'Men of a Certain Age' - 'How To Be An All-Star' Recap
by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 16th 2010 12:25AM
(S01E09) There's nothing particularly unique or extraordinary about the lives of Joe and Terry and Owen, the guys of 'Men of a Certain Age.' But the very fact that the situations and circumstances are normal makes how their characters react all the more interesting.
A lot happened in this episode, even though it wasn't big, dramatic stuff like you might expect. No, it was small moments, little things that didn't seem like much, but oh, what a blast in the storytelling. With the last episode of the season airing next week, this was one hell of a lead up to the big finish.
How hilarious was it watching the salesmen try to hustle the guy who wanted $22,500 and that's it for the sports car? He insulted Owen Senior about the 1972 season on the Lakers! See, the Internet is evil -- too much information, right in the palm of your hand! Later, memories of the '72 season influenced the old man's decision to cut back at the dealership.
He realized that he would have preferred healthy knees to heart when it came to the playoffs, but that didn't stop Dad from metaphorically breaking his son's knees by making Marcus top dog in the shop. Still, if Marcus had not referred to Owen as the 'water boy' on the crew, would Owen have walked over to Scarpulla Chevy looking for a new job? Doubt it.
That was one major change, Owen being fed up. Another was Terry's opportunity. It was a good turn in the story that it was Annie's ambition for Terry that wound up screwing up their time together. Terry's heart was in the right place about their relationship, but those ego strokes he received on the movie set were just too much for him to walk away.
He's an actor and maybe a director. Returning to L.A. to clean out toilets in the building couldn't compete, and -- apparently -- neither could those promised surfing lessons for Annie. However, T-bag may want to keep his guard up with those old buddies. They could turn on him in a heartbeat and probably will when it's in their best interest to do so.
There are times when Joe really seems to do the things he does for the sake of his family. Watching his kids splashing each other at the pool got to him. His heart said 'get the house.' But to get $50,000 to bid on the property, Joe used the love for his kids to do what he loves just as much -- gamble. He didn't even think of coming up with the money in some other way. He was thrilled with the thought of losing 25 large, and was even more excited when he won... by the skin of his teeth.
The Gambler's Anonymous meeting was a diversion, not a real solution. At least not for Joe; not yet anyway. His going to the meeting was Joe making a deal with the Gods/Fates/Whatever. He was thinking, "I'll go to the meeting and that'll show I'm sincere and you guys make New York win."
He was hedging his bet, because if he was sincere, he wouldn't have run back to the car to hear the end of the basketball game. Joe has all the characteristics of sinner who doesn't really want to stop sinning. And he loves that he's on a hot streak ... so much so that he probably drove Dory away forever by telling her what he'd done. He scared her off. Honesty is not all it's cracked up to be, and the moment he told her, he started lying about his gambling addiction and rationalizing his behavior. Oh, Joe, Joe, Joe ... you are a wreck.
Other points of interest
-- There was no mention of Joe rejoining the senior golf tour. Maybe that was just something he said to the bookie without ever really considering it outside of the back room at the party store. Joe's not big on follow-through. Either that or he realizes he's not good enough to be a pro.
-- You gotta feel for Albert; his neuroses are very real, and therapy isn't helping. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it? Albert is like a little Joe.
-- The opening in the diner about who's getting sex and how often was very funny, especially the one-to-15 rate Owen revealed. If he was telling the truth ... well, let's just say he was probably exaggerating.