MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE “Cold Calls” Review


MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE “Cold Calls” Season 2 Episode 3 – All the boys navigate choppy waters as Joe finds himself trying to date two women while Owen chafes under his daddy’s too-watchful eye and Terry bets Marcus he can sell more cars in the “Cold Calls” episode of MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE.

“In what world are you dating two women?” Hee. Well, of all the ways Joe could screw up dating two women (and they are legion), of course he pulls a Goldilocks: Michelle is too sexual and too much fun while Bonnie is too potentially serious. That he then clumsily uses Terry’s slick line makes perfect sense, since he has no idea what he wants. I love how realistically Joe’s storyline is playing out (with the possible Hollywood exception of two smart, beautiful women simultaneously wanting to sleep with him). He truly is struggling with figuring out both himself and his post-divorce, post-gambling life, but it isn’t too broody or maudlin. His mental bets and wanting to punch a bird when he loses and the way he perks up at the mention of Terry’s ill-advised bet are too funny while still serving as reminders that all is not well in Joe-land.

The power struggle continues at Thoreau Chevrolet in a surprisingly layered way. Yes, Daddy is a ginormous pain in Owen’s rear and yes, it would be difficult to run a dealership under his too-watchful eye, but I’m glad we see so much from Daddy’s point of view, too. Owen is hesitant and unsure of himself as he finds his way and Daddy actually is helpful. That we then learn he is so much a lesser Laker and that’s why he so needed to be king of the dealership is great and Daddy’s face when he leaves after giving Owen the office is heartbreaking. I’m sure Owen and Daddy will be back to fighting each other for control soon enough, but I love that entire scene: From Owen’s sympathy to the stubborn pride flashing across Daddy’s face: such great acting there. “I don’t need pity from a pissant who’s just getting started.” Good stuff here.

Oh, Terry. Have you learned nothing from Joe’s gambling failures? I love Marcus–he is a complete douche, but he’s also hilarious and he brings the conflict. Love the coffee dumping and swagger. Terry goes through the ringer this episode: between trying to win the bet, calling former lovers who are less than thrilled with him, and spending an evening trying to sell shell-shocked Dave (an excellent Michael Hitchcock) a Corvette only to end up stealing Humpty Dumpty (“The damn thing didn’t even break”), he learned once again that this new life isn’t going to come easy.

Favorite lines:

“I hate all that stuff that makes kids believe in dumb, frilly unreal crap that’s not real.” I love Maria so very much. The boots totally make her outfit and they remind me of the late and great Dead Like Me when Roxie wore a similar Halloween costume.

“Albert–he’s like me: socially awkward, bad with humans.” Joe may not know what he wants, but he knows himself pretty darn well.

“Is there really a wrong way to do that, Joe?” Ha! In all fairness, though, that crotch grab did look like it hurt. Oh, and speaking of Joe’s crotch, it would be great if he never made that penis voice again.

“Who’s better than you at getting people to buy something totally unreliable that will probably break down in six months and leave you worse off than you were?” That one’s going to leave a mark on Terry.

Men of a Certain Age has bitter-sweetly funny down to an art form and this is a well-crafted episode with nicely unfolding parallel plotlines and excellent character development all around. This season has such a nice flow so far. I’m really loving it.

What did you think of the episode? Is Joe going to end up too much like Terry when it comes to women? How long will Daddy be able to stay out of the office?

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