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October 24, 2014

Review: Men of a Certain Age - Father's Fraternity

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 26th 2010 4:00AM
Men of a Certain Age(S01E07) One of the many things I love about Men of a Certain Age is the wonderful marriage shown between Owen and Melissa. She is such a wonderful counterpart to all of his insecurities and frustrations, and yet knows when to stand up and let her own voice be heard. I thought the relationship was on wonderful display when Owen came home complaining about being forced to do the commercial, and she was able to quickly get to the root of the matter: his stagefright.

The series continues to add layers to the characters, even giving Owen's father a hint of sympathy this week. Don't get me wrong, the guy's still a complete and total hardass, but he was willing to do the right thing, and seemed genuinely confused by the misunderstandings people were having about the intention of his commercial.

I actually felt a little bad for Owen, Sr. for all the grief he was getting at home. His son had no interest in being on television, and Marcus had a natural gift for commercial work. Admittedly, the commercial did make it look like Owen, Sr. was showcasing Marcus as his son, but it genuinely didn't look intentional. And this from a guy who would probably intentionally do just that.

The confusion, and grief that both Owens were getting from their wives, led to the funniest moments of the night, as Owen, Jr. tried to make his way through the commercial take. The final cut of the commercial was the icing on a perfect cake of comedy, even if it was a little predictable. Sometimes comfortable and familiar is good.

That was apparently Joe's mission this episode, as he tried to give his own father back that spark of life that he seemed to have lost. Getting him hired on at Joe's party store didn't work. But when he and Joe went to the hardware store, I could have stood up and applauded Joe calling out the manager on age discrimination. Particularly with the fat guy who can't climb a ladder and the dumb kid on the computer who didn't know anything.

It was inspirational seeing his dad suddenly want to fix the leak in his house. He was still as curmudgeonly as ever, but that's what made it all the more believable. He'd never admit that he desperately wanted to feel relevant again, but Joe was a good son and saw the situation for what it was.

Terry had less luck trying to do his own good deeds, as he was rejected by the Big Brothers organization. I think it's a little crappy, if it's true, that they can't even tell you why they rejected you. Poor Terry was beating himself up trying to figure out what was wrong with him, when it could have been something completely out of his control. It's a weird policy to me, but I'm sure it makes perfectly logical sense to the organizations that have them. Keeps people from going crazy like Terry did, even whacking Owen's kid's head on the ceiling trying to prove his point -- actually, that last one hurt his case a little bit.

But it was good to see him getting that opportunity to take some responsibility and share some of his life experiences and love with someone. Terry is showing some real growth in the series so far, and I'm looking forward to seeing if we'll ever see him start to settle down into any semblance of a traditional family life.

As usual, the conversation at the diner was brilliant. The constant ribbing of Terry produced some great lines, and I even appreciated how things were a little awkward when it was just Owen and Terry. Apparently, Joe is the fulcrum of their little group, so in his absence, things got a little awkward. I think we've all been in situations like that. It shouldn't be a little weird after all that time, and yet strangely enough, it is. Still brilliant television week after week!

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junkmail

I've always thought that Andre Braugher was a powerful actor but I never realized he had comedy chops. The commercial shoot had me laughing out loud. He was absolutely convincing, so naturally awkward and completely in character that you could forget you were watching "Andre Braugher" and wonder why anyone would ask Owen to act. Brilliant.

January 27 2010 at 12:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

I cried and replayed the scene with Joe and his dad at the big box home improvement store, it was poignant and pitch perfect and made me love this show even more.

January 26 2010 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jgreenefields

I loved the commentary, until the bit about the end of the commercial, I did not see it coming and loved it.

January 26 2010 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
George

I'm really glad that Owen's dad got to show a lighter side this time out -- his "gruff dad for whom nothing his son does will ever be good enough" character was teetering on the brink of cliche.

Given Terry's increasing desire to have or interact with kids (not in a bad way, obviously), I'm wondering if the season finale will involve a pregnancy/abortion scenario... or perhaps a pot-related infertility situation.

January 26 2010 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
olivia

Since your lead was " How you love Owen and Melissa" can we have a photo of the two?

January 26 2010 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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