The Men Behind Men at Work Want You to Tune InTBS has been rerunning episodes of Sex and the City for years, and now with their new buddy sitcom Men at Work, they may finally have a male counterpart! Executive produced by Turner’s own Breckin Meyer, Men at Work stars Danny Masterson, James Lesure, Michael Cassidy, and Adam Busch as four friends who work together at a magazine—and mess with each other about their failed personal lives. Are you a Milo, Gibbs, Tyler, or Neal? By Danielle Turchiano
“Milo is Captain Sensitive,” Masterson shared. “He gets his heart broken in the opening scene [of the pilot], and the guys spend a little time trying to get him back on his feet…. He’s not the whipping boy, but it’s sort of a running joke of guys asking how he’s doing or what’s going on or how he feels, and every time he tries to get out how he feels, they ignore him. He’s had this girl for years and years and expected to marry her, but he breaks up with her and literally an hour later, they’re all ‘Thank God; let’s get you back out there!’”
Masterson is humble enough to claim he’s “not particularly funny,” though he has made quite a nice living working on sitcoms. But though he may play the quiet straight man at times in Men at Work, that personality is comfortably balanced by the loudmouthed dudes around him.
While Masterson considered his role the opposite of him, Adam Busch admitted that at least 25 percent of him is 100 percent of his character Neal. Explaining, he said: “I think we both can overthink things sometimes; I think we both can lose perspective when it comes to ourselves… and what I like best about Neal is that he’s friends with these guys. The biggest compliment you can give each one of these guys is to look at who they’re friends with.”
Michael Cassidy, who plays the “says it like it is” Tyler, agreed with Busch’s sentiment, noting that the friendship dynamic adds multiple layers to the guys—and the show.
“A lot of our jokes are tete-a-tete,” he smiled. “Me and James have this vibe where we’re either one-upping each other or I’m sort of busting him for misbehaving.”
James Lesure plays the charming ladies’ man Gibbs, the main influence for Milo attempting to date new girls—though his good intentions to help his friend will prove futile until his friend is really ready to move on.
“I see Gibbs as more of a free spirit. He’s single, obviously, but he’s kind of ‘in the moment.’ It’s different than being driven by ‘Oh, I have to score tonight!’ When he’s working, he’s working; and when he’s with his boys, he’s with his boys; and when he connects with a young lady, he’s open to enjoying that as well,” Lesure thoughtfully analyzed his new role.
Since Men at Work is a traditional half-hour sitcom, the story line is driven heavily by what the guys are going through in any given episode. It is the way they relate to each other, though, that offers insight into their characters and allows the audience, in turn, to relate to them.
“This show doesn’t waste a lot of time setting up why they’re friends. It just hits the ground running,” Busch previewed. “These four guys all make one kind of perfect person, but individually they all have their super-big issues.”
Men at Work premieres May 24, 2012, only on TBS.
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