Review: Men of a Certain Age - Pilot (series premiere)

I'm not even sure what I just watched. Here was a show about guys being guys, and yet there were no sexual exploits, and no drinking, watching sports or tinkering with cars. It's as if someone took all the stereotypes about men and threw them out the window. Instead what we got was a raw and honest look at manhood.

It was a revelation. More importantly, it was wonderful.

Ray Romano joined forced with one of his Everybody Loves Raymond cohorts, Mike Royce, to write and develop Men of a Certain Age. As if that wasn't a strong enough pedigree, he got the likes of Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula to join him as the three men at the centerpiece of this exploration of middle age.

The obsession in television is with that coveted 18-49 demographic, but in catering to that, networks have been skewing younger and younger over the years. It's actually a refreshing turn that a show featuring Romano (51), Bakula (55) and Braugher (47) even got greenlit. Even better, it throws away any and all expectations and is a show about the everyday mundane existence of these characters.

What wonderful characters they are, too. In just one episode, we got deep into their hearts and souls to find out what makes them tick. Only Terry (Bakula) remains a bit of an enigma, but his character has that free-spirit thing going for him. Unlike the other two, Terry isn't settled down with a wife and kids; he instead chooses to live his life one experience at a time. He seems genuinely happy both at work, when he bothers to show up, but he's carrying the anxieties of having been a former celebrity, of sorts, unable to find work acting now.

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