Two And A Half Men - Who's Best - Charlie or Ashton?
Well, Two and A Half Men is back and so far all we've seen is Ashton's pixelated man-bits and his one-dimensional acting, let's hope the rest of the series improves on the first two episodes - all we learnt were that Walden Schmidt is rich, well-hung and a wee bit needy.
Two and A Half Men is one of the most popular TV comedies on both sides of the Atlantic and one of the main reasons for its success was the central character, Charlie Harper played by Charlie Sheen.
The new show started with Charlie's funeral as expected with a collection of former girlfriends there to 'lament' his passing (it was almost cruel rather than funny).
We had a girlfriend with chlamydia and a girlfriend claiming Charlie like to wear her panties whilst being spanked - it was all a bit heavy-handed.
Ok Chuck Lorre, you dislike Charlie Sheen's recent antics - but he made your show a huge success so move on!
In true Charlie Sheen fashion (he is never one to hide from controversy), he was the guest at his own celebrity roast on Comedy Central on September 10th.
In advance of the screening, he told reporters it would be 'epic'.
The roasting was aired on 19th September, the same night as Two and A Half Men aired.
Charlie Sheen is nothing if not self-deprecating. He goes awry in his life from time to time and he lets people down but that's always been his way, it's nothing new.
He sat through his roast and took it like a man. But isn't that the nature of these strange American occasions?
If your life is out there for everyone to see, splattered all over magazines, newspapers and entertainment news programmes, you can hardly sit there and deny it all happened or, for that matter, take a defensive posture on a programme which is designed to make people laugh AT someone's flaws.
Charlie still looks a bit thin at the moment but in general, he looked healthier than he has recently and he took his licks as expected.
Charlie's character, Charlie Harper is moving over for Ashton Kutcher in the role of Walden Schmidt.
Lots of fans think nobody can replace Charlie Sheen and I'm one of his biggest fans in this role, but Ashton isn't being brought in to play Charlie Harper and that can only be a good thing.
He will be able to make his own mark in time but Charlie Sheen is a hard act to follow, mainly because he has great comic timing and he and Jon Cryer had an amazing screen chemistry, they bounced off one another with their dialogue.
Sheen was also amazing with Conchata Ferrell and Holland Taylor as well; will Ashton be able do the same?
Ashton Kutcher isn't a complete stranger to comedy. He played the slightly dumb Michael Kelso in That 70s Show; the type of character viewers either love or hate.
I always felt like it was a less successful version of Woody from Cheers but that's not Ashton's fault - someone else wrote the script.
So far in Two and A Half Men, he hasn't really been all that funny. Maybe that's down to his character? There were times in episode 2 when I felt that he was just going to be mooning over his lost love in every episode.
That will be fine - as long as it's funny.
So will Ashton Kutcher fill the void left by Charlie Sheen? Who knows, we'll all be anticipating how Lorre will develop the character.
We will all come down on either side after this series - but Charlie Sheen will be a hard act to follow.
It may be that Walden Schmidt is completely different from Charlie Harper but would Lorre really abandon such a winning formula?
Jon Cryer's character has gotten even more irritating in recent episodes but the last two episodes barely featured Sheen leading most viewers to suspect a lot of rewrites had taken place and that Cryer had been given a bit more room to shine (and he's a funny guy).
Judy Greer, who previously appeared in Two and A Half Men as Herb Melnik's sister is now playing Walden's ex-wife. Greer is a good comedy actress and if enough chemistry can be built between her and Kutcher, we may warm to Walden in time. So far, I'm underwhelmed.
Conchata Ferrell spent most of the second episode letting us hear her thoughts in voice-overs whilst she looked Ashton Kutcher up and down a lot.
They should involve Ferrell a lot more - she is so funny! And let us see Rose and Walden develop a relationship a bit more.
I haven't written off Kutcher yet. I'm a few weeks behind you lucky Americans with the show so I will keep an open mind for now on how Ashton fills Charlie's shoes.
I hope he succeeds, just so we get more Two and A Half Men.
Above all, I hope we see Charlie Sheen back - fit, healthy, clean and maybe, sometime in the not too distant future, he'll get another show and we can remind ourselves just how good he is.
Charlie Sheen In Therapy With Jane Lynch
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