Posted: 01/25/2010


“Father’s Fraternity” – Men of a Certain Age, Jan. 25


by Laura Tucker

Film Monthly Home
Wayne Case
Steve Anderson
The Rant
Short Takes (Archived)
Small Screen Monthly
Behind the Scenes
New on DVD
The Indies
Film Noir
Coming Soon
Now Playing
Books on Film
What's Hot at the Movies This Week
Interviews TV

The best thing I can say about Men of a Certain Age is that what separates it from other shows, is that it can be incredibly funny one moment, and be very warm the next. By warm I don’t mean sickeningly sweet, but warm. It all adds to creating the environment that it’s all very real, as that’s how real life is.

As the name implies, this episode is about fathers, being one, having one, and wanting to be one. Joe takes his kids to visit his father and has to warn them no phones and no screens, as they regretfully put away all their electronics, knowing they’ll be bored sitting at Grandpa’s house. That’s realistically a conversation I have all the time with my kids, turning off the phones and putting the games and iPods away. Joe ends up finding out his dad is even more bored and wants to find him something to do with his day and make him feel useful again.

Owen’s dad of course isn’t bored yet, as he’s still running the car dealership, but he makes a commercial with Marcus talking about being a family with his arm around him that doesn’t sit really well with Owen’s mom or his wife.  As for Terry, he still seems to be wistful about what he’s missing out on in life, and decides to be a Big Brother, meaning the youth-mentoring program, not the CBS reality show. When he’s rejected, he takes it really hard and becomes obsessed with finding out why.

While TNT handles all three of these situations humorously, they’re also handled warmly. I wouldn’t say tenderly, as theses are three rough and tough guys, so that’s not their style, but they do handle them warmly. There is no doubt through any of it how much these guys care for their fathers, and for Terry how much he just wants to have that thing in life that he feels he’s missing. It’s not all wrapped up in a pretty package for these guys, as that’s not how life is, yet they handle it the only way they know how.

Laura Tucker is the webmaster of Reality Shack and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, provides reviews at Viewpoints, and provides entertainment news pieces at Gather. She is also an Associate Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at

Got a problem? E-mail us at