Thursday, June 2, 2011

How Men of a Certain Age Watch "Men of a Certain Age"

We’ve been eagerly anticipating the new season of “Men of A Certain Age” for a couple of months. Of all the shows on TV this is arguably our favorite.

If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s the ongoing story of 3 fiftyish men. That’s about as simple as it gets. It’s not the old classic “show about nothing” that was Seinfeld but rather it’s about life—the quasi-success and quasi-failure on a personal and professional level that defines each and every one of us. It’s about the highs and lows and how we cope with them.

It’s 3 guys—Joe (Ray Romano), Terry (Scott Bakula) and Owen (Andre Braugher) who have been friends since junior high school. It’s about love—about how men can love one another with more honesty than love of spouse or children or self, unabashedly and honestly.

Why do I love it? Well, because I’m a “man of a certain age” getting ready to turn 60 in 3 months. The show mirrors the life of most men of my age and what we see is that “it’s all right”. It’s all right to be less than a stellar success. All right? Hell, that’s the norm and it is, indeed, all right. It has to be because that’s what we’ve got.

But that’s not what this is about. How does a “man of a certain age” watch “Men of A Certain Age”? I look at the TV schedule, carefully adjusting my bifocals so that the tiny print is large enough to decipher. I know when it’s on and what channel it’s on, but I look anyway.

“Hmmm, 10 o’clock. P.M. At night. OK. Now, they use some “earthy” language in this—like men of a certain age do. Words like “shit”. No “f-bombs”. Guess that means it has to be on late. But that’s OK.

Can I make it? A couple of years ago, the question was “can I make it to 11 when it’s over?” Now the question is more, “can I make it until 10 when it starts?”

Should I take a nap? Glad I have the day off on Thursday because I stayed up late. Damn.

Well, I managed to make it to 10. And I managed to make it to 11. I snoozed from 10:15 to 10:30 but that means I saw 75% of the first episode.

Yeah, someone’s going to say that I need to Tivo or DVR it. And I’ve got a couple of things to say about that. 1) I can’t afford it and 2) I don’t have a 12 year old around to set it up for me. I’m too old for kids that age and too young for grandkids that age. So I’m just screwed. Yeah, I could probably watch it here on my computer whenever I want but this is a 15.6 inch screen with crappy speakers compared to a 42 inch screen with semi-good speakers.

I was out in the living room on the couch. Carolyn “watched” it in the bedroom. When I go into the bedroom to watch something, I crawl into bed next to her, start watching and then roll onto my side to get more comfortable. Next thing I know it’s 3 a.m. and she’s elbowing me to get me to roll over and stop snoring in her ear.

You would think that with all that effort that I’d hate being a “man of a certain age” (do you think we should start using the acronym “MOCA”?—just a stray thought). But I don’t. I rather like it. Actually, I’m rather looking forward to graduating from “MOCA” to “GOF”—“grouchy old fart”. I’m getting lots of practice.

Anyway, this is TV at its almost best. TV could be a lot better. And it would be if there were more shows like this, at an earlier time, to watch and enjoy.

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