Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: The New Two and a Half Men

Ashton Kutcher makes a late entrance into the new incarnation of Two and a Half Men, in the wake of Charlie’s (Charlie Sheen) funeral.

His entrance, though somewhat comical, is trumped by the eulogies and appearances by the angry women in Charlie’s life, all of whom say they are there to spit into his coffin.  The funniest moment comes when Rose (Melanie Lynskey), his stalker of many years, relives the couple’s supposed trip to Paris, her finding Charlie with another woman and his subsequent “accidental” fall onto the metro tracks.  Berta, the family maid played by the talented Conchata Ferrell, deadpans, “Never cross a crazy woman.”

With the exception of Jon Cryer (Alan), Charlie’s family members don’t seem too upset either.  They rush to sell his home for the cash, but find it’s mortgaged to the hilt and there’s no cash to be had.

And so begins a parade of potential buyers that makes way for cameos by John Stamos and Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson as their old ABC Darma and Greg characters.  Huh?  They’re all friends of producer Chuck Lorre.

Following the second instance I’ve seen of a dead person’s ashes ending up all over a character (Rescue Me), Ashton Kutcher enters.  He’s Walden Schmidt, a pathetic billionaire, if there can be such a thing.  Tossed out by his wife, he makes a deal with Cryer to buy the house.  The episode is “to be continued,” but I’m guessing Walden lets Cryer and Angus T. Jones (Jake) stay.

In the episode's final minutes we learn that, like Charlie, Walden is a “chick magnet” who brings home numerous women at a time, though he's a naive womanizer.  Subsequent episodes, therefore, promise the same old show with the same old gags.  On the plus side, Kutcher looks great as the crazy rich guy with a beard and long hair.

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