies geared toward women. The macho wars and westerns are few and far between. But I'm not complaing, I'll watch a musical any day of the week.

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> Networks are pandering

> > towards the male demographic these days. I'm not

> sure

> > if TCM is one of them

>

> It seems to me TCM shows more movies geared toward

> women. The macho wars and westerns are few and far

> between. But I'm not complaing, I'll watch a musical

> any day of the week.

 

I wouldn't say their programming is geared towared either men or women. (Then again, I don't tend to essentialize most movies as "guy movies" or "chick flicks"...I myself am a fan of the film noirs and samurai movies and just about any movie where resistance fighters (and Bogart) are doing bad things to Nazis...films which might be expected to stereotypically appeal to men more than women. Most of the "soldiers at war" movies bore me, but I'm sure there are plenty of men they bore also....) Even considering the stereotypes (since some people adhere to them, hence my earlier observation about "SpikeTV"), I'd say there are no shortage of "guy movies" on TCM's schedule.

 

The programming comes and goes...one day (like today) is loaded with musicals, some other days are all John Wayne; War movies one day, noir the next, romance the third. Horror and Sci-fi is particularly prominent this month. I suppose if you only look at "macho wars and westerns" you're talking about a small fraction of TCM's total movies, but there are other genres that would be seen as "men oriented" and those macho war/western flicks are hardly underrepresented.

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I don't think TCM's programming is sexist in the least. I think there is something for everyone, actually.

 

But I could probably do without the 'chick flick' remarks. Unless they make equally as many remarks that imply that male war movie fans (as one example) are only watching them for the cool 'splosions.

 

Of course, we all know that this isn't true...but neither is it true that the only folks who like romance films are stars-in-their-eyes girls who have an unrealistic outlook on life.

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That might have been the remark I heard him say. I do know it caused my head to swirl around, since I couldn't believe it.

 

I have to say, if he was trying to endear himself to the audience more lately, he blew it with that remark.

 

I still think he is smarmy.

 

dolores

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I don't think TCM is pandering towards men. I just wanted to make that clear. There are never a lot of war movies or westerns on, but there sure are a lot of musicals on lately (Yay!) I just meant all the cable networks in general seem to be coveting that 18-34 male demographic, and I hope TCM doesn't try to go down that route in the future.

 

I think the tricky thing about movies is that you can never be sure what a certain gender will like. In some ways, I can understand how people get angry at Ben's use of "weepy chick flick", but the truth is, that's how some movies are marketed and "chick flick" is a pretty common term to describe, well, chick flicks. It's a standard movie stereotype, just like how guys always want to see stuff blowing up. It's easy, sloppy marketing, but I'm not really offended by Ben calling a movie that. If he were to start making really terrible sexist comments, I'd be the first one to complain.

 

For the record, I love classic weepy chick flicks, romantic comedies AND (intellegent) movies where stuff gets blown up (I absolutely love the final scenes in "The Dirty Dozen" and "Castle Keep" and the fantastic one in "Catch-22" where all the buildings get blown to smithereens. I also love gangster movies from the 30's. However, modern versions of these movies do nothing for me.

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> I think genre marketing (which is accepted by a lot

> of the audience) is a pretty cheesy way to look at

> films. I like *good* films, and whether it's a

> romantic comedy or a spaghetti western is secondary

> to the fact that it's good.

 

That has some validity, but I think most everyone likes some genres more than others as a rule. I don't see anything wrong with that way of thinking.

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"In some ways, I can understand how people get angry at Ben's use of "weepy chick flick", but the truth is, that's how some movies are marketed and "chick flick" is a pretty common term to describe, well, chick flicks. It's a standard movie stereotype, just like how guys always want to see stuff blowing up."

 

Of course we men like that stuff. That's why we like war and disaster movies.

 

Lol, I remember as a kid, they used to put a young lady in some of the cowboy movies, to attract girls to the Saturday matinees. There would be cowboys fighting, shooting, and chasing each other for 15 minutes, then the head cowboy would go and talk to the girl or sing to her. Us boys would start squirming because that stuff was boring when we were kids. Sometimes I would look around at the theater audiences and all the girls in the audience would be smiling and grinning during those segments, then the cowboys would get back to the fighting, shooting, and chasing each other and we boys would cheer with happiness. The girls would have to wait another 15 minutes for the girl in the movie to show up again.

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Robert Osborne is real. He knew/knows all the classic actresses and actors. He knows Hollywood. And he's a neat guy, very down-to-earth.

All Ben knows is his famous last name. But he comes across as thinking that he's hot stuff.

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Exactly, lydia221. Read aftermath's wonderful sarcasm on the smarmy little guy.

 

Fred, it's 2006 and 'chick flick' is not an acceptable term any longer.

 

If Ben, like Robert used to do, reads these boards, I hope he seeks employment elsewhere. Perhaps his very rich relatives can teach him humility and get him a job cleaning toilets with a toothbrush at one of their many establishments.

 

Ben, you went over the line with this one.

 

dolores

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Hi,

I hope that you've read the posts of younger viewers who aren't thrilled by TCM's attempts to be hip and happening.

Obviously, nothing stays the same forever, and I would expect some innovation. But I am tired of the media's obsession with the "18-35 males" mystique. My kids are in their 20s and they also find Ben pompous and annoying. (I don't know what they'll think of Rob Zombie, but my daughter, who is a big X-Files fan, told me that I'd better tape 'Plan 9 From Outer Space' or else {that's the movie that Fox Mulder watched forty-some times.} )

I'm so pleased to hear your promise about TCM not going the way of AMC & Bravo. When I watch tv, 99% of the time TCM is what I'm watching.

But I have to ask -- what do you guys have against Marion Davies? Many of her films are fabulous. Why not show them? Or put them out in a boxed set (and for The Patsy, you might want to include the old piano score; the new one was not, in my opinion at least, a success).

I'm lucky to have some of her films and to have seen others at NYC's Film Forum (which always sells out for her movies). It was wonderful to see the silent version of Marianne, and movies like The Red Mill, and even the costume dramas. Show them if you want to do something new. (Old is new?)

Thanks for listening and for reading out posts.

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> Fred, it's 2006 and 'chick flick' is not an

> acceptable term any longer.

 

Since when? That's pretty tame compared to a lot of things that are said these days. I know a lot of you will think me sexist for saying this, but a lot of films are "chick flicks" What else would you call that garbage Imitation Of Life? I know there are exceptions to every rule, but for the most part that's a film geared toward women. The soapy story and attention to glamor just isn't of interest to most men. I like that Ben call em like he sees em, as long as he doesn't go too far over the line.

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I prefer being referred to as a 'chick' than having a movie called a 3 hankie movie. I agree with the fellow who said they put women in a lot of westerns and war movies to get the female attendance. I love war movies, and I couldn't imagine how much women would have mucked up The Longest Day, or the Enemy Below. In a case like The Hunt for Red October, the wife and child were needed to illustrate Jacks inability to sleep on planes, whereas after killing the cook, he remembered to get the teddy bear for his little girl, showing his conscience was clear finally. Not all womens' movies bring tears, but Brad is right about his 'awful' Imitation of Life, we ladies like the clothes, makeup and sets, men don't, they want to see action, whether its shooting, running, or bedroom stuff, and at the same time, we are looking at the nightgown. However, I agree Ben is a litttle too off the cuff for me.

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Now, don't anyone get me wrong. I don't mind a good cry at a movie every once in a while. I'll cry like a baby when I see Now, Voyager every time. But the difference is Now, Voyager is well made, well acted, etc........ Lana's Imitation Of Life is horrible in every way imaginable.......... acting, dialouge, you name it. Bette Davis just elevates her movie into being better.

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I don?t see anything wrong with ?chick flick?.

 

In the old days, Hollywood identified some films as ?women?s movies? and others as ?men?s movies?. And in fact, in the old double-feature days, they?d try to mix them so they would have one woman?s movie playing with one man?s movie. Or, they would try to mix the stories in the individual films, such as in the film noir movies, or ?Grand Hotel,? ?Dinner at Eight,? ?Skyscraper Souls?, or the Western?s that had some important woman star in them, like ?High Noon?. Was that a ?woman?s movie? or a ?man?s movie? or just a ?movie?? I think it was probably more of a ?man?s movie? but it was also a ?movie.?

 

It was difficult to put women in WW II movies. That?s why the women were usually French or Italian in European war movies, like in ?Battleground.? In WW II movies about the war with the Japs, the woman usually were American nurses.

 

I saw a Sinatra war movie once, ?Never So Few,? with Gina Lollobrigida. It was so silly. It had 15 minutes of war, followed by 15 minutes of romance, followed by 15 minutes of war, followed by 15 minutes of romance, for more than 2 hours.

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Well, if Ben one day steps up there and calls High Noon a 'dick flick', then I'll stop complaining.

 

When 'chick' becomes a complimentary term for a girl or a woman or a lady, then I'll stop complaining.

 

Until then, I think Ben is a creep. Unless of course, he is too stupid to write his own material, then I have to admit his writer is a creep.

 

dolores

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I agree, pintorini. I think this must be a generational gap issue. I have never heard of anyone being offended by the word "chick." It is equivalent to the male term "dude" in modern American slang. It must have had a more negative connotation for previous generations.

 

As for the word "dick," it is negative for a male similar to "****" being negative for a female. I really do not understand the comparisons between "dick" and "chick" in this thread unless "chick" used to have some sort of negative connotation for older generations.

 

Maybe I am just showing my youth (28), but I really do not see any problem with calling a film a "chick flick" or a "dude flick." It is just another way of saying that the movie was made to be marketed towards women or men. Can someone please explain to me how this can be considered sexist?

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