The former movie star/TV star/social pariah/late night talk show punch-line Charlie Sheen is all set to make a glorious (?) comeback to American television screens. The project is the aptly-titled Anger Management, a half-hour comedy loosely based on the 2003 Adam Sandler comedy of the same name.
The project almost seems like one big joke. I can imagine that Sheen took on such a self-deprecating project because he realized that the world was laughing at him, not cheering him on. His live show opened to bad reviews and poor audience reactions at each of its venues. So now why not take on a sitcom where he can attempt to redeem himself to American viewers every week? “See? I’m Learning My Lesson!” could be an alternate title.
According to reports, Sheen will play the character Jack Nicholson portrayed in the film. This means that some young hotshot actor will get the (un)fortunate chance to work alongside one of pop culture’s most outlandish icons. Remember Jonathon Sadowski from $h*! My Dad Says? I don’t either.
I guess the big question is: will audiences go for it? Sheen surely was popular during the glory days of his film career and Two and a Half Men was and is one of the most popular sitcoms on TV. But is America suffering from Sheen burnout? Are people tired of his baseless swagger and thinly glorified hedonism?
While there was a time when I was fascinated by Sheen, now I just find his antics pathetic. I have huge doubts that this sitcom will be any less pointless and simplistic as Two and a Half Men. It’s being produced by Sheen’s buddy Joe Roth. It seems that Roth might be a more lenient employer than Chuck Lorre, who fired Sheen after a series of anti-Lorre interviews Sheen gave earlier this year. This means to me that Anger Management might head into the same trouble that Men did if Sheen ever gets bored of being an adult.
The other big question is: Can and will Two and a Half Men survive without Sheen? With Ashton Kutcher as a replacement, the show does have potential to refresh itself. Kutcher made his start on TV playing the bimbo Michael Kelso on That 70's Show. After eight seasons, the show could use a breath of fresh air to reinvigorate it. With this change, Men could really reestablish itself as a sitcom. But I think I’m being too optimistic. I have a feeling audiences may reject a Sheen-less Men.
Coincidentally, the premiere of Men’s ninth season airs on the same date as Comedy Central’s roast of Sheen (September 19th). There are no reports saying when the Anger Management sitcom will begin casting and shooting. But it will be interesting to see who America turns to on September 19th — Two and a Half Men or Charlie Sheen officially being the butt of every joke. Who knows? Maybe there won't be a difference.


  • Sophia Hurrell
    Sophia Hurrell on

    I don't know if I can accept him as a legitimate actor anymore. Even if I saw him attempting to play some "redeeming" role, when I see him, I can't help but see him as a pathetic mental patient.

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