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Review: Men of a Certain Age - Powerless

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 5th 2010 9:27AM
men_of_a_certain_age_owen_home
(S01E05)
As the title of this episode suggests, the guys were all feeling a big powerless and it looked for a time that it was a position overwhelming to each of them. What was reassuring, then, was to realize that with age comes experience and wisdom and a way to figure out how to deal with just these kinds of issues. Each of our men of a certain age were powerless in some way for a time, but not by the end of the hour. That's one for the old guys, if you're keeping score.

You couldn't ignore the Rocky analogy in the episode. From Joe talking about filling gaps to Owen's victory dance, even Terry's inarticulate appeal to Annie, these were all references to Sylvester Stallone's first Rocky. Thank goodness they didn't dwell into the sequels.

Joe's relationship with Sonya was back under the microscope because of her concern about Lucy, their daughter. It doesn't take more than a crack in opening the door for Joe to get back into family mode. He only wants a sliver of "yes" and he gets it when Sonya agrees about the cell phone. As parents they could be unified in wanting to protect their child.

Joe was imagining a Fatal Attraction situation with Travis going after Lucy. After assuring Sonya that it would be all right, Joe took action. This was a Joe we hadn't really seen before; not even when he helped Albert with the bus. In this instance, Joe confronted Travis and instead of a Clint Eastwood moment, it remained a Ray Romano schlemiel moment. Joe recognized how he was a lot like the teenager. He still protected Lucy, but he showed humanity for Travis.

Owen's power issue was real. The friggin' contractor took off and left the house undone and without electricity. The family living in his father and mother's home was beyond impossible for Owen. After nearly getting arrested for taking Terry's advice about getting the power back on -- and wasn't that the blind leading the blind -- Owen took charge. Melissa urged him to fight city hall again.

Owen's figuring out how to "sell" the government clerk was the best scene in the show and a really great Andre Braugher scene. I don't know if the story about the record store was real or not -- probably was -- but it was the key to getting to the man. It might have been more realistic that even after hearing Owen pour out his heart, the county worker still was powerless to help him. But that would have meant no Rocky dance and we wanted that dance.

Does is seem like Terry has his head up his ass to you? I loved Owen calling him on his chasing tail, chasing time lifestyle. "Who are you?" isn't a question that Terry wanted to ask and ultimately chose not to deal with. He got back his Circadian rhythm by being true to himself and letting his charm do the work. He wins Annie back with very little effort when you think about it. It would have served him right if she dumped him.

Other points of interest
-- What is the best scene in Rocky? Is it "we fill gaps"? "Cut me, Mick?" The dance? My favorite: "Adrian!"

-- Travis had no idea what Rocky is. And the teens at the store hated the music. God... I feel old.

-- Terry knows how to reconnect an electrical box. Owen was astonished that Terry could do that. So was I!

-- Joe to Travis: "You're going to do the right thing or I'm going to kick your ass. That's what you're going to say."

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11 Comments

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Leslie

Three great actors especially Andre Braughe and Scott Bakula. As a woman, it's refreshing to see the vulnerable side of men.

January 08 2010 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
doug

@ cathy-- Given that this show is heavily based in the reality of day to day American life, Owen embodies the soul of America's men and to some extent its women. If you have been living in America for the last 20 years, you'd know that most people, not just Owen, have been or currently still, living beyond their means. You would know that people with college degrees are having big problems getting jobs. You would know that people arent switiching jobs these days as a DIRECT RESULT of the economy and uncertainty that there is actually that "other job" out there. More often then not, people who hate their bosses stick it out because being unhappy and financially stable is a whole lot better than personal happiness and being broke. Just my IMHO. Cue the angry rants!!!

January 08 2010 at 4:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cathy

I actually dont like owen that much. he seems to be constantly living beyond his means. i dont remember if they said he had a college degree but if he does he can get another job. if he doesnt then maybe he was lazy and relied on his father for a job. either way i wouldnt tolerate the behavior of his father. i would find another job.

January 06 2010 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

Andre is worth it alaon. His depth of character is amazing. If he doesn't go postal on the old man, he'll be the strongest to come through this.

January 05 2010 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

Getting on subject...ahem...I am being mesmerized by Andre Braughe, he is superb. Where has this actor been? I really enjoy this show.

January 05 2010 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cathy

George, I hadnt seen the episode yet and I knew it meant owen almost got arrested. Read it again hon.

January 05 2010 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to cathy's comment
George

Cathy, someone (presumably the author) corrected the sentence after I posted my comment. Originally, the way the "after nearly getting arrested" sentence was written, it referred to Melissa.

January 05 2010 at 2:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Linda Kelley

hello, cathy; i am trying to find if someone recorded the last show of Men of a Certain Age dated 25 Jan 2010 because i missed it and my boss likes it as well and i would even pay the individual for recording the show on there vcr for me and for shipping and handling charges so please do you know of anyone that may have recorded the show on the 25th of Jan Men of a Certain Age please please please and happy new year.
respectfully,
kitty7734@msn.com

January 27 2010 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
George

Last sentence of the fifth paragraph -- I think we all know it was Owen who almost got arrested, but the way you've written it, it was Melissa.

January 05 2010 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to George's comment
cathy

George, I hadnt seen the episode yet and I knew it meant owen almost got arrested. Read it again hon.

January 05 2010 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cathy

Doesnt really matter George. I get tired of reading comments here that do othing but nitpick the article and really no comments on the show itself.

January 05 2010 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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