I have never had much patience for masculinity. Or at least, not the restrictive and gendered version of masculinity – all machismo, beer and hot wings, and the eschewal of any emotion or sincerity. I have been quoted saying that Captain Von Trapp from “The Sound of Music” is the only “manly man” I have ever loved. And even he had his moments of vulnerability — if “Edelweiss” didn’t make you go weak at the knees then you’re a lying robot.

Masculinity in pop culture takes on many forms. Sometimes it’s the central code of what we watch — wrestling, Bud Light commercials and “Two and a Half Men” all thrive on the idea of masculinity, that biological/sociological creed that makes dudes dudes. But pop culture can also criticize masculinity. Sometimes it’s by showing counterpoints, like J.D. and Turk’s nine-season long “bromance” on “Scrubs,” which was sincerely intimate and nuanced. Sometimes masculinity — meaning, the negative stereotype of macho dude-ness — can be criticized by showing it at its worst, most manfully harmful. This is the case with Netflix’s “Bloodline.”

A Netflix original from Todd and Glenn Kessler, the masterminds behind the oft-overlooked but excellent “Damages,” “Bloodline” is a dark, studied tale of family and revenge, loyalty and lies. The Rayburns are a storied Southern family, owners of an inn on an island at the tip of the Florida Keys. Led by ukulele-playing patriarch Robert (Sam Shepard, “August”), it’s clear from episode one, scene one that the Rayburns are not the upstanding Floridians they make themselves out to be.

Responsible, dependable, good guy second brother John is the narrator and supposed protagonist, and he is played with strong-jawed consistency by Kyle Chandler. Through him we learn of his fuck-up older brother Danny’s return to the island — a return that is anything but prodigal. Season one examines the impact mysterious Danny’s return has on the lives of the entire family, slowly twisting its way through the tangled lies and knee-deep resentment lying below the Rayburns’ chilled-out surface.

Unlike “Damages,” which was fueled by its two strong female characters, both brilliant and calculating and unapologetic, “Bloodline” is all about the men. Distant and formidable Robert, family man and island hero John, their volatile and boorish youngest brother Kevin, and Danny — sly, wounded and threatening.

Masculinity is the lynchpin of “Bloodline.” The brothers idolize and fear their father, whose violent tendencies are reflected in all three of them. Danny is rejected by the rest of the family because he failed in the most masculine of tests — protecting their sister when it mattered most. Conflicts, both real and imagined, are addressed with fists and baseball bats and “fuck you”s. And when they aren’t fighting they are swearing, fishing, drinking or fucking. These are men, and the overt masculinity would be offensive — an affront to the lack of similar complexity afforded the female characters — if they all weren’t so obviously messed up.

By the end of the intense season it’s clear that none of these characters are redeemable, their constant violence and bullishness inextricably tied to their relationship with their father, to their own sense of self, to their manhood. We aren’t supposed to respect them and their blustering strength — this masculinity is the hamartia of them all. In fact, the only likable male character, Meg Rayburn’s cop fiancé Marco, is doomed because of his very sensitivity — he is willing to be vulnerable in ways the Rayburns just can’t handle.

“Bloodline” is as bloody and clannish as its name suggests. There is a point in episode 13, when things have begun to unravel, that John needs to counsel his younger brother. He tells Kevin to “be a man.” The irony is that it’s their “manliness” that has gotten them into trouble — their hotheadedness, inability to compromise, fierce loyalty to a troubled father and dangerous competition as brothers. This is a show about men, about a lineage of men supposedly bigger and better than the world around them. But the Rayburn men are not placed on thrones, and their violent actions are not gratuitous — the Kesslers progressively show that their downfall is rooted in this anarchic, archaic role of masculinity. The truth is, if they all were a little more like Marco, the “Bloodline” Keys would be a much more tranquil place.

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