Monday, December 14, 2009

Men of a Certain Age, "Let It Go": It's justice time!

I'm mostly off this week and trying to take things light, but I'm curious what people thought of "Men of a Certain" age episode two. Even though I like the show, I was surprised response was mostly positive last week, until I realized that to watch a show with that title you have to be at least somewhat predisposed to like a show with this subject matter.

Episode two did a nice job with all three leads, and in particular found a way to have its cake and eat it with the Scott Bakula storyline. I feel like the show gets stronger as it goes on, but this was a solid build on the pilot.

What did you guys think?

38 comments:

Marc said...

well since you're asking i think it's not good

shit-tism, what?

the taking the guys car felt so not real, unauthentic

its quite boring too

debbie said...

I'm a "women of a certain age" and alot of this hits home with me. The Ray Romano character trying to take a picture with his cell phone cracked me up and the Billy JACK comment followed up with the One Tin Soldier car chase would only be understood by the over 40 crowd :)

Sean said...

It's basic-cable oatmeal, but it turns out I'd watch Bakula and (especially) Braugher eat oatmeal.

Brandy said...

I could have sworn i put this on the season pass last week, but apparently not so much. Glad you blogged it or I wouldn't have looked for the reair.

Pamela Jaye said...

I was much happier this week.

Most of the way through, I was only happy about Owen, Melissa, and Terry, but the last scene was just wonderful.

Ray's just a tad more neurotic than I can handle. I get the missing his wife and all of that, but it's just *too*... the scene with his wife was good,and the scene of him jumping and running from the woman kissing him, but...

Terry sitting in the car with a kid egging him on to Behave Badly... in the end, it was nothing, but stealing the other guy's car? Well I hope it was good for him.

But the ending, when they figured out Joe was still gambling and called him on it. loved that. Joe beating up on the inflatable toy? loved that too.
Neil Sedaka always did sound like a woman ;-)

I also really liked Owen's story with his father and his wife and how he does finally stand up for himself. (someone called his wife high maintenance. I'm not sure that's the right word, but...)

So, I'm happy.
My roommate thinks the language is coarse, Scott has lowered his standards, and wonders why they keep talking about penises. (and my roommate is a 40 year old guy)

oh, and the texting - absolutely. It's so frustrating that when things finally get small and light, you can't see them anymore!

the made-up curse words are kind of jarring.

Pamela Jaye said...

and there is only one re-air this week. my DVR says.
starts in half an hour on the east coast (1am)

Andrew said...

I doubt it will ever achieve any sort of "must watch" status on my DVR, but as long as there aren't things that DO get that distinction in the same time period, I will certainly watch it. They are three guys I just enjoy hanging out with (and I did not expect to enjoy spending time with Ray Romano). As long as they keep the stakes relatively minor, it will continue to be a pretty entertaining hour of my week.

whaleyf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
whaleyf said...

Even if Scott wasn't in this I would watch it. As I watched the previews before the first show I thought it was going to be a light hearted comedy. Not so. It's so much better. Amazing that just after show number two it holds you in it's grasp I was riveted all through show #2. Watching each man unfold and grow in his story line. I cried for Joe as his gambling was shown to be a major problem in his life, I cheered for Owen when he finally stood up to his dad. And I laughed so hard when Terry ran away with that guys car. To see their flaws, to walk with them through their lives.... awesome writing. Way to go. May this show have a very very long life. My only complaint (and I see this mentioned a lot over at the blog on the show's site) is the language. To me it's like a cheap way of adding to the show instead of using your brain as a writer to come up with a better way of doing it so the whole family can watch. If they can write a show this good they can write it's family friendly and still be great.

ryan said...

i am a 26-year-old fella and i am a big fan of this show.

Anonymous said...

Why does everything have to be family friendly? Even without the language this show would not be family friendly. Can't anything just be for adults?

Bryan said...

I'm really enjoying it but I'm at that age - 45- but I don't know how it's going to play out with the older and younger crowd (though I did watch thirtysomething in my 20's).

I love the little things, the musical/pop cultural references (like One Tin Soldier playing when he took the car) and some of the conversation is very authentic I think (Ray honestly not able to remember his age,etc)

schoolbooksue said...

I have to agree with anonymous although I did hear the word "dick" or variations thereof so many times that it started to be a bit forced. (Owen's father is so awful that he deserves a made-up variation however. The conventional bad words are really inadequate.) Yes, men use that word but not so often when there aren't censors to get past. Speaking of censors, I was shocked that the bookie's allusion to female body parts and gambling got under the wire!

I would tune in every week just to see Andre Braugher smile once and I love Owen's wife. She isn't high maintenance, she is a woman who loves her husband and thinks he should get what he deserves from his dickhole father. I loved that Owen wasn't angry with her but just told her not to do what he was actually glad that she did.

Ray Romano give Joe a pathetic quality that was very different than his Ray Barrone character. He is taking a real risk with this guy and Alan, you were right on about his ability to show us subtly how messed up he really is. His friends calling him on his bullshit while he squirmed was excellently done.

whaleyf said...

I guess why I get down on the language the most is it's a lazy way to make a show. It takes work to make a great show without doing that. Look at shows in the past.... North by Northwest, West Side story, Gone with the Wind.... Great story lines that worked without going the lazy route of shock words. The writers on this show are doing a great job, I just hate to see them resort to the "easy way out".

Maura said...

The language doesn't bother me, although I'm surprised at how much was OKed by the censors.

This show immediately got Must Watch status in our house. My husband and I both love it, and, although it's about men, there are a few things that ring true to me too. But it can be very painful to watch. My husband sat through a good part of this episode with his hands over his eyes.

Scott Bakula was a riot in the car stealing scene. First, his reaction to the size of the guy driving the car (who reminded a lot of Anthony Michael Hall's guest character of last week's Community). Then stealing the car, and throwing the keys onto a second floor balcony. Ah, sweet catharsis. What I really liked about it was that he did it for someone else. It seemed a little bit like a growth moment for him.

I also liked the scene in which Terry and Owen called Joe out on his continued gambling. They knew immediately what was going on, and weren't going to let it go by. Good friends when it's really important.

Anonymous @ 9:41 AM said... Why does everything have to be family friendly? Even without the language this show would not be family friendly. Can't anything just be for adults?

Thank you. I couldn't agree more. If TNT wanted to do a family friendly show, they would be airing it at 8:00. If I want to watch a family friendly show about the agonies of middle age and a marriage that *should* break up, I'll watch Ray Romano's other show.

LA said...

I totally dig this show. Granted, I'm a woman in the same age group as these certain-aged men, so I may be biased, but it's nice to see a show about men being real. You were right about Ray Romano, he's better than expected.

Oh, and I'm having a blast with the soundtrack. Like Debbie, I really enjoyed the Billy Jack/One Tin Soldier moments.

Kevin said...

disappointed that they decided they had to go the poor language route to make it edgy ... great moment when they call him on his gambling, as guys can and do have that strength of relationship ... but it seems they are trying to have this show fall into the same category as Son's of Anarchy, where only male adults will be watching it ...

Pamela Jaye said...

I can sing One Tin Soldier straight thru and name the two groups who recorded it (both One-Hit Wonders) and I've heard of Billy Jack, but I've never seen it. Thought it was about an Indian(American). I'd guess Wikipedia would save me watching it.

The language (yeah, the bookie was gross and unnecessary - does he kiss his mother with that mouth? Do real bookies live with their mothers? That just odd) but the rest of the language:

How does one deal with the language of 3 middle aged men (not in mixed-company) on a cable but not pay cable show? The made up swear words sound stupid. Using the real words and bleeping them would take you out of the story.
Rescue Me and The Sheild must have had this issue - how did they handle it? (They are not shows I'd watch, but they were 2 I could think of that would fit)

Morning after - still happy.
Especially that Terry went after the second driver "for someone else" (even if it was car theft).
If he continues to go to that shop, the problem won't be going away. (though I can't see him going to town council to get the traffic signals fixed. Maybe a light, rather than a stop sign? My father did this for a living, in Boston.)

Really though, the language is silly. Worst fake swear works I've heard - and I've had 8 years of double frick.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that alot of people that are not "of a certain age" are not going to understand or feel compassion for these older guys. Yes, maybe some really tuned in younger people with parents like them will get it as they watch their own parents struggle with new stuff. I'm a 50-ish year old woman and get alot of these jokes and plots. I still can't properly operate my flip cell phone and can't even imagine using a camera phone, etc.
Scott Bakula is eye candy for me, Andre Braugher is a great actor but I still don't like Romano. His acting is better but there's something about him I just don't like.
The weird cursing words are starting to annoy me though. Other than that it's not a bad show.

Becky said...

Totally love the show. This episode had so much humor and pain. The fake cuss words do not bother me at all. Many of us "of a certain age" have used fake swear words around our kids and a few have stuck in our vocabularies!

My 22 year old daughter loves this show too!

Anonymous said...

The only fake swear words I heard were in the pilot "Mother-shit" and that had a real swear word in it. Otherwise it's just guys talking like guys. And "Shit-itism" was just funny.

Pamela Jaye said...

I had a problem with mother-shit and dick-hole but my brother says that people really say dick-hole...

I'm 50, female, and losta people round these parts know I "love" Scott and I'm pretty darn happy with the show (Ray is still a bit annoying).

And if I were to be honest about how I feel about the characters - I like Owen better than Terry, but that was probably intended.

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed in the language on "Men of a C A". I won't be watching this anymore since it is impossible for this show to use decent language. Mentioning female body parts in such a disgusting way was too much to be considered decent and why does everything have to have foul language in it to make it funny or interesting. Ray has lost his touch. Everybody Loves Raymond was my all-time favorite and I still watch it, but this time Raymond isn't going to make it happen. It will be a failure and I have lost all respect for this actor. I thought he had talent but I guess he could only come up with so many sentences until he ran out of decent, respectable, but funny words. This show is a loser and so is Raymond this time around. No children are in my house, but I don't need porn words any more than I need to watch straight out porn. I'm so ashamed that even adults require and enjoy this language.

dez said...

I just caught up on this show and so far, I quite like it. The scene with Joe beating the crap out of the Hulk toy was sad. I also loved everything Andre Braugher did.

Monica said...

I'm a little older than these guys, but the cultural references work for me and I love their friendship with each other. I very seldom watch a new show from the beginning (almost always catch up after it's been proven worthwhile), but I'll be sticking with this one. Any show that makes me laugh out loud (Owen's hip-check, Terry and the muscle-man, Joe taking it out on the Hulk) is a keeper.

whaleyf said...

I'm hoping the powers that be will read the language comments here, as well as what has been posted at all the other sites and start doing a better job of leaving them out. The words toss me out of the story. They aren't necessary to the story. They are just there for the shock value. To me it's a lazy way to write. Put some effort into the writing and show that you can do a great job without having to stoop to bathroom words.

M.Chavez said...

I guess they wrote this show for *me*, a guy that when he's watched other 'authentic' shows, always wondered why there were no curse words. The cursing here is so lite it doesn't bother me a bit, not a sign of lazy-writing at all, just trying to capture how some of us (not all of us of course) really talk to each other. The show will inevitably disappoint me when they enact a real verbal spat between spouses/friends and they don't increase the level of cursing. That's authentic for me as well. Ah, remember the days of NYPD Blue and the 'cursing' back then that got folks all in an uproar?

Pamela Jaye said...

Yeah, but Freda, if the show is in the can, or at least all shot, how do the powers that be (aka Ray and maybe Mike Royce) now go back and change everything? (especially for the maybe 7 out 4 million people complaining, but mostly cause it's all done already)
The powers that be, here are whoever is doing post production.

Anonymous said...

A lot of comments about the language, but if you hang around guys that age (not in mixed company) in real life, you'll likely hear worse. That said, not everything that's "real" needs to be in a TV show. I wouldn't mind if they toned down the language and skipped the fake swear words.

whaleyf said...

Even if it's a done deal this season maybe it will get them to change it next time.

ssbakula said...

The only reason I tuned in to or even continue watching Men of a Certain Age is to support Scott Bakula. The show has good possibilities but the down and dirty delivery of some of the lines is simply not appreciated. I find certain segments of the show embarrassing and it certainly is not a show I would recommend to my friends to watch. I don’t understand why people think they have to engage their baser instincts in a public forum and then think we should be happy about it. I know that I have the option to not watch the show any more but I also have the option to voice my objection to the unseemly portions of the show I don’t care for.
On the positive note, I think Scott and Andre are great actors. They are really into their characters and they both deliver great performances. These two men are the "saving grace" to the show.

Owen said...

Count me on the side of loving this show. And finding the swearing wholly appropriate. (If a bit awkward, since they can't use the correct words.)

To my eyes, the writing is exceptional. Better than many wanna-be well-written shows like Californication, Dexter, and Hung. (I'm rooting for Hung, but I gotta say, it's been underachieving so far.) So I have the opposite reaction as the commenter who finds the show "basic-cable oatmeal".

And as far as the acting goes, I'm digging all three actors. Surprisingly, my favorite is Ray Ramano, even though I'm a bigger fan of Andre and Scott.

And for the demographics tally: I'm male 35 yrs old.

Monica said...

What I wish they'd do with shows like this is use the real f-word, but bleep it or cut it out. We all know what they're saying anyway, and that way if the culture evolves to get its stick out of its butt, the words can be de-bleeped.

Pamela Jaye said...

some friends and I discussed bleeping and one said she heard it on Southland and it was annoying and took her out of the story.
darn

Anonymous said...

There really should be more swearing when it's just the three of them and bleeping the f-word rather than inventing pale imitations would be my preference. Pretending three mid-40ish men don't swear would be ridiculous.

dez said...

The made-up curse words don't bother me; in fact, they make me giggle. Got some new words to add to the pantheon of swears, sweet!

Mike C said...

I'm 29 years old and really liked this second episode. I thought the Pilot was good but this was excellent. I laughed out loud several times, including the slow deflation of the Hulk balloon.

Oh, and I have no problem with the language.

Giles said...

Male, 38 and enjoying it. No problems with the language - 'dickhole' could quite easily be used by someone who doesn't swear terribly often, so they made a nsarrative virtue out of necessity with that one.

It's quite a lot like the british series ManChild in setup, except nobody here is as rich as those characters. 'Men' has a certain low-stakes gentleness to its storytelling that I find quite appealing - though you can see some fairly heavy themes coming up. I never enjoyed 'Raymond' at all so the fact I find the Joe character pleasantly affable and the performance subtle and nuanced is a nice surprise (the other two were bound to be well acted anyway).