Those that thought Ray Romano was just a stand-up comedian with a show, ala Jerry Seinfeld, would do well to check out Men of a Certain Age. Created by Romano and fellow Raymond writer Mike Royce, MOACA is a look at midlife crisis that manages to mostly avoid cliches and be at times both poignant and, yes, funny.
Like most pilots, this episode was perfunctory in that it spent most of the hour introducing us to the trio on the marquee (Romano as the ex-golf pro/sporting goods store owner Joe, Andre Braugher as the car salesman Owen and Scott Bakula as the out of work actor Terry). So even if you thought it was just so-so, you might want to come back as the episodes get progressively better. I enjoyed it (especially the possum bit), so seeing the improvement only endeared me to the series even more.
Musically, thanks to Joe's old rock n' roll jukebox, the show will lean heavily on classic rock, staying in pretty safe territory (nothing edgier here than Bachman-Turner Overdrive). I do enjoy the use of The Beach Boys' "When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)" for a theme song, even if it's a bit on the nose. Similarly, leading and ending with the soft rock of Marmalade's "Reflections Of My Life" was obvious yet wholly welcome.
Playlist: Men of a Certain Age - Episode 1.01
1. "When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)" - The Beach Boys
2. "Reflections Of My Life" - Marmalade
3. "Takin' Care Of Business" - Bachman-Turner Overdrive
4. "Ventura Highway" - America