Posted: 11/02/2009

 

Men of a Certain Age, Series Premiere On TNT

(2009)

by Laura Tucker




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It shows it works all around when the audience gets out of a project exactly what you want them to. While watching the new TNT series that will premiere next month, Men of a Certain Age, all I could think of was how real it was. It’s exactly how life is. Our lives aren’t perfect, but we get it done the only way we know how. Then reading Paul Fischer’s interview with Scott Bakula when he was promoting his role in The Informant, He talked about his role on Men of a Certain Age, saying the show is “a slice of life.” Getting a chance to watch the first three episodes oft he upcoming season, I understand exactly what he means.

Ray Romano writes, executive producers, and also stars in the show. As Bakula pointed out, on a cable channel like TNT, it’s different than Romano’s comedy Everybody Loves Raymond, as it can be “a little bit more raw, and a little bit more honest about his perspective on life, and life issues.” The show is about three guys that became friends in college and still hang out, mostly with their daily hike, even though they’re now in their late 40s. They go through all the slice of life stuff that we do at that age, addiction, divorce, health, job issues, and in general just not being where we’d expect to be at this point in our lives. Not that it’s that depressing, as it’s a dramedy, so we still have a healthy dose of Romano comedy.

Romano stars as Joe, a one-time aspiring golf pro, who now owns a party store. He has two kids and is separated from his wife, yet he’s not able to admit it’s over, so is living in an extended living type of hotel, just in case, not able to admit that it’s over and that he should look for a regular home of his own. He also has a gambling problem, and having money at his disposal by owning his own store and not having to answer to someone else since he’s separated isn’t helping the gambling at all.

Bakula stars as Terry, an actor with limited success. He’s been in a few low-grade movies, but of late has only starred in infomercials. The other guys are jealous of him, because it seems like he has the perfect life, dating much younger girls and not having to go into work at his temp job until noon. But it’s clear he doesn’t see his life as perfect and feels like he’s the one missing out not having a family.

Starring with Romano and Bakula is Andre Braugher as Owen. He’s a Chevy salesman at his father’s dealership. He and his wife have three young kids and are re-doing their home. He doesn’t feel feel respected by his dad and feels bad talking people into buying cars. He’s a conscientious car salesman who wonders if there’s something else out there for him. He’d like to quit his job and improve his health by eliminating certain stress, but his wife doesn’t think that’s a good idea because of the kids and house renovation, so he’s stuck doing something he doesn’t enjoy, knowing he’s not going to be appreciated either..

We knew Braugher had the acting skill to pull off any role, and Bakula holds his own as he always does. But what’s interesting is Romano not in a strictly comedic role. He’s a much better actor than I would have imagined. The three together have a surprising chemistry as well. Between that and the writing, it’s enough for a really unique series.

Men of a Certain Age premieres December 7 on TNT.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker is the webmaster of Reality Shack, and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, and is a freelance writer providing reviews of movies and television, among other things, at Viewpoints. 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 LauraBelle@realityshack.com



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