Welcome to the new monthly A & E column, a column about my take on all things entertaining, or as I like to call it: How I met my column. Don’t bother to guess, I’ll probably never tell you. I’ll just keep you hanging on for years with vague hints here and there about how each week developed. Like this one:
So this is how I met this week’s column…I spent a lot of time last semester researching and writing about Charlie Sheen. He did provide a lot of material. But I found myself agreeing with him at times which may be evidence that I was working way too much! Either way, I saw his point about Chuck Lorre (although I wouldn’t call Lorre a “sad, silly fool”) and then when he made the decision to kill one of prime time’s favorite characters, I knew Charlie was on to something.
As the Charlie Sheen drama played out over the last year or so, the focus has been on him. Is he crazy? Is he on drugs? Will he ever make a come back? And did he really just say that!? Most of what he said, when he wasn’t espousing the virtues of his tiger blood or bragging about his live-in goddesses, was criticism of Chuck Lorre. He said Lorre is a “low rent nut-less sociopath” and that AA was going to vote him off the island.
In a message meant for Lorre he said that “Two and a Half Men” wouldn’t be the same without him. And he’s right. I love Ashton Kutcher but the show was about Charlie Harper (Sheen), all the other characters were just lucky to live in his world. The dorky kid, the loser brother and the acerbic quick-witted house keeper were nothing without Sheen. Did you notice the difference in the scene’s without him? Like the ones with Alan and girlfriend, Lyndsay, whose house he burned down? Just not funny. Not without Charlie.
Sheen was ready to put aside the differences at one point and come back but Lorre wouldn’t have it. As Sheen said in a letter revealed by the Hollywood Reporter, “Not even a phone call to the man that put you on the map.” Lorre let his personal feelings affect his business decisions and he let his selfishness affect viewers’ enjoyment. He’s so vindictive he’s even going to kill off Harper in the season premier.
If “Men” tanks, it’ll be all Lorre’s fault. He’s putting all of his eggs in Ashton’s basket. I think viewers will quickly grow tired of a Sheen-less “Men” and will even stop wondering what all those words are that flash across the screen at the very end of every episode. Words that Lorre writes and no one has time to read unless they pause the DVR at just the right second. They rarely make any sense and are just another chance for Lorre to force his views on the world. And most people don’t even notice them or care what they say, which is the same fate waiting for a Sheen-free “Two and a Half Men.”
The good news is soon we can watch Sheen on his own show, “Anger Management,” which is currently in development by Lionsgate and should be released on a cable network sometime in the near future. No, it’s not a reality show. But when it hits the air, I’ll bet Sheen will be “winning.”