Anger Management “Charlie Tries Sleep Deprivation” Review

Anger Management (FX) Charlie Tries Sleep Deprivation Episode 3

Three episodes into Charlie Sheen’s new series, Anger Management, and I can’t figure out why this show is a thing.

It couldn’t possibly be a weirder fit in the FX lineup. I know that plenty of people smarter than I am have discussed that before, but it bares repeating. For a network that is willing to give Louis CK complete dominion over his television show, and gives the creative license for the people at Wilfred to do whatever it is that they do, this show seems like an odd choice by the developmental team. It’s a traditional multi-cam sitcom with a laugh track. Lucky for them they have the laugh track. Otherwise, no one would be laughing.

That being said, this week’s episode produced my first audible chuckle of the series. The ex-wife falling on the pool table while saying “Go away balls” produced a legitimate chuckle. While that scene provided the genesis for Charlie’s latest anger management idea, what followed was lots of unfunny scenes featuring the therapy group. For the first three episodes, the show has staked a lot of collateral on Charlie’s interactions with his anger management group. The issue with that idea is that the group can’t deliver. Every single one of them is one-note predictability. I’m guessing the writers expect Charlie to be able to play off of these caricatures in a way that’s funny. So far, he hasn’t been able to do it.

I’m not willing to write off this show entirely at this point. The show definitely has a lot of warts, but Charlie Sheen is a funny guy. He may not be a sweetheart in person, but he definitely has some comedic chops. At this point, given the weird production deal they struck (10 episodes now, possibly renewed for 90 more episodes), there’s a strong case to be made that Charlie is mailing this one in. That’s too bad. Still, if the ratings hold up, I’m sure Wilfred and Louie will be happy for the company on Thursday nights.

What did you think of this week’s episode?