No dog in this fight as I don't watch sitcoms, but wanted to mention the plot device that irritates me more than any other: the dead wife.

No, I don't mean a murder mystery or thriller where a woman is offed as a plot driver. I mean where the handsome young male lead is inevitably introduced as having recently mourned the death of his wife. Typically this happens in films with female leads or co-leads as a way to make the male single and available romantically but not, you know, because he's the type that no woman will have.

"Sleepless in Seattle," the version with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, may be the most obnoxious of the genre. The most recent, perhaps, is "The Interpreter" where Nicole's love interest just happens to be a recently widowed young Sean Penn.

The same thing occurs in TV drama, one I remember where Jimmy Smits' - also a young character - is a widower.

And often these are the very shows that are supposed to appeal to a female audience - Yecchh!

[–] KBash 1 points Edited

It’s also weird, because a guy who has been recently widowed is just as bad a catch as a guy who has been recently divorced, which is to say, he’s likely in extremes of pain, still in love with his former spouse, and refuses to get therapy.

Edited to add: and it goes without saying (yet here I am, editing this comment to say It anyway), using the new girlfriend as a quick fix to feel better about all that.

The article reviews Physical, Kevin Can F* Himself, and Wandavision and speaks to the minor roles women have played in sitcoms as versions of what it means to be female. I haven't seen any of these shows but hope to after reading this article.