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Sheen’s New Show Looks As Tired As He Does

 

After being in a big CBS hit for years, Charlie Sheen is back in the minor leagues in the new FX comedy “Anger Management” that premieres with back-to-back episodes starting at 9 tonight.

Playing a therapist named Charlie Goodson who ruined his baseball career in a fit of anger years ago, Sheen faces his own messy departure from “Two and a Half Men” head-on in the opening scene with dialogue that is about as subtle as a 100 MPH fast ball.

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 08:  Anger Management e...

Charlie Sheen with "Anger" executive producer Bruce Helford

 Then he tries to be a calm Bob Newhart to a therapy group that consists of angry men and women of different age groups who can’t censor themselves.

This being on basic cable, the frank dialogue – the show is rated TV 14 – consists of words that only recently became acceptable on broadcast network shows and still can’t be written in a daily newspaper.

Since I’m now a blogger I can tell you the words include ass, balls and queer. The opening two episodes are in the same ballpark as “Two and a Half Men,” which means a lot of sexual innuendo and sex talk.

Sheen looks as tired as the jokes and the situations his character is in. But since he has surrounded by some old comedy pros including writer and executive producer Bruce Helford (“”The Drew Carey Show,” “The George Lopez Show”) and director Rob Schiller (“King of Queens”), not all the jokes strike out. There is an occasional good line in the opener, helped by Sheen’s deadpan delivery. But there is nothing as remotely funny as the train-wreck promos for the series being shown in movie theaters.

Helford has tried to make Sheen’s character sympathetic by having him volunteer to treat prisoners and giving him a good relationship with his ex-wife, Jennifer (Shawnee Smith of “Becker”) and a teenage daughter, Sam (Daniella Bobadilia) with OCD issues.

But just about everything in “Anger” seems to be forced. He has a sexy therapist friend Kate (Selma Blair) who enjoys sex without ties as much as he does. The dull therapy group includes Lacey, a foul-mouthed violent woman; Patrick (Michael Arden), a passive-aggressive gay man; Nolan (Derek Richardson), a laid-back guy who enjoys seeing other people get angry; and Ed (Barry Corbin), an angry old man. Michael Boatman also is aboard as Michael, a good friend and neighbor of Charlie’s who has little to do in the first two episodes. And Brett Butler plays a bartender at Charlie’s favorite bar who dispenses drinks laced with advice.

The second episode tonight titled “Slumpbuster” is a real sick loser as Charlie gets a visit from a woman — who wouldn’t ordinarily meet his standards — who he slept with when he was in the minor leagues years ago.

Of course, it was going to be pretty difficult for Sheen to come out a winner so quickly following “Two and a Half Men” and his crazy talk last year.

With “Anger,” he is pretty much in a lose-lose situation of trying to live up a hit and prove that his delivery was as important as the lines written by the “Men” writers.

I was never a fan of the sophomoric “Men.” But compared to “Anger,” it is an Emmy winner.

 After watching “Anger” Wednesday night, I got a bigger laugh watching the end of Channel 7’s Eyewitness News. At the end of each newscast, anchors still are forced to remind us that the station was the first one in town to have real high definition. They’ve been saying that for so long now that it just seems laugh out-loud funny to me. 

Speaking of Eyewitness News, it was surprising to see it use an ABC report at 6 p.m. Wednesday on the Rochester bus monitor who met the Canadian man who made her rich after he started an online fund after seeing her being bullied by students. I mean the story was in Rochester. Couldn’t Channel 7 send someone there to cover the story itself?  

pergament@msn.com                                                        

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3 responses to "Sheen’s New Show Looks As Tired As He Does"

  1. Bob says:

    Some day when you have time could you write a blog about what is actually allowed to be said on TV these days?
    I do not mind it, but the language coming out of several shows now has made me look twice. The raw language on USA shows Suits and Fairly Legal are the two that come to mind right now.

  2. Tim says:

    What about Naureen DeWulf? Ryan Millers wife? Shes always tweeting about hows shes in this show too

  3. Enter your name...Maggie says:

    The young woman who plays Lacey is Noureen Dewulf who is Mrs. Ryan Miller. I liked her.

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