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April 16, 2014

Review: Men of a Certain Age - Let It Go

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 15th 2009 7:10AM
TNT_men_of_a_certain_age_Ray_Romano(S01E02) There's a possibility that Men of a Certain Age could become grumpy old men of a certain age. But I don't think that's going to happen because there's still enough irony and levity to keep the show from wallowing into a miserable experience. These guys aren't grumpy all the time and when they are, it feels justified. It's hard not to share their feelings. These are every American men in a lot of ways, well-off, spoiled to an extent, wondering what's going on in the world that's suddenly not as young as it used to be.

This was an episode about injustice and fairness, and it's not surprising that our men feel like they've been subjected to too many slights, too many instances when they've been dumped upon, and too many things that have them pissed off. Read on for more about how our three mess-keteers handled the weekly travails.

Terry and Owen's injustices were legit. Who hasn't felt like Terry when someone does something rude in a social situation and leaves you fuming. He was entitled to be fuming when Mr. SUV wouldn't even acknowledge that he'd nearly hit him with the car.

But what made the situation atypical was that when Terry actually confronted the man at his home, he had no idea what kind of justice he wanted. Was he waiting for an apology? Did he want to smack the guy in front of his baby and wife? Repeating the incident with the steroid dope allowed for some semblance of vengeance from Terry. I still don't think he was happy about it, though, do you?

Owen, on the other hand, fought the battle on two fronts -- at work and at home. His father squeezed him about the loaner car and his wife squeezed him with her reaction. Owen was where he always seems to be -- stuck in the middle. And he hates that. His father is a life-long adversary and Owen knows he must be played. It might have been interesting to see how Owen countered his father's demotion if Melissa hadn't blasted her father-in-law at the workplace to set up Owen's valid argument about a merit system versus a shit-on-your-son system.

I'm worried about Joe. Romano's casting is especially good here because you don't expect him to be seething with resentment and pain. Just the idea that he's a lifer at the resident motel, for instance, made him blanch. He can't see what a wreck he's made of his life. Of course, destroying the Incredible Hulk blow up balloon is proof that Joe is one very unhappy person. He found the courage to ask his soon-to-be-ex if they were free to date, then loathed the answer. It was the trigger for the self-destructive behavior that got him separated in the first place, but even Owen and Terry's pointing that out did no good. Joe's journey could become a very ugly downward spiral no matter how many bets he wins.

There's not a lot of action in Men of a Certain Age, and I kind of like that. It's more about the daily life, the ordinary life, the lives we're living ourselves. This is good TV.

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Cathy S

Best New show in a long time. I'm an over 50 woman and I'm loving it. Not the same old schmaltz. New schmaltz.

December 16 2009 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Black

I really laughed out load during this episode. The young guy that Terry works with is just hilarious. Owen's Wife calling her father in Law a dickhole gave me tears. Can't wait to see how Joe is going to get with his fantasy woman and trying to get his gambling problem under control

December 16 2009 at 4:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

I was very impressed with this episode; so far this series is doing a very good job of mixing the drama and the comedy; I found myself laughing a lot at times and in deep thought at others.

You're right, this is good TV!

December 15 2009 at 2:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LRM

Yup. Really enjoying the series so far. Lots of laugh out loud moments and some genuine soul-searching too.

December 15 2009 at 9:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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