Hey, did you guys know that Charlie Sheen was on Two and a Half Men? You did? Well, the people at Anger Management want to be certain that you don’t forget it. I don’t want to poor cold water all over what was by far the best episode of the show’s freshman campaign, but the pokes at Charlie’s old job are getting a bit tiresome. It was a small portion of the episode, but the use of Charlie’s old bowling shirt from his former show paints the picture of a show that doesn’t trust its work. It keeps returning to the easy joke that doesn’t involve creating something new. If I’m to believe that this show is a fresh start for Sheen, then they shouldn’t keep trudging up the past. I’m sure many people enjoyed the subtle jab at Chuck Lorre and his former show, but I found it cheap. Charlie Sheen is a comedic talent that doesn’t need cheap jokes like that. (Insert whatever Two and a Half Men joke you want here.)
I really find that joke unfortunate because I actually enjoyed this episode. For starters, I actually enjoyed the prison group therapy. Granted, it’s a problem that I like Charlie’s secondary therapy group to his A squad, but that shouldn’t diminish the good work done by Eddie Winslow and the gang. The reason the prison group works is because it is so over the top. It’s the kind of crowd that perfectly complements Sheen’s classic deadpan delivery. Listening to homicidal maniacs describe their past crimes is shooting fish in a barrel for Sheen. It’s when he is at his best. Unfortunately, his group that convenes at his house can’t provide the same level of interest.
I’m also starting to enjoy his relationship with his ex-wife. His relationship with Selma Blair’s Kate isn’t very well done, but Charlie and his ex-wife have provided for some good banter the past few weeks.
This week was the best offering from Anger Management to date. There is still work to do, but it’s good to see a new show making adjustments as it goes. As Charlie would tell us, the process can be just as important as the results. (That sounds like something he would say, right?)
What did everyone else think? Where do you stand after episode 4?