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Imagining a Very Special Final Episode of 'Two and a Half Men'
March 1, 2011  | By P.J. Bednarski
The Charlie Sheen show, now playing on almost every channel, is just another in a series of self-deprecating screams that once would have happened in private, and now happen in front of everybody around the world. The fall of Charlie Sheen was predictable. Vegas should have odds on his death by now.

And yet...


In the last quarter hour of his interview on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, Sheen noted that the Charlie he plays on the CBS sitcom is more, not less, like the Charlie he is in real life. So what follows is a logical question: Why punish Charlie?

Isn't it hypocritical for a network and his studio to condemn Sheen for his "statements, condition and conduct" when that is what they have built the show around? Two and a Half Men is about a delusional, drunken, womanizing asshole. It stars Charlie Sheen. CBS and series creator-producer Chuck Lorre have gotten what they paid for. Exactly.

Typically, television ends enormously successful sitcoms by planning a final episode that sums up the series with a realistic ending that is true to the characters.

The honorable, honest way for CBS to end Two and a Half Men would be a very special episode in which it is revealed that a drunken Charlie has killed himself in a car crash. That's a typical way for alcoholics to die.

With Sheen now banished as a cast member but contractually attached to the show, we could learn of the crash at the beginning of the episode, and let the remainder of the half-hour fill up with wall-to-wall clips of Charlie in an alcoholic haze from the past seven seasons.

The entire cast could gather one last time to cue the memories of crazy Charlie that, if this were real life, would likely include domestic violence, unemployment, chronic sickness and a police record.

On TV, the laugh track would be in overdrive.

Fade to black out.


Noel Holston said:

The show is a devil's bargain destined from the outset to go sour. What fascinates me more than Sheen's crack-up or Lorre's exploitation of his bad-boy image is the size of the audience that finds Sheen's obnoxious "TV self" amusing.

Comment posted on March 2, 2011 11:14 AM
Neil said:

I've been a faithful viewer of this show since the beginning, and I enjoy catching certain of the episodes in syndication too.

Charlie Sheen may be the "star", but his character is only one element of a successful and very funny ensemble. Every character on this program is a bad actor. (Not saying the actors are bad; to the contrary,they're all very good, with Sheen ironically being the least talented actor in the cast.)

From Alan, Charlie's cheap, mooching wimp brother, to Jake, the sullen, manipulative teenage son, to Berta, the manipulative trailer-trash housekeeper, to the narcissistic, self-absorbed mother, to the shrewish ex-wife, to the various airheaded and/or gold-digging girlfriends, present and past, virtually all the characters are flawed individuals. (Even the few that escape looking terrible, like Herb and Chelsea, have their flaws.)

And that's what makes the show fun. The character Charlie is written very close to the real person Charlie, but he's just one of the many characters that make it work. In lesser hands, this combustible combination would've been a train wreck and cancelled long before now.

But the deftness of Lorre and his creative team have made it work, in much the same way that Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm work with a stable of flawed characters by virtue of excellent acting, writing and production.

Comment posted on March 2, 2011 4:01 PM
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