I've never been a huge fan of TNT's "we know drama" lineup, even if I recognize those series' merits, because it's just not my bag.

I've never been a huge fan of TNT's "we know drama" lineup, even if I recognize those series' merits, because it's just not my bag.

I initially balked at "Men of a Certain Age" - a series about three men struggling with the challenges of midlife - because it felt way outside my demographic and seemed like a lazy premise reminiscent of some forgettable mid-'90s CBS sitcom.

It's still a simple premise in Season 2, but it's well-executed, with decent writing and strong performances by its three leads.

Those leads are best friends Joe (Ray Romano), a recent divorcee with dreams of playing professional golf, Terry (Scott Bakula), an out-of-work actor looking to get back his glory days, and Owen (Andre Braugher), a car salesman working for his demanding father.

See, they're straightforward archetypes of men going through a midlife crisis - unhappy with their lives and wanting to make big changes, but feeling like it might be too late.

That's why the three veteran TV actors deserve credit for pulling it all off and giving depth to characters who feel rudimentary on the surface.

Braugher ("Homicide: Life on the Street") is a phenomenal actor who always oozes charisma despite his subtle processes. But I'm most impressed by Romano. I loathed him on "Everybody Loves Raymond" and have always thought of him as an everyman's comedian. Here, Romano shows a wealth of dramatic range - even if he still exploits a "woe is me" persona.

It's still hard to identify with these characters, even if I like them and truly want to, but I can see why people like it. In 20 years, I'll probably love it myself.