Monday, March 7, 2011

Some Things I Just Don't Understand

I'm sure no one could have missed the latest headlines about Charlie Sheen's drinking problems, alleged abusive behavior, rehab issues, and off-the-wall remarks and rants about his co-stars in Two and a Half Men, the studio & network execs, writers, producers, etc., in which he calls many of them losers and complains about them trying to control his life, and so forth.

In response to Charlie's off-screen antics, the network cancelled the remainder of the season of Two and a Half Men. (No huge loss for mankind, really. The show has some funny lines, but it has no redeeming social value whatsoever and it's a typical, predictable sit-com. Of course, like Nip/Tuck, something about that total lack of social value is part of its charm for me!)

Sheen has been acting like a jerk, probably drinking too much, and now, he's literally ranting. He sounds nuts when you listen to him. But he has a point.

Have any of you actually watched Two and a Half Men?

For those who have missed it, it's about a 40-something extremely wealthy guy named Charlie who lives in Malibu and doesn't have to work much for his money and therefore spends most of his time drinking, partying, and seducing a different woman each night, and sometimes more than one a day. His divorced, down-on-his luck younger brother (Alan) moved in with him, and Alan's son lives with them part-time, too, as part of the custody arrangements. Charlie is pretty decent to the kid, if not exactly a great role model.

The star of the show is Charlie Sheen (his stage name - birth name is Carlos Estevez), a 40-something extremely wealthy guy who lives in California and doesn't have to work much for his money and therefore spends most of his time drinking, partying, and sleeping with women. He has kids, and he's pretty decent to them, although he's not exactly a great role model. Sound familiar?*

In other words, Charlie Sheen basically plays himself in the show.

How is it that the show's producers and network executives are offended when their star acts like the show's character off-stage? I mean, if the show were about a kindly priest, I could understand how Charlie's off-screen antics might offend some viewers.

But, hello? Is anyone who watches the show actually offended by Charlie's alcoholism or drunken rants? I doubt it.... so leave the guy alone. Let him be a drunken idiot if he wants to be. I mean, I don't condone the behavior, and if I were his ex-wives, I'd be seeking sole custody of the kids, but hey, I'm not his ex-wife and I never have to interact with him and so I really don't care if he acts like a jerk off stage!

And as long as he's doing his job (and most accounts said he was), why should his bosses care if he acts like a jerk in his off hours? Heck, they've scripted the jerk for his work hours. Maybe they should just follow him around during his off hours with a camera and save some production costs!

Another thing I found ironic is everyone's gushing about how "talented" Charlie Sheen is, as evidenced by the show's popularity. I'm not saying Charlie isn't talented (even if I thought it, I wouldn't say it, because I'd hate to get sued by a multi-millionaire), but I will say I don't see how his performance on the show Two and a Half Men proves he's talented. He's basically playing himself, isn't he? How does that demonstrate acting talent?

Just my two cents. What do you think?

* Footnote 1: I don't think Sheen has a divorced, down-on-his-luck younger brother or nephew living with him, though. Last I heard Emilio Estevez, Charlie's older brother, was doing just fine, as was his other brother Ramon. And the on-screen Charlie has no kids of his own (at least none that he knows of or recognizes as his). So the analogy is not exact. But still, the character on the show is basically a slightly more articulate and cleaned-up-for-tv version of the real life immature party-boy.


LOLA said...

I never saw the show and I don't really pay any attention to his foolishness. I certainly thought he was good in Platoon -- long, long ago.


Tom said...

Charlie and I have lost touch. He hasn't returned my calls since he was in The Arrival back in 1996. I think he is a talented guy, but it is a shame to see him spin out of control despite his claims that he is in charge. You got to give him credit for being able to function while drugs and alcohol are such a big part of his life.

LegalMist said...

Lola & Tom -- I agree he has talent. Just not sure a show that basically parallels who he is in real life demonstrates that!

Lola - it's probably not your type of show. You tend to like more subtle plots and movies with a deeper meaning than "watch this guy act like a jerk and laugh about it." But I likes me some good low-brow humor and drama every once in a while, and I do think the show is well-written and well-played, for a sit-com. Give it a try sometime, when you're in the mood for good trashy humor. :)

And Tom, I agree it's sad to watch someone spiral downward with drugs / alcohol. But I don't think that what he does outside of work should get his show canceled, given that it's unlikely to affect any viewers' opinions of the show itself or the character he plays. And I think he has a right to say how he feels, even if it might be a drug or alcohol inspired rant, and the show shouldn't be cancelled for that, either, even if he did insult his bosses and co-workers!

(And don't you love how I alternate between the British and American spellings for cancelled/canceled?)

Scope said...

I've only seen a few episodes as part of some marathon. I thought the acting in it was pretty wooden from all the characters, and nothing particularly interesting.

In one of the eps that I saw, he did have a thing for a judge (Ming-Na!), so he kept getting arrested. Maybe...

Gaston Studio said...

He has done some great acting in his day, Platoon being one of them and Cadence another. I don't watch his show and certainly don't waste my time watching his antics now. But I do feel for the kids.

LegalMist said...

Scope -- re: "wooden" acting - that is why I put in the qualifier "for a sit-com" (it is less stilted and over-dramatic than most) and is part of why I don't think the show really demonstrates Sheen's talent.

Jane - I feel for the kids, too, which is why if I were one of his ex-wives, I'd be seeking sole custody. I'm glad I'm not an ex-wife!