Dick Vitale shares being diagnosed with a second form of cancer just months after beating the disease.
Are Jewish men attractive? TV doesn’t seem to think so. Sure, Ross Geller certainly had his moment in the sun, as did Paul Buchman before him. (And any Jewess would be out of her mind to refuse to “hug it out” with Jeremy Piven.) But today’s television shows seem to be making some rather harsh statements about my Hebrew homeboys.
For an example, try on this article in the NY Times reporting a slam on Jewish men in Ted Danson’s new show, “Help Me Help You,” which premiered this week. The article reports that one of the characters, played by Suzy Nakamura, “goes to the Jewish matchmaking Web site JDate to meet men, then promptly repels them. Asked if she is even at all Jewish by one man on their first date, she admits she is not and explains, ‘I guess I find Jewish guys a lot less threatening because I’m not attracted to them.'”
A recent episode of “Next” (the latest addition in the MTV dating show legacy established by “Dismissed” and “Room Raiders”) featured one guy proclaiming his tribal membership by wearing an “Everyone Loves a Jewish Boy” t-shirt. He gave his date cookies, told her it was his grandmother’s recipe, and then was promptly dissed and dismissed rather harshly: “I’m not into David Schwimmer meets Napoleon Dynamite…” Adding insult to injury, the show’s voiceover said, “For [guy’s name] it wasn’t hava nagila, but hasta la vista…”
As the author of “Boy Vey! The Shiksa’s Guide to Dating Jewish Men,” Kristina Grish has spent a good deal of time singing the praises of Jewish men, and she tells me that she thinks it may be a lack of classical machismo that ails the male members of the tribe. “I’ve always found Jewish men to be warm, articulate, generous, and doting,” she says, musing that “perhaps these are the qualities [Nakamura’s character in ‘Help Me Help You’] considers to be ‘nonthreatening’ because they can be considered ‘soft.’ But I also think they’re smart, entrepeneurial, passionate, and funny as hell… none of which screams ‘wuss.'”
Take Ross Geller from “Friends” as an example, Grish says: “He tiptoed around his feelings for Rachel season after season, and that lack of chutzpah made him unattractive. Give his personality some oomph, and suddenly those doe-eyes would seem dreamy instead of drippy.” She cites other examples–Piven, Jon Stewart, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Younger–“all Jews, all hot.” I’ll add Zach Braff, because I have to, and Oded Fehr, because how could you not?
Grish further noted that the women who responded to her book–whether or not they were Jewish–“couldn’t STOP praising Jewish men – and there was no mention of nerdy or unattractive implications. So many Jewish men boast Mediterranean good looks–complete with big eyes, curly hair, dark features and endearing freckles. What’s not to love?”
Despite what TV seems to tell us, and even if the stereotype seems to be indicating nerdlike or neurotic tendencies, Jewish boys are still coming out ahead–with an overall assumption that they are smart, funny, and nice. And Grish, whose new book is “Addickted: 12 Steps to Kicking Your Bad Boy Habit,” oughta know a nice boy from a naughty one.