WYTHE CO., Va., June 29, 2012 – The first episode of Charlie Sheen’s new show, “Anger Management,” in which he plays therapist Charlie Goodson, convinced me that being a bad boy is about the only role Sheen can pull off with any degree of authenticity.
Trying to sell Charlie Sheen (Charlie S) as an anger management therapist is about as believable as casting Rush Limbaugh as a marriage counselor.
The premise of the show is equally ridiculous. Charlie Goodson (Charlie G) has an angry outburst as a pro baseball player that costs him his career. So he goes back to school to become a therapist specializing in anger management.
The only problem with this: the people in his life are at least as screwed up as he is. Charlie G’s ex-wife revels in anything that makes him squirm, his daughter has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and his best friend and fellow therapist is a friend with benefits. These “benefits” are spelled out in a scene that occurs in the midst of foreplay, during which he promises his special friend, “I will never love you’ and “I will never love you forever.”
Sheen’s character still lies to, and manipulates women, only coming clean when he’s caught. He still dates young clueless women, and he still obsesses about women and sex to the point of breaking professional protocol by having sex with his own therapist.
He lies to his ex-wife, his daughter, and his blast from the past one night stand until he is busted. Even then he lets half truths suffice as his way of making amends.
I admit I liked Charlie S in some of his best bad boy roles, including his jailbait pitcher role in the “Major League” movies, and to some extent his over-indulgent, partying, and womanizing character in “Two and a half Men.
Perhaps it is the marriage of these two roles that birthed the concept for “Anger Management,” but the result is a mish-mash of the two that is anything but convincing or entertaining.
The presence of a laugh track was frequently the only cue to the real television audience that something supposedly funny had just happened, and that’s a sure sign this show needs help. It actually reminded me of Bob Newhart’s show minus the clever dialogue.
That does not mean Sheen’s new show will not be successful. If shows like “Jersey Shore” and “Keeping up with the Kardashians” can be hits, I imagine that a show that permits misogynistic and over indulgent Charlie Sheen to continue acting out his issues on the small screen has just as good a chance at success.
As for me, after enduring just five minutes of the show I found myself looking at the clock hoping it would all be over soon. Watching it made it seem more and more like doing homework as each tired, predictable scene played out to its predictable conclusion. For the network to run the first two shows back to back was like Chinese water torture. But for the sake of this review I endured both shows. That will not happen again.
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