RECAP: Two and a Half Men

Written by Hunter Phillips on . Posted in TV

Well, consider me shocked. That was non-terrible television.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I laughed. I laughed during Two and a Half Men. Maybe it was because of Charlie Sheen’s HILARIOUS funeral, or perhaps because Ashton Kutcher is a genuinely gifted comedian, but I laughed. I almost feel embarrassed.

My relationship with Two and a Half Men isn’t a very strong one. In fact, all I’d seen of the series was a few post-credits tags while waiting for Archer to come on. All I knew was that Charlie Sheen played Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer was criminally wasted, and the mysterious half-man lurked about. Having that much knowledge, I entered tonight’s premiere wondering just how bad the show that is famous for being bad could be.

I wish I could say it was worse. Maybe I’ll need to see some Charlie episodes to understand the levels of incredibad present. But Ashton Kutcher was fine, Jon Cryer was fine, and I laughed a few times. The half-man of legend was the biggest disappointment. My roommate told me before the episode, “Half-man only gets fart jokes and food jokes,” so I watched the episode hoping for something magical from Angus T. Jones. Instead, I got approximately one fart joke and one food joke from the half-man, and nothing else.

As if to prove elsewhere Chuck Lorre’s predictability, Charlie’s well-publicized funeral was full of disses and put-downs toward the man with tiger’s blood. However, I found myself wondering if any of this was predicated on Sheen’s leaving the show. It seems that Charlie (the character) was set up for a farewell of this sort from the beginning, and received his just desserts, Sheen drama notwithstanding. However, the funeral scenes went on uncomfortably long, and I was just hoping to be rid of Charlie’s parade of exes before the first commercial break.

Thankfully, that justice was granted, and we were soon introduced to Kutcher’s Walden Schmidt, “an Internet billionaire with a broken heart.” I legitimately found the story of his fortune hilarious, but was less moved by his generic breakup story. Also pleasant: before Kutcher’s arrival, John Stamos arrives to look at Charlie’s house and reveal some disturbing stories about America’s favorite warlock, erhm, the character played by America’s favorite warlock. Even better was a surprise cameo by Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson, brilliantly reprising their roles as Dharma and Greg after 10 years.

Once Kutcher was introduced, predictability sunk in even more — he got laid, and Cryer didn’t. This was, of course, bookended by no fewer than four separate penis jokes, but what else would be expected? A completely unnecessary “to be continued…” flashed after the tag, in case anyone wondered why Kutcher would want to spend more time with Cryer and the half-man.

In all, did I hate my time with Two and a Half Men? Not necessarily, and part of me wishes I hated it more. Will I come back next week? Absolutely not. But even the half-man and the script’s silly innuendo annoyances didn’t come close to Sheldon Cooper levels, and anything less annoying than Sheldon Cooper is something I can tolerate watching.

Even if I have to say I spent an evening watching Two and a Half Men.

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