In defence of Two and a Half Men
It seems even in America there are 'TV snobs" just don't get Two and a Half Men. Are they really the new Oscar and Felix?
It seems even in America there are those who just don’t get Two and a Half Men. Despite the fact it is the country’s #1 comedy, it is frowned upon by many critics and “TV snobs.”
In Australia it’s not much different. The show continues to pull a surprisingly big audience, despite Nine’s best attempts to run it into the ground. Yet it’s hard to find much love for it amongst reviewers (I’d certainly fall into that grouping too).
Save for Chuck Lorre’s output, the traditional 3-cam live-audience show is bit of a rarity these days, and as a result those laughs do seem very forced when compared to single-cam no-audience comedies. The era of traditional sitcom seemed to wane with the passing of the greats like Seinfeld, Frasier, Friends, Will & Grace, Mad About You, Everybody Loves Raymond et al. No doubt it will return.
How can it ever compete, artistically, to Weeds, United States of Tara and the dark Nurse Jackie? Presumably it isn’t trying to. 30 Rock consistently beats it in awards too.
Yet it’s Charlie Sheen who has the numbers, and the pay packet, to write home about.
One US journo is keen to point out that Two and a Half Men is perhaps a modern-day Odd Couple. Indeed, both shows began from the premise of one male moving in with another when their marriage broke up (in 2.5 Men they seem to have forgotten it was due to Alan Harper’s wife beginning a same-sex relationship).
At msnbc, Susan C. Young highlights 6 episodes that “TV snobs” might re-consider that are, she believes, amongst Two and a Half Men‘s finest half-hours.
– Megan Fox, then just sexy and 17, as Berta’s granddaughter Prudence in the first-season gem dubbed “Camel Filters + Pheromones.”
– “Old Flame with a New Wick,” Charlie discovers that his old girlfriend Jill, who dumped him years ago, is now dating his mother.
– Fifth-season episode “The Soil is Moist” dances a careful ballet of not-so-subtle double entendre. In an extended exchange, in which Herb thinks he’s talking to Charlie about the joy of gardening, Charlie is clearly talking about plowing a different kind of field.
– In a fifth-season episode called “Media Room/Dungeon,” Charlie does everything he can to get out of escorting Evelyn to a charity event. But in a moment that jettisons every previous mommy dearest remark over the years, Charlie discovers he actually doesn’t mind it.
– In the second-season episode dubbed “Can You Eat Human Flesh with Wooden Teeth?”, Judith hands over the parenting reins to Charlie and Alan for a week. But Alan’s got an IRS audit and Charlie, well, we know what Charlie’s got on his personal agenda. Neither are quite ready to be primetime parents.
– Third-season episode “Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Burro” embodies the essence of the series, serving up banter and slapstick in equal portions. The show is packed with the kind of humor fans adore, including Charlie talking about the time he convinced Alan that it was Almond Roca in the kitty litter box.
Over to you. Are these amongst Two and a Half Men‘s best?
Or is it just more penis innuendo at 7:00?