I never really understood the popularity of either Charlie Sheen or Two and a Half Men. I’ve reviewed enough sitcom’s on here for people to work out what kind of humour I like, usually something very observational or based around the very mundane or ordinary. Two and a Half Men never really hit the hilarious chord.
It was decent enough. My Dad has a great way of describing some tv shows; “Chewing Gum for the Eyes.” Two and Half Men fit this perfectly. It wasn’t the best sitcom on television by a long stretch but I know if I tuned in to watch it, I’d get a few decent laughs and it would suitably kill half an hour.
For some reason, Two and Half Men was huge in America! Subsequently, or maybe it was actually the other way round, Charlie Sheen became ridiculously popular as well. I think at one time he was the highest paid actor in television (though I could be wrong). I never really understood this because he didn’t really seem to bring anything amazing to the show or have anything different. I think its been proven even more now that they have replaced him with Ashton Kutcher.
You couldn’t escape the furore around his departure from the show and the subsequent breakdown. Amongst the crazy interviews, the poor/good reviews for his one-man show and the weird tweets he posted, there was news of a television show that was to be in the same ilk as the Jack Nicholson/Adam Sandler film – Anger Management.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t quite true. It was slightly hinted at, an anger management therapist that has anger management issues himself, in the pilot, it’s never really developed much beyond that though. In fact, there seems to be very little resemblance to the film at all. Maybe I misunderstood or mis-read something during the hype.
Hype was the right word too. The adverts on comedy central had the show down as being a huge event. I’m sure it was promoted in the same way in America too. Unfortunately, it never really lived up to that hype. What Charlie Sheen has created is another show that is “chewing gum.”
Its decent enough but just not hilarious. Charlie Sheen’s character, named Charlie (again), is funny enough. He gets to say some quite witty things to his patients and gets himself into therapy related scrapes each week that are amusing enough. There are even decent enough lines that will keep you chuckling.
The support is where the real comedy should lie. The patients, both in Charlie’s anger management group and his prison group, should offer ample opportunity for comedy, and again, there are some decent laughs. It’s never really enough though and although its entertaining, it’s hardly cutting, edgy comedy, which is what it felt like it was being advertised as.
There is good talent here too. Charlie Sheen has proven he can do comedy, Selma Blair as his girlfriend/therapist can also deliver decent comedy and the rest of the cast do a good job too, they are just not given the really decent storylines or scenario’s that you’d want from a comedy trying to emulate the success of Two and a Half Men.
It’s a shame because there are some great moments that prove that the talent is there. The best example is the episode where Charlie’s Dad comes to stay. He is played by Martin Sheen and the amount of inside gags, brilliant set-ups and then decent comedic reveals prove that Anger Management has the potential to be a great show.
Unfortunately, that single episode is the only real highlight of the series that never really gets above average. It’s a decent enough series and is very good at keeping your attention for half an hour but there is too many sitcom’s on tv that to be any good, Anger Management needs to step up its game.
Overall, Anger Management never really lives up to the hype that Charlie Sheen’s breakdown and the adverts that promoted the show promised. Charlie Sheen doesn’t really do anything too strenuous, the rest of the cast pull their weight but there is very little decent material for them to work with. There are moments of brilliance but there isn’t enough to elevate this show above “chewing gum for the eyes.”
Best Episode – Charlie’s Dad visits: The episode where Martin Sheen, playing Charlie’s Dad, visits. There is enough inside jokes, great set-ups and brilliant situations to easily make this the best episode of the season.
Best performance – Charlie Sheen as Charlie
Should there be another season? – It will probably get another season but if it didn’t, it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.
Season Rating – 2.5
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)