Men of a Certain Age premiered on TNT in 2009. The show chronicles the lives of three men over 40 who have been friends since college and are now at different stages in their lives.
Joe (Ray Romano) is recently divorced; juggling his time between his kids, owning and running his party store, and trying to re-enter the dating scene after 20-plus years. Owen (Andre Braugher) is happily married, but works as a car salesmen for his father (Richard Gant). Owen doesn’t get along very well with Owen Sr., exacerbated because Dad defers to Marcus (Brian J. White) on many decisions because he’s a stronger salesman than Marcus. Owen Sr. is considering asking Marcus to run the business when he steps down instead of having Owen take over.
Then there’s Terry (Scott Bakula), a semi-successful actor recently making ends meet by doing temp jobs in between acting gigs that have been growing longer. Terry has always had a way with the ladies and has had many relationships; his current girlfriend Annie (Carla Gallo) is 20 years his junior.
The series has covered the neurotic Joe dealing with the dating scene, and how inept he is after being married for so long; his relationships with his children (now that he is divorced and doesn’t see them every day), and his ex-wife, and his growing gambling addiction. Owen’s stories include dealing with his less than perfect health, his inferiority complex when it comes to his dad, and his efforts to step out of Owen Sr.’s shadow while trying to provide for his family. Terry’s storyline addresses his angst about his waning acting career, and that temp work is the only steady gig these days. It also explores his preference for dating girls, rather than women his own age.
The best scenes are when the trio are together for a story, or at the diner giving their input on a situation, and constant topics are Terry’s inability to grow up, Joe’s numerous neuroses and Owen’s fear of stepping up to his dad. When the guys get together they support each other, but there’s also a good amount of ball-busting as men do when expressing their feelings.
Now when I heard about the series, I was initially watching for Scott Bakula, as I’m a huge Bakula fan ever since Quantum Leap. Bakula is a talented actor and I’ve always enjoyed anything he’s been in; I’d seen Braugher here and there, but never watched Homicide, and while seeing snippets of Everybody Loves Raymond over the years I was only familiar with his role in the Ice Age. I liked the series from the get-go, but as it’s progressed I’ve really enjoyed all three leads and their individual storylines, as well as when the storylines intersect or the trio advise each other. The 10-episode season quickly flew by, but the series has been renewed for a second season, this time for 12 episodes.
The extras for Men of a Certain Age include a commentary for the pilot episode with Ray Romano, Andre Braugher, Scott Bakula, and series co-creator Mike Royce. The quartet discusses what it was like shooting the pilot as well as talking about season one in general. There’s a behind-the-scenes featurette, which is your typical making of piece with cast and crew interviews giving their thoughts on the show. Also included is a gag reel featuring flubs and screw-ups; as well as a handful of deleted scenes that were either cut for time or because it didn’t add to the plot, but it’s nice to have the option of watching them.
Men of A Certain Age is the type of quality drama that you’ve come to expect from TNT; the first season quickly found its voice and hopefully when the series returns for its second season at the end of month it will continue to tell quality stories.