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Age limits

Television | New sitcom has successful boomers struggle with aging

Issue: "Demsnami," Nov. 4, 2006

The NBC sitcom Twenty Good Years (Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET) focuses on two 60-year-olds who seem to have suddenly awoken from a success-oriented "coma." The show appears aimed at baby boomers who are starting to wonder what life is all about.

The relationship between exuberant and overconfident surgeon John Mason, played by John Lithgow, age 61, and stick-in-the-mud widower/judge Jeffrey Pyne, played by Jeffrey Tambor, age 62, is potentially interesting, but it's hard to tell whether upcoming episodes will resemble the odyssey into oblivion of Thelma and Louise or the constant bickering/making up of The Odd Couple.

So far the show is mostly silly, but deeper chords more suited to stage drama resound between bouts of less-than-memorable humor. When Lithgow's boss tells him he's being forced into retirement, Lithgow responds, "I'm not just some insurance salesman you push out the door. I'm Dr. John Mason!" From there he might try to find out who he really is in God's world, but instead he reads, "Swimmers set for sub-zero splash. The Coney Island Polar Bears. Today they are going to frolic in the freezing Atlantic surf"-and he thinks he will be "reborn" by joining them.

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