Thursday, May 08, 2008

Two and a Half Men - Dancing on the Shark

Sometimes a show thinks it can get away with too much. Two and a Half Men gets a lot of passes, because of the likability of it's star, Charlie Sheen, and it's safe little time slot where nobody notices the raunchy tone of it. Well, people notice, but dialog and content now normal at later time slots is tolerated in the family oriented time slot of Two and a Half Men.

Making light of Charlie's previous public solicitation troubles and womanizing is old fare, dating back to Spin City, and why not, it's fun. This week, in a long plot string, the show took a dump on a much wider spectrum, trying to be high farce and ending up just being crude and insulting.

Back Story: Charlie's much-widowed mother is getting married to Robert Wagner, who's daughter, Jenny McCarthy has taken Charlie a couple different times for money. Wagner was fun on the show, and his turn of character and abrupt departure makes you wonder what they are thinking on this show. The ensemble needed some tweaking, and he could have fit in nicely. Jenny McCarthy, before this show, also had a nice plot string going. And was not hard to look at, either.

I'm spoiling it all right here, because I think it was a cheap shot of a script and plot turn anyway. If you actually care about Two and a Half Men plot strings, sorry. Last night could have been nice. The writers stepped out and tried to mock their network franchise, CSI. From the beginning, with the Who in their opening credits and throughout, using the CGI graphic style to explore Jake's stomach, and a Marg Helgenberger clone to interview all of them, also collecting ridiculous evidence samples, and with a real belly laugh as they used the black light semen detector in Charlie's bedroom. "It looks like a Jackson Pollock painting," was one great line.

Lets get this straight, NO sitcom worth watching is high art, and especially not this show, that's not why I watch it. I watch it because it's funny, but they can dance all over the line of acceptability. Last night, as they open the show with Robert Wagner dead in Charlie's bedroom, while his new wife was downstairs at their reception, the running joke is that he has lipstick on his hoo-hoo.

Then they go thru the mock interviews, and with nearly no pretense, McCarthy and Wagner are declared to be grifters, solely after Charlie's and his mother's money. He died while Jenny was giving him a BJ at the reception. This show can be hilarious, and gratingly raunchy, this was one of those low moments.

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