Episode 47: Man Pain!

Rachel and Leeman saw X-Men and use it to springboard into a conversation about the concept of Manpain and Fridging and why it’s a problem.

Concepts Discussed and/or Spoiled

Guardians of the Galaxy (we actually hadn’t seen it by the time of recording so no spoilers!) Gravity, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Rest of the X-Men movie franchise, Inception Fart, Man Pain defined, Braveheart, Batman, Angel, Buffy, Princess Bride, Fridging, Game of Thrones, Vorkosigan Saga, Farscape, Doctor Who, Kill Bill, Lost and Van Helsing.

Our outro is Debs & Errol’s Let’s Vomit Exclusively

Geekually Yoked is a proud member of the Crossover Nexus

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2 Responses to Episode 47: Man Pain!

  1. Rachel Kolar says:

    It’s Numbered Kolar List (TM)! Because I have SO MANY THOUGHTS!

    1) Will Graham. Will Graham, Will Graham, Will Graham. (Spoilers for both seasons of Hannibal follow.) Abigail’s death is the most obvious example, and there’s Beverly’s, too, but I think the thing that actually makes the the angriest with Will Graham’s man pain is the Margot Verger storyline. Margot doesn’t just lose her child, she’s forcibly sterilized and continues to be basically enslaved in this horrible relationship to her sociopathic brother, in one of the most difficult to watch scenes of a show that features the flayed fricking angels. And yet it’s all about Will’s man pain, when the only thing in the child loss/sterilization/abusive relationship trifecta he had to go through was the first one. Bull. Heck, even Alana’s entire storyline in season 2 is basically there for Will’s man pain. She doesn’t get an arc; she gets to bang Hannibal just to cause Will some angst. (That said, I’m very impressed by how much Bella’s cancer is about Bella’s pain rather than Jack’s, especially since Bella is arguably a more minor character than any of the ones who got fridged for Will.)

    2) I lean toward the Donna stuff not being man pain because when I think about that story, my first reaction is “oh my goodness, poor Donna” rather than “oh my goodness, poor Doctor.” It’s a gray area, though.

    3) Buffy TOTALLY has woman pain. Katniss is also a poster child for woman pain, and sometimes it’s even because of the horrible things a man endures rather than because a cherubic tween is senselessly killed (Peeta’s whole kidnapped-and-tortured thing in Mockingjay was pure woman pain).

    4) I’ve been feeling a little defensive lately about how much I still enjoy Rob Roy despite its egregious use of rape as a plot device (thanks, Downton Abbey), and listening to this helped me realize why: even though the primary purpose of Mary’s rape is to cause Rob man pain, it’s still a critical part of her story. Before she’s raped, she basically fulfills the same role to Rob as a black best friend (she gives him support . . . with SASS!). After she’s raped, her quest for revenge gives her an actual arc. Also, I’m not sure if you’ve seen the movie, but there’s a guy who looks like chubby Elijah Wood who’s the only other person who knows she’s been raped, and his acting out man pain about being the Only Person Who Can Bear This Terrible Secret *sob* leads to pretty much every bad thing that happens in the entire movie after the rape scene.

    5) Talk of Hugh Jackman’s man pain made me realize another reason I love The Prestige so much–his man pain over his wife’s death really is just there as an excuse for him to be a horrible human being (“I don’t care about my wife, I care about the secret”) and the movie makes it clear that this is not OK.

  2. Cheryl says:

    As you were defining man pain, I was trying to decide if I believed in the premise. In the end, I see how it is a useful idea. It also applies more broadly than woman pain, but I feel like the latter is creeping into stories more as we get strpnger female characters. I do agree with the example you cited of Buffy and Willow/Tara as woman pain – those were the non-man examples I was thinking about during your introduction to the concept. I’m thinking of adding Veronica Mars as well. The whole rape-as-plot-device thing (third season, I believe) made me angry. They used it in a couple of ways, but one of them was definitely to give the main female character angst about not having saved her friend from assault.

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