By Tom Comi
Are you fed up with your favorite shows being canceled without notice? Tired of having no closure with the characters or storylines? Frustrated that you have no recourse whatsoever in the decision?
Welcome to the club! Tired of sitting idly by, we here at Channel Guide Magazine have decided to start a new blog segment called “How Does It End?” The idea here is to provide our own closure by writing the endings we wanted to see before the networks prematurely pulled the plug on our favorite programs.
With that in mind, here is my interpretation of how TNT’s critically-acclaimed but low-rated drama Men of a Certain Age would have concluded had the network suits given it another season before yanking it off the air.
Joe Tranelli (played by Ray Romano): Joe was a divorced father of two who was way in over his head trying to juggle his party store, a major gambling problem, dating, raising his teenagers and chasing his dream of one day playing golf professionally on the senior tour. It would take a miracle to resolve all of his issues in one season, but I’m an optimist and this is my blog. In my script, Joe finds a nice woman (not yet introduced in previous episodes), he qualifies for the tour, sells his party store, kicks the betting addiction, and becomes closer than ever to his kids. You da man, Joe!
Owen Thoreau Jr. (played by Andre Braugher): It would be an understatement to say Owen lives in the shadow of his father, but that’s the price you pay when you work at the family-owned car dealership. There was hope that Junior would emerge as his own man when Daddy stepped down, but it quite never happened that way because Daddy had trouble letting go. As the show’s new writer, I’m reluctantly killing off the patriarch with a stress-induced heart attack. What could be a tragic setback for the son turns into a positive as he transforms the business into the most successful Chevrolet dealership in Southern California. Rest in peace, Owen.
Terry Elliott (played by Scott Bakula): A struggling actor who spent most of the series sleeping around, Terry finally began to grow up in this last season. He quit working at Owen’s dealership, moved in with his girlfriend and set his mind on working full-time as an actor and director. In my script, Terry finally gets his big break when a casting director sees him as the ideal candidate to play a character in a new Woody Allen romantic-comedy entitled Undiscovered Love. Break a leg, Terry!
Series finale: We wrap everything up in the diner where the three childhood friends met so frequently to discuss their respective woes. But this get-together is different. For once, the trio gather to talk about the positives that have transpired in their lives. Owen’s dealership is finally thriving, Joe’s making money on the senior tour and Terry is on the path to being gainfully employed as a full-time actor. Their conversation slowly fades out as the show’s theme song — “When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)” by the Beach Boys — begins to play.
And that, folks, is how Men of a Certain Age ends.
Photo: ™ & © Turner Network Television Credit: Art Streiber