ch: i'm going to man up all over myself


I’ve been thinking about Mac’s story in Mac fights gay marriage, in particular his and Dennis’ scene, that I’ve screencapped above (with the lack of quality that I like to think I’m known for).

When I first watch the episode I thought two things:

1. That it was harsh but in character for Dennis who regularly goes though the process of believing he can improve his life by exchanging Mac for someone else.

2.  That it was a natural comeuppance for Mac’s behaviour during the episode.

But on re-watching I’ve come to the conclusion that it directly related the ep’s main theme- gay marriage.

The scene above has always bothered me.  Are we really meant to believe that Mac has no stuff?  I mean, yes he has a bare room, but there’s the odd thing in it.  And more to the point are we really meant to believe that Mac’s clothes used to be Dennis’s?  I mean, Dennis has the dullest taste in clothes and Mac’s has a lot of personality.  Even with the sleeves on them I struggle to believe Dennis would ever pick out most of Mac’s clothing.

So why isn’t the scene just Dennis kicking Mac out?  I mean it would be enough if that’s all he did for the joke to land and to set up the next episode.  But instead they have Dennis quite literally take the shirt from Mac’s back.  Why push the scene this far (other than the fact that it’s IASIP)?  Because it’s actually about marriage, or more to the point… it’s about divorce.

Mac spends his day arguing against gay marriage, he comes home to find the man who is essentially his life partner married to a woman and turfing him out. 

Not only turfing him out but telling him he has no claim to any part of the life they’ve been sharing.  I mean, of course it’s Mac’s apartment too.  Of course he has things, I bet they’ve often bought things for the apartment together or there are picture of his parents or… the duster.

But Dennis is basically telling him he has no rights here- no rights at all to the life they’d built together. 

How might Mac have had some rights in this situation?  Well, if he and Dennis had been married.  Marriage and divorce would of protected him.

Cause ultimately the person in this episode who would benefit the most from gay marriage is… Mac.

I love how Charlie seems to have grown up in a very clean, ordered house, but now chooses to live in chaos and filth, while Mac’s childhood home seems disordered and grubby and now seems to be houseproud.

Charlie grew up with a mother with a set of bizarre rules for him to have to conform to and now asserts control over his life by disobeying all of them, while Mac probably similarly felt his life as a child spinning out of control so tried to assert some through taking care of different things (which he probably picked up here and there- possibly from Mrs. Kelly- which is why they seem rather mixed up and sometimes weird, like he’s only half heard something).

Basically, they have a friendship based on them being in similar boats- two boys living below the poverty line, with parents who are neglectful one way or another- but the ways they cope aren’t 100% compatible (which I guess is where Dennis and Frank come in).