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Earlier this week on TNT premiered a new show called Men of a Certain Age which I watched right after The Closer. This show which is co-created by Ray Romano is about three men in their mid to late forties who have been friends since they were kids (as is shown by the title sequence). While I expected the show to be very funny, I was surprised by how down to earth and downright “real” the show is.
Each character in the show has a particular rut or issue that they are dealing with in their lives, and this makes each character very human and relatable to most audience members. Ray Romano plays Joe who is a party store owner recently separated from his wife and is still living out of a hotel room. He wants to reconnect with his wife, but we learn in the first episode his gambling addiction has something to do with the separation though more isn’t revealed just yet.
Scott Bakula plays Terry who is an aspiring actor who has had only a few minor successes with TV roles and Television commercials. He is picky about what roles he wants to take and as a result hasn’t had much work in recent times. He is also the only one of the three men who is single and a bit of a player with the ladies as compared to the other two who are married. We do however see his frailty as he struggles to become a successful actor and even taking tips from a coffee shop waitress/writer.
Finally Andre Braugher who also played Dr. House’s Psychiatric Therapist on House does a fantastic job as a man on the verge of turning fifty with three kids (one a baby and the other two a little older). He works at his fathers car dealership and just expects to take over when his father retires, but in the first episode realizes his father is unhappy and disappointed with him which leads him to nearly break in emotional despair.
All three characters have frailty and the often discuss life issues and the events going on around them, it is something unlike most other shows on television and there is no escapism happy drama of unreality here, but instead three friends who sometimes can barely stand each other trying to make their way in life and find happiness in the situations they are living in.
There are some comical moments scattered about and the humor can range from light hearted and funny, to a sad and dark humor depending on the situation.
No doubt about it Men of a Certain Age is something different on television and as a male in my early thirties I can already relate in some ways to some of these characters in my own life. The only complaint I may have about this show is that it is almost like watching somebody’s real life in all its unpleasant and sad existence and most of the times I watch TV for fun escapism from the real world. This however is a minor complaint and the show is definitely worth checking out if you are looking for something refreshingly different.
One other note, in the pilot episode that aired on TNT, the network actually broadcast SH!T five times in the pilot episode, I actually was surprised that the network broadcasts don’t censor language, I thought they were bound by the same FCC rules as the local stations but apparently not.