Review: Men of a Certain Age - The New Guy
by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 28th 2009 11:40PM
(S01E04) As Men of a Certain Age progresses, it's becoming clear that things aren't as black and white as we might have thought they were. There are many more shades of gray among these three men, and I don't mean in the salt and pepper in their hair. For a while in this episode, it looked like nothing much was happening. There wasn't a lot of action. But like that whiskey sour that Owen probably shouldn't have drank, the impact hit later on. For more on that and which direction Terry took after the party, follow me after the jump.
Peter Pan syndrome. Finally someone said it out loud about Terry. Was his decision not to follow Brenda home after the auction a sign that he's growing up, that he was at the party for the kids like he claimed and not just to pick up a hot date for the night? No, I doubt it.
But even though Terry defended the new guy -- the interloper -- in Joe and Sonya's marriage to Owen, he recognized himself in him. In Terry's heart of hearts, he agreed with Owen and thought the guy was not blameless in the collapse of Joe's marriage. So, perhaps, Terry's choosing not to interlope on Brenda's engagement was more than a pang of conscience.
I respected Owen's reaction to hearing that Sonya had been cheating on Joe before they'd broken up. Remember, Owen was only aware of Joe's biased side of the story. He believed that Joe had been innocent and Sonya dumped him without a good reason. Owen was as stunned -- as we were -- when Joe admitted he had "cheated" too. Not sexually, but that was a mere technicality. Clearly, Joe and Sonya's marriage had been broken long before interlopers entered the picture.
Doesn't it seem like Joe's intent on destroying himself? He's a walking example of a man in a mid-life crisis, only as interpreted by Ray Romano, he's too neurotic to sleep around. Instead he's a prisoner of his own misery, watching game shows and vegging out in a motel room. What would he have done for diversion if his bookie hadn't invited him out for Chinese? Of course, the fact that he wound up quoting the bookie philosopher to Owen was disturbing.
You can imagine Terry and Owen staging an intervention for Joe pretty soon. He's teetering on the brink of a full-blown depression. Joe's go-alonger tendencies are going to get him in deep trouble, and if he can't pay off his gambling debts, he's going to get his head kicked in.
Other points of interest
-- Does Terry put up with his cable boss just to keep the job? I couldn't believe he actually found a roach for the guy.
-- Owen returning to his wife after visiting Joe was fitting... but wisely not played as overly sentimental.
-- Sonya checked out on her marriage to Joe long before he moved out. She had emotionally checked out, but that was after he had already done the same to her.
-- It sure looks like Terry's got a hankering to settle down if he could just find the right lady. He knows the clock is ticking on his ability to skate with good looks and rakish charm.
-- I didn't understand the act of protest by Joe and the bookie, i.e. spitting at the camera and throwing Cheetos at the lens. Woo-hoo, big deal.