Man Up

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

0
Aired Tuesday 8:30 PM Oct 18, 2011 on ABC

Episode Recap

At 22:00 hours in Gahanna, gunfire erupts. Two-way radio chatter about inbound bogeys competes to be heard over RPG rocket explosions. These are the sounds of men.

Or not: Gahanna's in Ohio, and this is a video game. But it's clearly serious business for Will Keen, Kenny Hayden and Craig Griffith. Will's concerned with finding the perfect gift for his son Nathan's 13th birthday…something that signals his entrance to manhood. The ever-sensitive Craig suggests a journal, while the not-so-sensitive Kenny pushes for hookers. Such is the confusing plight of the modern man. Even Theresa one-ups him by getting Nathan an inappropriate video game. "This video game is violent and scary. It says right here on the box, ages 17 and over. This would have been a great thing for me to get him," Will says.

The party becomes difficult for Kenny too, as Will breaks the news that Kenny's ex-wife, Brenda, will be in attendance. Kenny appeals to his sister Theresa -- Will's wife -- to ban Brenda from the party. Theresa refuses, and Brenda twists the knife by adding that she's bringing a date.

Craig's got problems as well. Lisa, his old college flame, recently got in touch to let him know she's getting married. Despite everyone's statements to the contrary, Craig interprets this as a cry for help, and begins pelting her with phone messages (unrequited, of course).

Brenda's date, Grant, causes a stir at the party. Tall, handsome and thoughtful, Grant seems to be Man 2.0. "There's no need for this to be awkward for us," Grant tells Kenny. "I want you to know that I respect you." To which Kenny responds with a charming "Whatever." After Grant's done embarrassing Kenny on the basketball court, he proves to be a challenge for Will too: He gives Nathan a shaving kit, which is exactly the perfect gift that Will finally decided on for his son.

So the boys head for the mall so Will can switch up his gift. But Craig drives them to a church -- specifically, the church where Lisa is getting married, so he can find closure. "You need to closure vagina," Kenny tells him. Then Craig child-locks Will and Kenny in the car and runs in with his guitar to serenade the bride-to-be. It's as bad as it sounds.

The boys flee back to the party followed by an angry mob of groomsmen. Holing up in the house as the groom calls for Craig's head, Will leads the boys to man up and handle this problem themselves, even if it means a brawl on the lawn. It never comes to that -- not for Will, Kenny and Craig, at least -- because Grant takes out half the groomsmen in a crazed battle charge.

After the party, the men are content with their effort. Nathan tells Will he kissed Samantha at the party, and that's he's excited to play the scary, violent video game he got for his birthday. As Will moves to open the video game packaging with his trusty pocketknife he got from his dad as a kid, Will realizes he had the perfect gift all along, and gives the knife to Nathan -- who immediately hurts himself with it.

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