Wednesday, September 30, 2009

View From the Phlipside - Men of a Certain Age

These are the scripts from my weekly media commentary program on WRFA-LP Jamestown

My name is Jay Phillippi and I've spent my life in and around the media. TV, Radio, the movies and more. I love 'em and I hate em' and I always have an opinion. Call this the view from the Phlipside

I approach this time of year, at least this year I do, with a certain amount of trepidation. You see it was just last year this time, while this program was still new and young and full of promise that I took a shot at picking the winners and losers for the new TV season. There's really only one of those predictions that I even remember. It was for the new show "The Mentalist" which I scorned as a rip off of the cable network hit "Psych". Would you care to guess what turned out to be one of the biggest hits among last falls new programs? Yeah, "The Mentalist". So this year I'm a little gun shy. First let me note that I haven't seen a lot of promos for new shows that are pulling me out of my seat as it were.

At least not on the regular networks. TNT has something that I'm just going to have to watch. It's called "Men of a Certain Age". And this one pulled me right up out of my seat.

Yes it's a story about guys roughly my age. I can tell you right now I hope this show becomes my new "30-Something". Yes, I know all the jokes about that late '80's hit TV show on ABC. It could be whiny and self indulgent and egocentric. Just like a lot of us were at that time, including me. It showed us our dark side and reminded us that it didn't mean we were bad people. Unless you were Miles Drentell. It only ran four seasons but racked up 18 Emmy wins plus almost 30 more nominations.

Men of a Certain Age should be so good. TNT is bringing together a cast that appeals to me right off the bat - Ray Romano as a divorced father of two with some unfulfilled dreams, Andre Braugher is the son working in the family business and Scott Bakula gives us a little dash of Peter Pan syndrome as an aging actor. That's a really solid cast of some pretty fair actors.

Based on the promos it looks like it's about life with your friends, the people who've known you through good times and bad. Middle age is a tough time because for some it's realizing that your dreams are going to always be that, for others it's realizing that your best years are visible only in the rear view mirror. It really feels like this could be a great new series.

Let's hope my endorsement isn't the kiss of death.

Call that the view from the Phlipside

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