‘Hello Ladies’ and Hollywood’s Obsession With Loser Dudes

Sad singledom—it’s not just for women anymore. We break down this burgeoning genre’s stereotypes.

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In the new HBO series Hello Ladies, premiering this Sunday, actor Stephen Merchant (co-creator of the O.G. Office series) plays an English web-designer putz looking for love in Los Angeles. Sound familiar? That’s because the trope of Straight Men Who Suck at Dating in television and film has become a whole genre unto itself—rivaling the cliché of the tragic single lady. As a shout-out to this newfangled gender equality, we break down the five types of modern-male losers who most frequently inhabit pop culture.

The Stoner Fratboy

Where You’ve Seen Him Adam DeVine on Workaholics, Seth Rogen in Knocked Up, Kal Penn in the Harold & Kumar movies

What’s His Deal? It’s unsettling enough that he’s outwardly horny, but he also possesses the obnoxious communication skills of a hapless truck-stop hustler.

Watch Him in Action


The Regular Working Guy

Where You’ve Seen Him Josh Radnor on How I Met Your Mother, Kevin James in Hitch, Jesse Eisenberg in Adventureland

What’s His Deal? The good news: His awesome fantasy woman is within reach! The bad: He’s way too intense about her.

Watch Him in Action


The Depressive/Neurotic Dude

Where You’ve Seen Him Louis CK on Louie, Paul Dano in Ruby Sparks, Jake Johnson on New Girl

What’s His Deal? He frequently gets shut down while wooing the object of his affection—and then holds on to that pain for two lifetimes.

Watch Him in Action


The Weird Hipster

Where You’ve Seen Him Adam Driver on Girls, Michael Cera on Arrested Development, Luke Wilson in The Royal Tenenbaums

What’s His Deal? His breathlessly cultivated eccentricity (or is it an affectation?) is amusing. But by drinking his own Kool-Aid, he becomes fussy and socially cuckoo.

Watch Him in Action


The Nerdy Manchild

Where You’ve Seen Him Steve Carell in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Simon Pegg in Shawn of the Dead, Jason Segel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall

What’s His Deal? A wunderkind of ineptitude, he’s so obsessed with totems of his adolescence or interests that he’s become his own cock-blocker.

Watch Him in Action

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