With twelve seasons full of ups, downs and behind the scenes drama there is only one reason Two and Half Men kept on going — it’s that good. I’ll admit I was a bit turned off at first by the seemingly misogynistic premise and knowing the star of the show is Charlie Sheen, but once I began watching I couldn’t stop.
In the series created by Chuck Lorre, Charlie Sheen plays the role of Charlie Harper, a wealthy jingle writer who lives in a beachfront home in Malibu. The story begins when Charlie reluctantly takes in his newly-divorced estranged brother Allen (Jon Cryer) and his ten-year-old son Jake (Angus T. Jones) after Allen’s ex-wife kicks him out.
What makes Sheen and Cryer’s chemistry so incredible is how completely opposite their characters are. Charlie is a womanizing alcoholic with no sense of right and wrong and Allen is a people-pleasing rule follower. But just like any successful story arc, the characters grow and change as the show moves along.
Although unlike most notable sitcom plots, not everyone in Two and a Half Men changes for the better. While in the first few seasons it may appear as if Allen is only becoming less uptight from rooming with Charlie, he merely lowers his moral standard with each of the twelve seasons. Despite this we can’t help but keep on rooting for him knowing all that he’s been through.
Another great element of the show is watching Jake grow up. While on most classic sitcoms you watch the children blossom into flourishing young adults with bright futures ahead, that is certainly not what happens to Jake Harper. The adorable ten-year-old boy from season one turns into a pothead who nearly doesn’t graduate high school by the end of the show. He is one-hundred percent the product of his dysfunctional environment — but again, we love him anyways.
In terms of Charlie Harper, we see Charlie begin to change and even almost get married several times. Then at the end of season eight, we are taken by a major plot twist when he suddenly dies. When I thought the show was going to jump it’s shark by returning for its ninth season after his death, it did quite the opposite. In fact, Charlie Sheen being kicked off of the show and Ashton Kutcher coming in as Walden Schmidt was nothing less than a blessing in disguise.
The writers made the right move by making Walden his own complex character who is nothing like Charlie nor Allen. He came in and added a whole new dynamic to the show and it was wonderful. Walden was sweet, sensitive and intelligent — all qualities rarely found in the Harper family. I embraced his story right away and was delighted that it kept on going.
My only major issue with the show was the ending. As someone who expected the show to end with the type of finale where stories are closed and not opened, the ending came as quite a shock — I won’t give it away for those who haven’t seen it.
Two and a Half Men pushes the prime time limit by being unrestrained; the writers and cast never held back. I recommend giving the show a chance if you haven’t already.
Two and a Half Men is now streaming on Peacock.
By Blair Krassen @blairlyawake