One and a Half Men

What made Two and a Half Men a great show? The raunchy humor was a part of it, but the lines were delivered by great actors playing hilarious characters. Charlie Sheen carried the show with his portrayal of Charlie Harper, and Jon Cryer’s Alan was the perfect foil. The contrast between the two men was real and created the perfect setting for all sorts of situations, and each character made us laugh along the way.

We shouldn’t expect Chuck Lorre and the writers to create a new version of this formula overnight, and it’s impossible to judge the new version of Men after one episode, but there was something missing in the first episode.

I’m not referring to the over-the-top swipes at Sheen’s character and the need to create a new storyline. I thought most of the jokes about Charlie’s death were forced and fell flat, while some of the cameos were funny, particularly the Dharma and Greg appearance. Lorre and his writers will move on, and these scenes have nothing to do with the future of the show.

The problem so far rests with Ashton Kutcher’s new character, billionaire Walden Schmidt, who meets Alan after trying to kill himself. I thought Kutcher was a great choice to replace Sheen, but Lorre seems to have created a flat character with the charisma and humor of a dead fish. He’s good-looking and bags beautiful babes like Charlie with little effort, but he’s also pathetic and boring, at least so far.

Cryer was excellent as usual, and he had many of the laugh lines in this first episode playing off of Walden Schmidt’s good looks and huge assets. His line that he “masturbated and cried myself to sleep” after Walden hooked up with the two babes they brought back to the beach house was classic Alan. But his loser routine worked great when played off of the charismatic and brutally funny Charlie Harper. How long can this work, however, opposite the dour Walden Schmidt?

Maybe the writers will have this character undergo a metamorphosis in part 2 of this opening episode or in future episodes as he embraces all the advantages he has in life. They have to do something, because none of Kutcher’s lines made me chuckle, let alone laugh out loud. Kutcher seemed like a good choice because he’s pulled off a zany and provocative character in the past. He can find a voice here if given the chance. Yet so far he’s more like a straight man, and that has to change. As great as Jon Cryer can be, he can’t carry this show all by himself, and so far the writers are giving Kutcher very little to work with.

  

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Doing the Math: Here’s How CBS Can Subtract Sheen and Still Come Up With “Two and a Half Men”

If you’ve paid any attention whatsoever to the entertainment news coming out of Hollywood in the past few weeks, then you can’t help but be aware of Charlie Sheen’s increasingly strange shenanigans and how they’ve directly affected the rest of the cast and crew of CBS’s long-running and ridiculously-successful sitcom, “Two and a Half Men.” Who would’ve thought that the infamous hotel incident in October 2010 would’ve proven to be one of the lesser moments on the actor’s ever-lengthening list of embarrassing incidents?

Now, after making the decision to bypass traditional rehab in favor of curing his drug and alcohol issues with his mind, Sheen has been running off at the mouth so much that CBS has pulled the plug and decided to call off the remainder of the episodes that had been planned for this season.

But what of next season? More importantly, given all of the nasty remarks that Sheen’s made toward series creator Chuck Lorre, will there even be a next season?

We know that CBS, Warner Brothers Television, and Lorre have ostensibly ruled out continuing “Two and a Half Men” without Sheen, but if we’re to be honest, it seems like the better tactic would be for the whole lot of them to say, “Hey, Charlie, read our lips: one monkey don’t stop no show,” then find a new man to join Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones and keep the title intact. We know things are kind of crazy over there at the moment, though, so we thought we’d at least try to help them a bit with the casting process.

Sure, they say they won’t continue without Charlie…but, then, they haven’t seen our suggestions yet.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

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