Men of a Certain Age: Season 2.5
What she said:
The boys are at it again—somberly, for what turned out to be the
last time. Season 2.5 of Men of a Certain Age
recently concluded its 6 episode run before being canceled by
TNT. We only had the show for a total of 22 episodes, but it
was quietly memorable.
In season 2.5, Joe, Terry, and Owen tackle their 50s as the
world around them seems to be falling apart. For Joe, he
struggles to keep his gambling problem at bay, while also juggling
a run at the Senior PGA Tour and reignited sparks with his
ex-wife. Terry deals with the usual lady problems while also
trying to secure a more stable and fulfilling job. And Owen
discovers that his father’s poor business practices have left the
family dealership in the red. He tries hard to turn Thoreau
Chevrolet around before it’s too late.
Unfortunately, it was too late for Men of a Certain Age,
and despite some promising subplots, charming humor, and genuinely
relatable characters, the show will not be able to run its
course. The season closer was by no means a cliffhanger, and
so as a viewer I’m left quite unfulfilled. The writers
obviously were unaware when they filmed that this would be the end
of the show. They must have also been unaware that it was the
finale for the season because things played like just another
filler episode. Absolutely no loose ends are tied up, and so
in some ways I feel robbed. I really enjoyed this show,
finding Ray Romano, Scott Bakula, and Andre Braugher all very
likable, and I never get to see how they end up. I guess
it’ll have to be left to the imagination.
Season 2.5 had some fine moments, although it wasn’t quite as
memorable as some of the earlier episodes. It was fun to
see that even people in the 50s are continually growing and
learning as individuals, as well as to encounter a TV show that
doesn’t revolve around cops, doctors, lawyers, or spies. I
just wish there was a Season 3.0 waiting around the corner.
What he said:
Things haven’t seemed right with this show for quite some time.
You may remember in our review of the first half of season two, the show came to an
abrupt end. It was so sudden, we were not sure if the season was
over or not. The episode did not feel like a season finale and it
turned out to be because it wasn’t. It was merely the last episode
before they went on hiatus, which brings me to the next issue.
How on Earth did TNT expect a show to succeed when there’s a six
month gap in the middle of the season? And if I remember correctly,
it wasn’t really advertised they were taking a break. It was six
episodes, then bam, nothing for six months and then it suddenly
pops back up on TV again. All of this after you already changed its
airtime, which is usually a bad sign in of itself.
Did the people in charge honestly expect this show to succeed
after these kinds decisions? No wonder it was ultimately canceled,
which is a shame; because it was a good show that was critically acclaimed on more than one occasion. If I didn’t know any
better, I’d say it is as if a room full of people sat around and
actually thought to themselves “What can we do to this show to
ensure it fails?”
Sorry for the rant, but I’m disappointed I won’t be seeing this
Men of a Certain Age is not a particularly flashy show,
but that’s kind of the appeal of it. It’s about three buddies with
some very real, relatable problems and how they attempt to help
each other through those problems. They meet up on a regular basis
at the same diner, to not only enjoy a meal with each other, but
catch up on just what is going on in each one of their lives.
Again, this may not exactly scream “watch me”, but trust me. The
show has a certain charm to it that makes you want more, despite
its very pedestrian storyline.
I would also venture to say that the characters seem to exhibit
many of the same problems they did in season one. That’s not to say
they didn’t grow, just that they didn’t completely change either.
Owen still has daddy and work issues, Terry still has women
trouble, and Joe still struggles with his addiction and divorce.
Thing have just been rearranged a little bit.
When we first met Owen, he was something of a loser. On top of
some health issues, he got no respect at work, despite the fact his
father was the man in charge. His father didn’t respect him, his
coworkers mocked him, and he wasn’t particularly good at his job.
Owen still has daddy issues and work is still a challenge, but it’s
a whole new ballgame at this point. This time around, Owen
is the boss now and trying to keep his staff
happy. Mega-jerk Marcus continues to be a problem,
particularly as Terry becomes a better salesman. And the rift
between the mechanics and sales team never seems to die. On top of
that, Owen discovers some problems with the numbers and rival
dealership Scarpulla Chevrolet wants to buy them out.
Terry and Joe also follow a similar pattern of two steps forward,
but one step back.
Terry really struggles with being a salesman. Unlike acting, he
has no passion for it and feels it’s all wrong for him. After
toughing it out for a while – with the help of Owen – he really
develops a knack for it. He is able to successfully take his people
skills he acquired through acting and become an accomplished
salesman. You would think everything is looking up.
However, when Erin expresses some doubts about their relationship
– which is the first truly committed relationship Terry has
probably ever been in – he takes the news pretty hard. His quality
of work nosedives and he begins to resort to some old habits. Erin
eventually comes around, but the relationship is tested again when
Terry gets the itch to direct after he helps out with one of the
dealerships car commercials. The thought of giving up a steady job
to pursue a passion that never really panned out to begin with
Will Joe try out for the Senior PGA tour or won’t he? That’s a
question that seems to changes every few episodes depending on his
mood. That’s what I meant earlier about the show kind of rehashing
the same issues over and over. But for some reason, it doesn’t come
off that way; it seems like a genuine issue the character is
Same goes for his gambling problem. Joe may have given up
gambling, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t teeter on the brink of
some major problems, especially as he continues to hang out with
his former bookie Manfro.
His wife also continues to give him problems, but not in the same
way she did during the first season. I won’t ruin that for you, so
you’ll have to watch to find out.
There are rumors that fans and the actors themselves are not
giving up on this show. Some even claim Ray Romano, Andre Braugher,
and Scott Bakula are refusing to walk away. I hope that is true.
But even if another episode of this show never airs, I highly
recommend it to you. It’s a simple show filled with complex
characters. I feel like I know these guys and want to join them for
breakfast at whatever diner it is they get together at so often.
Rating: Thumbs up.
This movie review was given the He said, She said seal of
approval on July 28, 2011.