Remember when I said I wasn’t looking forward to watching Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management? Well I’m glad I didn’t oversell my enthusiasm on that. Watching it was as exciting as, well any sitcom starring Charlie Sheen can be. The show kicks off with Charlie staring directly at the camera, speaking clearly for Chuck Lorre’s benefit:
‘You can’t fire me, I quit. You think you can hire a new guy to replace me?… I’m the opposite of losing, I’m…’ (Paraphrased)
The only thing he forgot to mouth off about was his addiction to Tiger Blood. Sad the writers didn’t manage to fit that one in.
The show is less a comedy and more of an elaborate PR campaign for Sheen’s career, dregging up all the outbursts in the media which made him popular for a while (trending on Twitter, everybody’s new 15 minutes of fame). Charlie is a man who made it to the “big leagues” but lost his cool, ruined his career in the spotlight and now is an anger management therapist of a band of rag-tag misfits (the passive aggressive gay man, the racist war veteran, the insecure man who likes being dominated and the token hot girl). He’s got a daughter with OCD issues, forgotten by the second episode, an ex-wife and a best friend who he’s hooking up who is also a therapist (foreshadowing). But most of all he’s reformed now, he’s got heart (barf).
The entire premise is a thinly veiled look at Charlie Sheen’s real life drama. This isn’t a bad way for the show to go, because many a great comedian has been successful. Except neither Charlie Sheen nor his team have the vision to take the show’s direction that way. None of the supporting characters are original, instead they’re stereotypical and cartoonishly two-dimensional.
FX generally presents shows that are slightly edgier than its parent network Fox, and has had critical acclaim with shows like Louie and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If Sheen really wanted to, he could’ve gone darker, slightly more twisted, then maybe the show would’ve been better. Still trying to rein in the Two and a Half Men audience and pandering to their sensibilities, the show’s creators have instead concocted a lackluster performer. Charlie Sheen said TaHM sucked, well his new show isn’t any better. I laughed harder at his real life outbursts post-debacle. YouTube, anyone?
Did not manage even a half smile while watching. May have tweeted #KillMeNow.
Shazia is part bionic, part crazy (parts not mutually exclusive), and would be happy conversing solely in TV quotes, forever hopeful she’ll be one-upped in her obscure TV references. She blogs here and microblogs here.