Brad from Boston Legal

The last few episodes of Boston Legal have had me chuckling to myself as I watch the blond-haired, blue-eyed super-hero Brad Chase bumble around in proof (IMHO, at least) that men who have been gifted by the patriarchy are in some part disadvantaged by the patriarchy in their ability to hold their own against Bad Stuff when Bad Stuff comes knocking on the door.

I’ve known plenty of people who’ve had crappy lives and gone through crappy times and come through it, willing to face anything else the world had to throw at them because they knew they could handle it. I admired them because their crappy lives had taught them lessons in crappiness and humility, compassion and hard work, and they’d learned well..

Which was more then can be said for Brad. A self -confessed “˜good-looking lawyer, ex-marine, the whole package’, he is oddly self-assured and pathologically self-conscious of sexuality. He dates a woman who openly talks about her vagina, enough that he gets scared. He confides in a female colleague, and can only refer to it as “˜her thing‘. I was chuckling at his inability to deal with her – and ultimately his – sexuality. Here was – by his own admittance – a highly desirable guy, a man who’s position in life should have assured him of all the self-assuredness the Patriarchy had to offer, but a man who scurries away at the word “˜vagina’.

In the next episode, he’s been dumped for being a “˜lousy kisser’. Turns out he “˜inserts and swishes around’ and hates to feel a woman’s tongue in his mouth, to the point of blocking it with his teeth.

To me, Brad is a man who loves sex, but is too controlling to be able to really let loose, to get to that point where they’re having too much fun to give a crap what the rest of the world is doing. And that, ultimately, is their loss. Not just in sex, but in life. If I’d thrown in the towel everytime I looked stupid, I’d have lived a poor life indeed – about as poor as Brad’s.

Untilmately, for all his materiel worth, Brad is a poor man, because he’s been raised to (subconsciously) believe to Patriarchy will provide him with everything. And when the Patriarchy fails him, he’s a turtle on his back, because, for all its promise of Whatever, the Patriarchy has denied him the right to Fight Like Hell To Survive.

And that’s why I feel sorry for such men. And I’ve come across plenty of such men. They have plenty of bravado, and no hustle. Untilmately, I feel pity for people who don’t have money and power that they’ve hustled for themselves.


  1. thisisendless says

    I have recently stumbled upon this website and I have just finished reading all your posts regarding Boston Legal. And I just have to say how happy I am to have found it.

    Boston Legal is one of my favorite shows, and I am the only person I know who likes it this much. I really appreciate your take and analysis, and you like all the same moments that I do! (I was also very struck by the “boys don’t have to smile” line from the girl with the disability, and the look on Alan’s face after she said it).

    I really like your perspective because you are helping me look at the characters more complex ways, which adds even more to a show I already love. For example with your analysis of Brad. I didn’t give him too much thought other than I felt kind of sorry for him for some reason. I was paying more attention to the Alan Shore and Shirley characters.

    I would discuss Jeffrey Coho but I don’t wish to provide any spoilers, as I see this post is prior to last week’s episode, on the chance you have not seen it yet.

    It is just great to see someone with the same enthusiasm that I have for it, and for similar reasons. I am looking forward to your future posts on the topic.

  2. scarlett says

    Glad to know you like my articles! My taste in shows and movies tends to be a bit obscure in this site’s context, so it’s always nice when someone comments on those articles! You make me want to go out and write more articles, except s3 hasn’t been that great so far for women’s stories.
    I can’t recall who Jeffrey CoHo is off the top of my head, but we’re up to the first ep of season three (when Daniel’s been busted trying to buy a lung), we’re a good half a season past the episodes I talk about in this article.

  3. thisisendless says

    Ah ok, I am glad I didn’t talk about anything yet if you are viewing via DVD. I can’t remember if Jeffrey is on the show yet. He is the dark haired guy with the sideburns anbd he is obnoxious.

    What is funny is that I also noticed that you wrote a lot of the articles regarding Battlestar Galactica, which is also one of my favorites. I love BG. And your articles pertaining to that show are great too. I just thought that was sort of funny in that we seem to have the same obscure taste. :)

    I look forward to reading more of your articles in the future.

  4. scarlett says

    No, I’m from Australia, and we get a lot of shows, especially shows with a cult following like BL and BsG, a fair bit later then the US. The first episode of s3 aired a few days ago, the one where Daniel is busted trying to find a lung.

    And please, feel free to comment on all my other BL and BsG articles too. (Me, feedback glutton? I’ve no idea what you’re talking about ;p)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *