"We are very green-conscious," says Ray Romano, adding that he drives a Prius. "And I get paid in apple seeds," he quips, turning serious to point out the existence of recycling bins on the "Men of a Certain Age" set. "To the best of our ability, we're pitching in."
For sitcom veteran Romano, the hour-long dramedy format of the TNT series was a change, but a welcome one. "I spent nine years on '[Everybody Loves] Raymond,' which I loved doing and I'm proud of, but the genre is a little bit broader than real life, a little bit tweaked. When I do this show I want to make sure I don't go there. I want this character to be real and organic and still be funny and dramatic. So that's kind of challenging."
In "Men," which returns for its second season Dec. 6, Romano plays a newly divorced party goods store owner, avid golfer and father of two with a gambling problem and two best friends, Owen (Andre Braugher), who inherited his father's Chevrolet dealership but can't escape Dad's shadow, and Terry (Scott Bakula), a Peter Pan-esque actor-turned-car salesman at the dealership. "When is he going to grow up and get on with his life? With his new job he's pressed into that, and also he gets involved in a more serious kind of adult relationship this year and there are challenges there," says Bakula of his character, noting that Romano's Joe "wrestles with being single and with gambling issues and the peculiar friendship that he has with his bookie."
Braugher's Owen has issues that go "beyond trying to live and balance a life. He's saddled with running the dealership at a time when not everybody is out there buying cars, and still having his dad looking over his shoulders," Bakula continues. "Everybody has some kind of very real issues, none of them earth-shattering but all of them kind of relevant and relatable."