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Arts and Entertainment

TV Junkie: 'Men of a Certain Age' Spotlight

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We feel that viewers have really lucked out with not only getting "Men of a Certain Age" but with the chance to really explore it more as the series has been renewed for another season. "Men of a Certain Age" airs on TNT on Mondays at 10pm but it seems like a show that might never have been as the pilot of the was shot almost a year and a half ago. It began airing just after Thanksgiving, a strange date to premiere, and it played through most of the holiday season while other shows tend to go on hiatus.

It's a show created and penned by Ray Romano and Mike Royce that is completely unlike "Everybody Loves Raymond" - and even though it's penned by Romano and features him, his character, Joe Tranelli, gets, at most, equal time on screen with the other two featured players, Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula. When we got the first promo for the series, it was accompanied by a medicine bottle filled with blue M&Ms, an apparent Viagra reference that left us dreading the first viewing. "Great, middle-aged jokers with all the obvious age gags - kind of a "Cougar Town" for men," we thought. But we couldn't have been more wrong.

We discussed the character development process with Andre Braugher in our November interview with him and that's what the show is about = real characters in realistic settings with the kind of humor you can expect in real life. Your home improvement project goes to hell; your boss is both weird and a pain in the ass; you have a crappy relationship with your father; dating is a strange experience no matter what age you are = all these topics are explored with both feeling and non-punchline-driven humor that respects you, the viewer.

Since the show isn't specifically targeting 45+ year olds, it's experiencingincreased viewership in the 25-and-up bracket. In the 10pm Monday night slot, the show is up against FX's "Damages", which is a great program but is in it's third season and some of the lustre has rubbed off - a show that is worth watching but perhaps when it is rerun later in the week or OnDemand. For well-written, compelling television that might be more related to the life you are actually living, "Men of a Certain Age" wins out.

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On Screen Actors Guild Awards weekend we talked to Brittany Curran (above), who gave us further insights on the show - this was after we spoke to Scott Bakula at a pre-awards ceremony (below) a couple days earlier. While it was unfortunate that the show missed nomination cut-offs for the Emmys, SAG, and Writers Guild Awards, we're confident that the show won't be missing from the contender sheets next time around.

"Men of a Certain Age" airs on TNT at 10pm on Mondays

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