Two and a Half Men – “Nice to Meet You, Walden Schmitt”

Two and a Half Men – “Nice to Meet You, Walden Schmitt

Way back in the day Charlie Sheen was considered a reasonably competent dramatic actor in films like Wall Street and Platoon. Then came Major League and Hot Shots and suddenly his comedic ability became apparent. After the tumultuous decade that was the 90s, Sheen settled into the sitcom world. He took over being the lead actor in Spin City once Michael J. Fox had to quit due to his worsening Parkinson’s disease. He was reasonably funny, but the show went downhill overall. I guess he decided that sitcom work agreed with him because not too long later he got a new show. Two and a Half Man paired Sheen, playing basically himself, with Jon Cryer, playing his wussy brother. The show was always ridiculously stupid, but early on I was amused. It got old fast. Despite the near unanimous opinion that it’s just awful, Two and a Half Men has always been very highly rated. Go figure.

So, Charlie’s dead. Right off the bat. Everyone just talks about the venereal diseases he spread around and no one seems too torn up about it. Basically the whole opening scene is just one big “fuck you, Charlie Sheen.” The implication is that he was murdered in Paris by Rose, his longtime stalker played by the massively overqualified actress Melanie Lynskey. Even more “fuck you, Sheen” jokes follow. Now Charlie is dead. Charlie Harper, we hardly knew you… mostly due to poor characterization. Now new people need to rent the apartment. Potential renters include John Stamos, who was rumored to be Sheen’s replacement on Two and a Half Men. Also Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson reprising their roles from Chuck Lorre’s other show Dharma and Greg. But we all know who the replacement is. Ashton Kutcher is taking the role of wild and crazy guy to contrast with Jon “Ducky” Cryer’s milquetoast loser. Ashton Kutcher plays a lovelorn billionaire who Alan (Cryer’s character) meets when he tries to kill himself outside his beach house. Since the house was Charlie’s and Alan doesn’t have the money to keep living there, Kutcher’s character (the titular Walden Schmitt) decides to buy it.

I’m not tuning in regularly so don’t expect any more reviews of this show. I’ve never really watched it regularly, although I did sort of catch a bunch of episodes when it first entered syndication. Quite frankly, I mainly tuned in because I was curious about their handling of the whole Charlie Sheen meltdown. They handled it with the same low class humor they handle everything with. It was good for a couple laughs but really there’s nothing to bring me back next week.

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