A Dramedy on TNT network starring Ray Romano, Scott Bakula, and Andre Braugher, focusing on the lives of three best friends (since their teenage years) who are middle aged. Much of the show's drama involves the men dealing with the issues brought on by their middle age, but there are other sources of tension as well, such as Joe's gambling addiction, Terry's commitment issues, and Owen's often-strained relationship with his father.
The series was conceived by Everybody Loves Raymond star Ray Romano (who not long after the landmark sitcom ended had speculated about the possibility of one day doing a show on cable) and Mike Royce (who had been on the production team of Raymond). Also returning from Raymond is Joe Manfrelotti (Gianni on Raymond) as the bookie that Joe (Ray Romano) often deals with.
The show is quite good, and has been hailed as one of the most honest shows about middle age, dealing with many realistic frustrations, quirks, and humor that real-life "men of a certain age" often experience.
It was cancelled after two seasons.
Tropes of a Certain Age:
- Amicably Divorced: Joe and his ex-wife, who divorced before the events of the first season. As of the second season, they appear to be getting romantically involved with each other again, or at least exploring the possibility. At the very least, they are friendly and have shown up to their kids' school events together.
- Closer to Earth: Owen's wife.
- Cloudcuckooland: Joe's party supply depot. Joe's own quirkiness seems like nothing compared to his employees.
- Commitment Issues: Terry's main problem.
- Faux Documentary: The show uses documentary style camera tropes (Jitter Cam, Rack Focus, Lens Flare, etc.), but no indication that this is actually a documentary.
- The Gambling Addict: Joe. He got better at the end of Season One after nearly losing thousands of dollars in a bet (luckily he narrowly won, but it scared him into quitting). However in Season 2, he relapses back into the habit, this time as a bookie.
- Door Focus: Manfro punches Joe's tooth out and trashes his store for stealing $500 from him, then storms out. Five seconds later, he comes back and tells Joe he should keep the tooth in milk and go to the dentist as soon as possible to save it.
- Glory Days: Owen Sr. in his Laker days, and Terry's acting career.
- Happily Married: Owen and his wife.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: The big three characters.
- Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!: An embarrassing commercial Terry was in from the 80's is posted on YouTube. It gets millions of viewers, inspires remixes, and becomes so popular that the company wants Terry and the original actress to reprise their roles.
- Kitschy Local Commercial: After Scarpulla Chevrolet creates a series of cheesy rap commercials, Owen decides to shoot a classy commercial with his dad and his friend Terry. Terry decides it's too boring and convinces Owen to outcheese Scarpulla.
- Lesbian Jock: Double Subverted with Maria, one of the managers at Joe's store. Owen needs another woman for his dealership's softball league and asks Joe if Maria can play softball. Joe tells him that it's stereotyping to assume that she can play softball because she's a lesbian, but asks anyways. Turns out she really can play softball, and she jokingly acknowledges the trope.
- Local Hangout: The guys' favorite diner. Scenes of them enjoying a lunch break together at their favorite booth are always prominently featured in the show's advertising on TNT.
- Nepotism: This trope is completely averted, subverted, smashed to pieces, run over by a lawnmower, and fed to hungry sharks by Owen's father, Owen Thoreau, Sr., who actually treated his son a million times worse than any other employee at the car dealership.
- Only Sane Man: The three main characters seem to take turns being the Only Sane Man, and they're all aware of this fact. Owen's wife is also this trope, as she often acts as a voice of reason.
- Potty Emergency: Terry is all set for a romantic evening with his latest girlfriend...until she has a Potty Emergency in the middle of a traffic jam. They manage to get out of the traffic jam and all the way back to her house, only for her to pee her pants after Terry accidentally breaks the house key while trying to open the door.
- Really Gets Around: Terry.
- Scary Black Man: Subverted with Owen—he is in no way personally scary, but Ray Romano and co-creator Mike Royce joked in an interview that they initially found Andre Braugher too "scary" to consider for the role because of his Julliard training, Shakespearean background and history of playing intimidating dramatic characters.
- Screwed by the Network: One could say this about the show itself, considering TNT moved its timeslot without announcement, and the second-half of the final season aired with almost no advertisements about it.
- Sickly Neurotic Geek: Joe and his son, though his son seems to be improving.
- True Companions: Joe, Terry, and Owen of course.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Owen's dad.