Mar 13, 2015

Which Has More Beefcake: "Fringe" or "How I Met Your Mother"?

I was finding a lot of beefcake among the guest stars and "security guard #1" roles of Fringe, but I began wondering: was Fringe unique -- a casting agent with an eye for male beauty -- or was every tv series inundated with musclemen?    Maybe every guy who gets his SAG card nowadays knows his way around a gym.

To find out, I picked a tv sitcom at random -- How I Met Your Mother, which I've never seen.

I picked the sixth season at random, and looked through the cast list on imdb.  The plotlines seem even more heterosexist than on Fringe: every episode furthers a hetero-romantic relationship.

In case you're interested (and I don't know why you would be), the sitcom is about a middle-aged architect (Ted) explaining "how I met your mother" to his kids, in an endless series of very, very long conversations (couldn't he have just said "we met in the laundromat"?).  To enliven the boredom, he recounts his young-adult adventures in sex and romance with his girlfriend Robin, his best friend Marshall, Marshall's wife Lily, and hetero horndog Barney (played by gay actor Neil Patrick Harris).

1: "Big Days."  Barney talks to a girl in a bar, but she has ex boyfriends. Soap star James Ryen (left) appears as Coworker #3.

2: "Cleaning House."  Barney's brother James reconciles with his father.  Nothing.

3. "Unfinished."  Barney tries to woo Ted by womanizing?  Nothing.

4. "Subway Wars."  The guys race each other on a subway to meet Woody Allen.  Geoff Stults as Max.

5. "Architect of Destruction."  Ted refuses to design a new skyscraper that would require demolishing a historic landmark, in order to impress a woman named Zoey. Apparently Ted and Robin have broken up.  Geoff Stults again.

6. "Baby Talk": Barney uses a baby to pick up women.  Payson Lewis (left) as Morris. He's not really that buffed, but he has abs, and you take what you can get.

7. "Canning Randy": Marshall has to fire an incompetent employee.  Nothing.

8. "Natural History": Ted and Zoey fight during a visit to the Museum of Natural History.  Nothing.

9. "Glitter." Barney finds a video from Robin's teen star past.  Nothing.

10. "Blitzgiving."  A Thanksgiving episode. Nothing.

11. "The Mermaid Theory."  Ted goes on a boat trip with Zoey's ex-husband.  Nothing.

12. "False Positive." Lily thinks she's pregnant.  Nothing.

13. "Bad News."  Marshall's fertility doctor looks like Barney.  Nothing.

14. "Last Words." Marshall's father's funeral.  Nothing.

15. "Oh, Honey."  Ted is in love with Zoey.  Nothing.

16. "Desperation Day." Lily goes to Minnesota to get Marshall, who skipped town. Nothing

17. "Garbage Island." Marshall withholds sex from Lily.  Is Ted really telling this story to his preteen kids?  Dan O'Brien plays Meeker (top photo, but I think that might be another Dan O'Brien).

18. "A Change of Heart."  Barney tries to impress a woman by claiming to want to get married. Robbie Amell (left) as Scooby.

19. "Legendaddy."  Barney reconciles with his father. Michael Rupnow as Scott.

20. "The Exploding Meatball Sub."  Ted and Zooey's relationship problems.  Robbie Amell is back.

21. "Hopeless."  Robin meets a guy she has a crush on.  Michael Trucco (left) plays the crush.

22. "The Perfect Cocktail."  The gang is barred from their bar hangout.  Nothing.

23. "Landmark."  More about the building to be demolished.  Nothing.

24. "Challenge Accepted."  Ted and Zooey break up.  Nothing.

7 of 24 episodes (29%) had beefcake actors, but 15 of 22 episodes of Season 4 of Fringe (68%),

Over twice as much.  Fringe wins by a landslide.

Somebody in the casting department likes a nice hard chest.

See also: The 15 Beefcake Stars of Fringe.