‘Anger Management’ feels a lot like ‘Two and a Half Men’
- Last Updated: 7:30 AM, June 18, 2012
- Posted: 10:07 PM, June 17, 2012
June 28 at 9 on FX
Let’s call it “Three and a Half Men.”
Charlie Sheen’s upcoming sitcom, “Anger Management,” which looks awfully like his old sitcom, may, however, be the perfect vehicle for a man with tiger blood in his veins and roil and rage in his brain.
But no matter what you were expecting, “Anger Management” is not the out-of-control outrageously naughty series you (or I, or anyone, really) was expecting and secretly wanting.
I mean, seriously? We’re talking about drug-crazed harem-master Charlie Sheen on FX, the network that brought us the crazy “Nip/Tuck” and even crazier “Sons of Anarchy.”
But surprisingly, “Anger Management” is pretty conventional up to and including an idiot laugh track—and a character named Charlie — again.
But maybe the familiar is what will keep crazy Charlie from killing himself and others in a blind, drunken, psycho haze on set. Or maybe not.
Here, he’s a pro-ball player who becomes a shrink after breaking a bat over his knee in a fury and breaking his knee in the process.
Clearly a metaphor for his life, Sheen gets to work out what he did to himself while the world watched and also gets to recast his actions and even his old show in a new light—and somehow make it all funny
In place of an uptight brother and teenage nephew to cramp Charlie’s style, he’s got an ex-wife, Jennifer (Shawnee Smith), and teen daughter, Sam (Daniela Bobadilla).
Where once there was a sharp-tongued housekeeper, we now have a sharp-tongued bartender, Brett Butler.
Charlie is still a womanizer who can’t commit, but this time he’s an angry non-committer. A recovering angry non-committer.
What’s very different, though, are Charlie’s incredibly angry patients in his group therapy sessions. There’s Lacy (Noureen DeWulf), a rich girl who shot her boyfriend when she caught him cheating; Patrick (Michael Arden), an angry personal shopper with a bad attitude and worse personal relationships; Nolan (Derek Richardson), who loves making other people angry; and my favorite patient, Ed (Barry Corbin), an angry Vietnam vet who is even angrier now that he’s retired.
Then, there are the raging convicts who attend Charlie’s anger management sessions in the can. These include Cleo (pro football player James Black), who is involved with his flamboyant cellmate, Donovan (Darius McCrary), who delivers one of the funniest lines of the show.
“I’m in here for attempted murder, but my real crime is loving too much!”
On the first episode, we meet everyone—including his neighbor Michael (Michael Boatman), the self-appointed neighborhood watch guy who wants to keep the angry patients out of the nabe —but if they are hot females, he doesn’t care if they are spree killers.
The laughs can carry the show, so they seriously don’t need the canned laughter and traditional TV sitcom sets. It keeps it all too safe.
But so far? Not so bad.