An Honest Review: Two And A Half Men: Sheen over Cutcher Any Day

Main cast of Two and a Half Men, (from left): Melanie Lynskey, Rose; Conchata Ferrell, Berta; Charlie Sheen, Charlie Harper;  Holland Taylor, Evelyn Harper;  Angus T. Jones, Jake Harper; Jon Cryer, Alan Harper; and Marin Hinkle as Judith Melnick.
Main cast of Two and a Half Men, (from left): Melanie Lynskey, Rose; Conchata Ferrell, Berta; Charlie Sheen, Charlie Harper; Holland Taylor, Evelyn Harper; Angus T. Jones, Jake Harper; Jon Cryer, Alan Harper; and Marin Hinkle as Judith Melnick.
CHUCK LORRE creator, director and principal writer for Two and A Half Men, and other hot shows for the CBS Television Network.
CHUCK LORRE creator, director and principal writer for Two and A Half Men, and other hot shows for the CBS Television Network.
CHARLIE SHEEN former star of Two And a Half Men, as well as other hit films such as Wall Street; The Rookie; Platoon, to name a few.
CHARLIE SHEEN former star of Two And a Half Men, as well as other hit films such as Wall Street; The Rookie; Platoon, to name a few.
ASHTON KUTCHER called in by Chuck Lorre and powers-that-be of Two And a Half Men to try and replace a terminated Charlie Sheen (Charlie Harper), from the show that is one of CBS' top-rated and revenue-earning sitcoms.
ASHTON KUTCHER called in by Chuck Lorre and powers-that-be of Two And a Half Men to try and replace a terminated Charlie Sheen (Charlie Harper), from the show that is one of CBS' top-rated and revenue-earning sitcoms.
DENISE RICHARDSON one of Charlie Sheen's lovey ex-wives.
DENISE RICHARDSON one of Charlie Sheen's lovey ex-wives.

DISCLAIMER:

the ideas, thoughts, and viewpoints in this story, are those of me, Kenneth Avery, and not necessarily those of CBS Television or any of their properties, companies, or their staff or employees as well as HubPages, editors, monitors, writers and their staff and employees as well.

In short, I'm out on a limb. But I don't value nets anyway. And I am not about to waste your time with a lot of stuff about 'this is a first for me,' or a 'bear with me as I' share my personal views about the 2011 season of Two And a Half Men with Charlie (Charlie Harper) Sheen's replacement, Ashton Kutcher. Did I say 'replacement'?

Besides Mark Harmon, Tom Selleck, Jeff Probst and Alex O'Laughlin, the next two best things to happen to the CBS Television Network are Chuck Lorre and Jerry Bruckheimer.

Bruckheimer, if you are a faithful fan of CBS, created the still-lucrative and ratings constants, CSI: Miami; CSI: New York and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, shot in Las Vegas and a lot more highly-successful shows that has made CBS billions and made this network a dominant force among the "big three" networks that include NBC and ABC.

Lorre is not a slouch by anyone's standards. He is credited for the creation of CBS' 'cash cow," Two And a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, and from another time and space: Grace Under Fire and Dharma and Greg. Lorre also serves as an executive producer for CBS's Mike & Molly. A bull pen that's hard to beat any night of the week. Just ask the exec's of competing networks.

Not that Lorre is a genius. But near it. For all of his projects have either hit the ratings in meteoric fashion, or became fan-favorites over night. Or both. Mostly both.

Personally, and strictly my opinion, Lorre wasn't thinking clearly when he tried to replace Charlie Sheen, who plays the always-colorful (in language and lifestyle) Charlie Harper on Two And a Half Men, with slacker icon, movie co-star and camera spokesperson, Ashton Kutcher. That's right, good people who are sold-out to CBS for their nightly entertainment. Ashton Kutcher.

This has nothing to do with Kutcher's character. Moral stance. Or political alliance. I could care less who he supports for president in 2012. What I do care about is his valiant 'attempt,' to actually try to replace an actor of such talent and wit as Charlie Sheen. It had to be about money. About $800,000.00 per episode. At that price, Kutcher can afford (for awhile) to be lax, laid-back and placid in his role as "Walden," an internet billionaire suffering from a nasty divorce who is befriended by Charlie Harper's brother, Alan, played by Jon Cryer.

Then the plot supposedly fits into place. "Walden" moves in with Alan Harper and son, Jake, Angus T. Jones, whom I saw once in the hit movie, The Rookie, with Dennis Quaid, and all should be living happily ever after--Charlie Harper. I said should be. But not so.

And here are the reasons why that Ashton Kutcher will not stay in Two And a Half Men.

LET'S LOOK AT THE SHOW'S PREMISE.

Charlie Harper has it made in the shade, pardon the metaphor. Harper is a wealthy man thanks to his numerous successful ad jingles. Harper also loves alcohol, in any flavor, hookers, women who can move under their own power, and a few occasional illegal drugs thrown in to make Sheen's character lovingly-unpredictable, but a guy that you just have to root for in each week's debacle about his personal life and loves or those of Alan, his brother's constant trying to make a life for himself and son, Jake while feuding with ex-wife, Judith.

Alan Harper, with son, Jake, turns up one day on Charlie Harper's doorstep, or Malibu beach home step--asking for "a night's lodging. Two tops," as Alan puts it to Charlie who, being all the things I mention, lover of booze, gambling, hookers and the occasional controlled substance, does have a heart and lets Alan and Jake move-in for what he thinks is a night or two which turns into a few years. All with Charlie's disgust shown in most every episode.

CBS had the perfect mixture. A carefree Charlie Harper, 'burning the candle at both ends and the middle," now having to deal with squeaky-clean, uptight, and chronic-worrier, Alan, his brother and Jake, his under-achieving nephew. And throw in Roberta, Charlie's house keeper who smokes a joint every now and again with lots of paid "vacations," that Charlie doesn't remember, and you have the working formula for a show's success. On any network.

Okay. I'm the first to admit it. Charlie Sheen's personal life has not been in the same league as Walt Disney, Ozzie Nelson, or Roy Rogers. Whose life has? Sheen's life has been in and out, mostly inside rehab, in trouble with 'ex's' Denis Richardson and Brooke Mueller, in jail. Out of jail. In the news. On tabloid covers. Tearing up motel rooms. Paying for damages all with that mischievous sparkle in his eyes. That was Charlie Sheen. And CBS knew these character flaws, if you will, going in when they cast him as Charlie Harper.

On DirectTV's Audience Channel. In one of these phone-in's Charlie Sheen coined the phrase, "winning," as a reflection to his own life after Two And a Half Men. Yes, Sheen burned up the talk radio lines and helped their ratings when he "left" Two And a Half Men as well as selling-out Carnegie Hall in New York for a one-man show that included several major cities on his "Truth Torpedo Tour."

And I don't know about you, but I have to pat Charlie Sheen on the back for he was among the first celebrities to arrive in Tuscaloosa, Alabama after the killer tornados of April 27, 2011, where he presented Tuscaloosa mayor, Walt Maddox, with a check for $1 million dollars to help with the recovery and rebuilding efforts. I didn't see Ashton Kutcher anywhere near the storm damaged area, but that is not to say that Ashton isn't a caring man. I just used that as a pointed-comparison to Sheen and Kutcher.

Personally, and with all the hoop-la, screaming girls under and over 16, I think that when the new wears off of Ashton Kutcher, CBS will staHas Sheen got an alcohol and drug problem. Certainly. But not beyond fixing. And I don't believe that Sheen's off-screen shenanigans were to boost interest in Two And a Half Men. The show was already pushing the top of the ratings before Charlie was "let go," as Lorre and the associate producers said, but only after several attempts to have a private sit-down with Sheen to iron out their differences which boiled down to Sheen coming to work intoxicated as Sheen vehemently denied on all the major talk shows on television and radio. Oh yes, he had a phone-in after he left Two And a Half Men, with his buddy, Dan Patrick, formerly of ESPN, now doing rt to see Two And a Half Men start to slide in the ratings and that equates to loss of ad revenue. We cannot have that can we?

Personally, I would love to see Charlie Sheen return (from the dead) as Charlie Harper. Writers hold the answer to his return in their hard drives even as I speak. And did you catch the Sept. 22, 2011, premiere of Two And a Half Men with that cheesy, over-done, funeral where the star of a show has died and now his family and friends are tearfully paying their respects? Not as infeasible as Bobby Ewing's death on Dallas and having is wife, Pam, played by Victoria Principle awaken in bed to hear Bobby in the shower. No, Charlie's exit from Two And a Half Men was not that cheesy, but can easily be written and explained . . ."if," Charlie Sheen were to agree to come back to the show while it's still running on top.

What do I have against Ashton Kutcher, you ask? Nothing. Not one thing of a personal nature. I did enjoy his role on That 70s Show as Michael Kelso, "boy toy," with an an oblivious attitude toward common sense. I like Kutcher at that time. But over the years, what has he really evolved into? Can you tell me a few solid, distinguishable differences in his acting? I fail to see them, if any.

As "Walden," on Two And a Half Men, it's like an older "Kelso," just saying memorized lines. Jon Cryer, Alan Harper, and Jake, Angus T. Jones, carry the workload of Two And a Half Men, but there's that shy, retiring, arrogance from Kutcher's role that I cannot tolerate. Actually, I don't want you or all of Kutcher's fans to be upset, I cannot tolerate arrogance from or in anyone. That, in a nutshell, and the writers always giving "Walden"/Kutcher the funniest lines and Cryer, who is the proverbial underdog on the show, the worst-possible sitcom situations that for the most part, can grind on a person's nerves.

For my money, I would take a return of Charlie Sheen as Charlie Harper to rejoin the existing cast, but without Ashton Kutcher, whom can be written out easily as he came on the show. And all of this Charlie Harper dying was nothing more than a cleverly-designed practical joke that Charlie Harper and college frat buddy, "Walden," had set up months ago when they met by accident in a bar (of course) in San Diego. Harper wanted to give his mom, played by Holland Taylor and of course, Alan, Jon Cryer, some needed-payback for the months of frustration Charlie had built-up because of Alan and Jake's living with Charlie without paying rent.

Just about any scenario with Charlie Sheen . . .returning to Two And a Half Men will be absolutely fabulous. Don't worry about Ashton Kutcher. I hear he and current wife, Demi Moore have split up, so Kutcher can live comfortably with the alimony Moore will probably pay him and with the cameras he sells on television ads, Kutcher will be okay.

Until someone else on some other hit show on CBS has a few bouts with a less-than-acceptable social life, and he will show up. Ashton Kutcher. Fill-in for the stars.

Only on CBS.






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Comments 27 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I love the show Two And A Half Men....I watch the re-runs all the time. Now that being said I've watched one episode with A.K. and to be honest it wasn't the same at all. I miss Charlie on the show and will probably never watch another new episode. Enjoyed your hub.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

I don't know what to think about Charlie, he "is" a bad boy and never learns a lesson but I find it hard to believe anyone could ever "be" him.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, Just Ask Susan...thank you so much for the comment. Im glad that I am not the only one who sees the huge difference in Two And a Half Men . . .you are too young to remember, but it was a range war when Don Knotts/Barney Fife left Andy Griffith... and the new guy, Warren Ferguson/Jack Burns just didnt quite make the cut. Same as with A.K. Ratings will soo fall, but this will help Sheen with a HUGE raise if he comes back and that I hope is SOON. KENNETH


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, Pollyannalana, and YOU are dead-on. Charlie "makes" the show with his always-colorful antics and not like Ashton, who the writers tried hard to make him different than Charlie...a little too different and too much smugness. Thanks so much for the comment. KENNETH


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

Voted up and across, I like anyone who is not afraid to say exactly what they think! People lack brains don't they, to think they can replace the star? Only this compares to trying to replace Andy on "The Andy Griffith Show". There would have been no show. I doubt seriously this one can pull it off.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I really only liked Two and a Half Men when it first came on. It was clever and funny, but then devolved into sex and bathroom humor which totally turned me off of it. I just think it's time for the whole show to go. It's not as funny to me as "The Big Bang Theory" and Ashton Kutcher is not too good of an actor in any category. Voted up and interesting.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, Jackie, and THANK YOU for the encouraging remark. I never thought that Andy could be used in this analogy, but you're right. Ashton and CBS will NOT pull this off--Sheen has established too much of a following and when the ratings start to slide, it will be Ashton to blame. Thanks again, Jackie. Peace! KENNETH


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

I couldn't agree more, Alecia. Cheap humor at our expense and maybe just once, they would let Alan catch a break. And let Jake have one intelligent thought. But if they don't, I can tolerate that, but PLEASE, bring back Charlie Sheen. Thanks again, Alecia! KENNETH


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

Kenneth...

Your bold foray onto "the limb" of judgement against (nothing personal I understand) Ashton Kutcher is applauded by me my friend. I have not watched the new 'addition' to the show...but I never let 'not knowing' stop the formation of an opinion!

I like the many ways you have gotten Charlie back on the show. I mentally attempted something like that with Col. Blake from MASH...I had him floating around on a dingy in the Sea of Japan...

Anyway...awesome effort my friend from the town (that will remain nameless) Alabama.

Thomas

PS...you managed to stumble into my latest story and I apologize in advance for any license taken. (here...take your license back...they won't let me buy beer with it anyways...)


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

11/21 hello, ThoughtSandwiches, wow, what an intelligent comment and No, I am not offended by your opinions that are actually more valid than mine. I would love to see Charlie back on Two And a Half Men..makes me think, why has NBC or ABC, created a sequeal, Two And A Half Women with Cristina Applegate, Jami Lee Presley and a young teen girl with IQ like Jake? Anyway. My town is Hamilton. DO NOT fear. Even the blob didnt come near! LOL! Would that be feasible...my female show and Charlie's joke? Anyway, thanks a lot for giving me back my license and I wondered where that went. Visit with me anytime and Happy Thanksgiving to you.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

I have watched Two and a Half Men since it began. I have loved Charlie Sheen since his very earliest days...watched him originally because I loved his dad and brother. I hate that he has turned to drugs and alcohol and seem to think that this behavior is ok...and won't hurt him in the long run. Unfortunately, we have lost too many awesome actors, actresses and musicians to drugs and alcohol.

Having said all of this, I believe that Ashton Kutcher can not and will not fill Charlie's shoes on the show. I like Ashton, and think he is an ok actor, but he is not the same caliber comedian as Sheen is.

Hopefully, Charlie will get straightened out and be able to do shows at the same caliber as Two and a Half Men.

Voted up and across!


jenubouka 5 years ago

I completely agree Kennith, I think if the network along with Mr.Lorre want to see Two and a Half Men reign they will write Charlie back. Kutcher's fan base will grow tired as they are of a younger generation.

Mr.Lorre's love for fame and fortune will surpass his grudge as he sees Charlie mend his reputation, once again. We have seen Charlie fall many times, but when he gets back up he does it with good intentions.

He may be known as a "bad boy" but his quirky sense of being tends to allow forgiveness at least it did for me. Great Hub, I think about this every time I watch the show.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

11/22

justateacher (no, you are MORE than that!) Thank YOU so very MUCH for the words of encouragement. After I published this, it hit me. Uh, oh. Ashton's fan base. And you cleared that up for me. Thanks. Yes, Charlie is in, and on a level of acting and comedy that Ashton can only strive to attain. I truly believe that as early as next season, Charlie will be back and watch how popular Two And a Half Men are then! Happy Thaksgiving to you! KENNETH


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

11-22, Hi, jenubouka! How are you today? Today where I live, storms coming in by 2 p.m./cst and going into the evening. I agree. When Lorre gets over his grudge, and maybe Charlie mellows some, things can and hopefully, will be back on track. Thanks for the comforting remarks and you have a great Thanksgiving. KENNETH


Sueswan 5 years ago

Dear Kenneth

I haven't watched Two and Half Men in awhile. I have never seen the new shows with Ashton Kutcher.

In my opinion, no one can replace Charlie Sheen.

Voted up and awesome.

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. :-)


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

November 24, 2011

8:52 p.m.--CST

Dearest Susan: Thanks so MUCH for the lovely and much-needed comment and votes. I Appreciate and WILL NEVER forget YOUR support. And thanks too for agreeing that Sheen cannot be replaced. I think that in less than one year, he will renegotiate, shake hands, kiss and make up with Lorre and be THE highest-paid celebrity of all-time when he comes back to the show. And I had a very quiet Thanksgiving. I hope that you had a great day also. Fondly, Kenneth


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

Great hub, I too yell 'bring back Charlie' to Chuck Lorre and anyone else who's listening. Kutcher is so one-dimensional and worst of all, he can't act. He looks like an amateur when he's in the same scenes as Jon Cryer or Conchata Ferrell. I know Two & A Half Men often went very low in terms of morality etc, but that's nothing that can't be fixed with tighter scripts and the will to just be funny rather than bordering on 'gross' a bit too often. Voted up!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

11/28...Hello, Jools! Thank you for your appreciated-input. And I agree with you. Cryer and (Angus T.) Jones and the rest of the crew are, I know, tired already of being Ashton's cruthes and soon, there will be rumbling of dissent on the set. Mark my words. And Lorre will swallow his pride and thankfull, Charlie will return...and when this happens, AS A FAVOR TO ME...YOU WRITE A WELCOME BACK, CHARLIE HUB...OKAY? Thanks, Kenneth


May Escalo 4 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

So many choices from great casts of Two and a Half Men, but I think Charlie Sheen is the most. What do you think guys? http://www.ranker.com/list/full-cast-of-two-and-a-...


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Thanks, May!

Im with you on Charlie Sheen!

Kenneth


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I always loved this show when Charlie was on it. I never watch it anymore except reruns. I think they'll bring back Charlie if they want the show to survive. Bye for now....


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Mary,

me too. And I join my hope with yours for Charlie to come back soon for this new guy CANNOT fill his shoes.

Take care.

Kenneth


snowdrops profile image

snowdrops 4 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

Hmm..this made me put this movie on my what-to-watch list :)

all the votes Ken!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

snowdrops, my dear friend,

Sheen or Cutcher? Hope you say Sheen, for Ashton is not a sitcom actor in my opinion, but what CBS may be planning behind the scenes is Sheen coming back when the Two and Half Men ratings start plummeting and they will, what a blockbuster of a new show with Charlie Harper back! I dare say that most-watched TV sitcom in history.

What do you think?

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

@ snowdrops, Im sorry. Thank you also for your votes.

Your friend, KENNETH


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Your hub, as always, is superb. I agree with all that you've said except, I think Ashton Kutcher is starting to create his own character...either that or Alan and Jake are taking over the show. This was a great read and I linked it to my Charlie Sheen hub which I will be publishing tomorrow.

Voted up, useful, and funny.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, My Dear tillsontitan,

Thank YOU, my Dear, Talented friend. I mean it. You always seem to have just the right words to say to cheer me up, right here at 11 p.m., CDST, my bedtime . . .my bones are aching and body is in much pain due to the weather getting cooler, but as long as I have friends like you, I am going to keep publishing hubs on HubPages.

I agree. Ashton may be doing that, but I still miss Charlie Sheen . . .a LOT.

What a ratings MONSTER if he were to come back . . .can you imagine the press going wild with this?

Hey, dearest, thanks again and stay cool.

Love you, Respect you and Admire your talents,

KENNETH

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