my Snark

Pop Culture . . . whatever

Ray and Debra Barone are gone, check out their new shows

“Men of a Certain Age” TNT, Monday nights at 10 pm
“The Middle”
ABC Wednesday nights

Ray Romano, Scott Bakula, and Andre Braugher play old time friends in different stages of their lives. Ray Barone is gone. I was still uncomfortable watching “Joe” have sex. I kept expecting to see Doris Roberts burst in with a plate of spaghetti.

Joe is recently divorced from the never-recognizable Penelope Ann Miller. He has two kids and his interaction with them and their peers is also very entertaining. Joe grows from his conversation with a boy bothering his teen aged daughter. At first you think he’s going to kick the boys ass but he actually sees himself in the kid and gives him some great advice. Then, tells him if he doesn’t leave his daughter alone, he’ll kick his ass.

Scott Bakula plays the swinging man-whore. He dates different woman, sleeps with many and never settled down. As he ages he seems to be realizing that he’s missing something. His buddies have kids and responsibilities but all Terry has is Terry. Owen (Braugher) told Terry that the reason he’s always late is because he never slows down enough to actually LOOK at himself in the mirror. Interesting analysis of his friend.

Owen is probably the deepest character of the show. He has a happy marriage with a strong woman but he works for his father, an ex NBA star. His father never will think Owen is “good enough” and he treats his son worse than the other employees because he wants to make sure nobody thinks he’s playing favorites. It’s very sad to watch the interaction with Owen’s father and Owen’s children. It gives you a glimpse into his childhood and it was full of criticism and perfection. His marriage is one of the best things about this show. They are cute, playful and also respectful and supportive of each other. Nice to see a good marriage on TV. We don’t see enough positive examples of marriage.

On the other hand, watching Patricia Heaton on “the Middle” is refreshing compared to the logical Debra on “Everybody Loves Raymond.” She drinks, she ignores her kids, she drinks, she works outside the home and she has an attitude that would have made Ray Barone cry. Her husband is played by the “Scrubs” janitor, Neil Flynn and I still need a few more episodes to determine how I feel about him. The kids are great. REAL kids with issues. The youngest boy reminds me of Dewey on “Malcolm in the Middle” and the teen-aged girl is a great actress. The episode with her school picture retakes was hysterical. How many of us just cannot take a decent school picture? My kid is one of them but I never went for the retakes.

It’s great to see Ray Romano and Patricia Heaton leave Ray and Debra Barone behind. I wish them luck in both shows. I knew Patricia was an actress but never realized that Ray was an “actor.” I’m very impressed with his work on “Men of a Certain Age.”

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January 24, 2010 - Posted by | Advertising, Big Bang Theory, Breaking Bad, Men of a Certain Age, Sitcoms, TV Drama | ,

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