NOT JUST A CHICK THING. David Brooks usually has a deft eye for the sociological, but, to add to what Dana and Ezra have noted, he's several years late in mulling over the anxieties that attend single gals' two-decade-long search for love. The hot topic is no longer the lady lonleyhearts -- Bridget Jones and chick lit are over -- but loserish single men who have played way past their prime. To wit: This summer's blockbuster comedy hit Knocked Up, about an on-top-of-her-game single gal and the dufus who impregnates her, and the coming genre-solidifying show on VH1, Scott Baio is 45...and Single:

Over the past 25 years, Scott Baio has lived a life that all red-blooded American males' would sell their big screen TV, car and soul for, boasting a jaw-dropping roster of erotic ex's that would even make Warren Beatty blush. This extensive line-up of Hollywood honeys include: Heather Locklear, Pam Anderson, Denise Richards and Nicolette Sheridan.

But now, staring down the barrel of middle age, Scott has come to the end of his philandering rope. At 45, he finds himself at a mid-life crisis of mythic proportions, wondering why he's still single, alone and still unable to settle down and commit to a substantial, meaningful relationship.

With nowhere else to turn, Scott has decided to fully surrender the next eight weeks of his life to a highly-regarded life-coach. This person will guide him on a grueling, soul-searching mission; forcing him to confront a laundry list of old flames in order to hopefully get to the heart of his lonely heart condition.

Each episode, he will have to confront another chapter from his semi-sordid past, by actually reconnecting with some of his most substantial and combustible flames in order to get the bottom of his bad-boy behavior.

With the help of his long-time pals, Scott will be able to successfully sift through the wreckage of his past, and endure an assortment of life-altering activities, (including abstinence), in order to finally earn the chance at actually maintaining a meaningful, stable, healthy relationship.

I saw the promo for this recently and I have to say, it sounds like a winner of a show (you know, in that humiliating, sickening, vindictively produced reality TV kind of way). Everyone is sick to death of hearing about single women -- single women most of all -- and even the networks realize it's time to move on and talk about the issues of single men for a while. After all, the ladies ain't doing all of this staying single by themselves.

P.S. I'd also be curious to hear what Brooks thinks of country singer Gretchen Wilson's spring-summer hit "One of the Boys," which is both an admission of being exactly the sort of hard-bitten female character Brooks sketches and a revelation that this is really all just a pose that masks the singer's real feelings and desires. Wilson's refrain:

And I know I don't act much like a lady / But I still need to be somebody's baby
Yeah you might find me makin' too much noise, /But I'm more than just one of the boys / Yeah I'm more than just one of the boys

--Garance Franke-Ruta

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