Coming off of the relative success of last week’s episode, I was starting to believe that Anger Management was beginning to find itself. It steered focus away from the painfully unfunny therapy group and really focused on the different relationships that Charlie experiences in his daily life. It was funny at times and well crafted over all. It’s safe to say that this episode did not build on that success.
Until now, I haven’t been really offended by Charlie Sheen using his past indiscretions as joke fodder for his new show. Granted, I wished he would be more imaginative with his show, but I wasn’t really bothered by poking fun at some of the old Sheen craziness. Unfortunately, that streak came to an end this week with the arrival of Denise Richards on the screen. For the most part, the scenes with Charlie and Denise were pretty solid. Since we were dealing with two people who used to be married off screen, it was easy to see the chemistry between the two. None of the jokes were super funny, but they interacted in a way that felt natural. While all that was good, the decision to allow Sheen to make a joke about hitting women is not the best look for the series. I won’t delve into Sheen’s checkered history with women, but he doesn’t have the necessary collateral to make that joke. Many of Sheen’s past indiscretions are ultimately harmless. He should stick to making jokes about those.
While the appearance of Denise Richards was certainly a highlight (in a number of ways), the added focus on the therapy group remains a significant weak point of the show. This week’s episode tried again to force Patrick on the viewers. It’s clear they think that Patrick has the most to offer (he’s the only one with significant screen time this season), but that is more an indictment of the other characters instead of praise for Patrick. When the show is inevitably renewed for the additional 90 episodes that will follow, the writers need to find ways to make the therapy group funnier, or minimize their presence. It’s not hard to see that the best episode of the young series came when the therapy group was a small part of the episode. They should stick to that formula.
We’re halfway through the first season now. How’s everyone feeling about Anger Management?