Okay so let’s start here and say that I had never seen Two and a Half Men before. I’m only twenty-four, and there are so many shows on this planet that I have spent my time watching before this one. Fantasy shows like Game of Thrones, or even re-watching shows from my time as a kid, like Avatar: The Last Airbender. It was going to take me a while to get to Two and a Half Men.
Pair that with the fact that I knew this show was controversial, and I was less than excited to really get into it. I didn’t want it to feel kind of like a Game of Thrones situation where I didn’t think that show was worth re-watching (in that case) because I knew the ending. Granted, my mind on that has since changed, but it was a valid concern for my watch of the CBS series.
The show is basically about a brother, Charlie, who takes his younger brother, Alan, and child into his home (unwillingly at first) when Alan is going through a divorce. Simple premise, but apparently one of my boyfriend’s favorite shows. So I decided to give it a shot.
And yeah…I can see why this was famous, and infamous. Let’s get into it.
The Core Trio Of The First Eight Seasons Was Great
I’ll be honest and say that I really enjoyed the main cast, especially throughout the first eight seasons. That seems to be the general consensus online, but I had to say it here. Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, and Angus T. Jones were great together (to the point where I understand why the show almost ended without Sheen) as Charlie, Alan and Jake.
When it comes to a lot of sitcoms, it’s so essential to set up a dynamic that anyone can like. Whether it be six friends in NYC with the Friends cast, or coworkers in Scranton with The Office cast, or anything else in-between. Those are the people who are going to make us laugh, so it’s essential to connect to them.
I really loved these guys, so much. Their chemistry on camera was killer and I really believed them to be a family at certain points. They kept the show going with their quick jokes and easy to follow storylines and really, I felt that I could really connect with them. Have I ever directly experienced what Charlie and Alan are going through? No, but they seem like regular guys just trying to navigate the harsh realities of adult life, something I can relate to even as a young adult.
Jake was just comedic relief, but he was fun until he left the show later down the line. Still enjoyable, though.
Good Lord, You Could Not Get Away With Some Of These Jokes Nowadays
But wow, this show has some jokes. Some really bad jokes.
I’m not saying they’re unfunny. In the grand scheme of things, I find some of these pretty funny, but that’s only because I have a bit of a dark sense of humor. But, that doesn’t mean that some of them aren’t in poor taste.
Many of the jokes I can think of are from the earlier days of the show, when other series that have similar jokes that aged badly (such as The Office or Friends) came out at the same time, so it’s really about us knowing better now.
Not everything falls into that category – but there are plenty of jokes that would not fly today for certain people. That’s all I’ll say about that.
But There Were Moments Of Heart Among The Chaos
Even so, I will say that there was the occasional bit of heart that was thrown in there. We see genuine signs of growth when it comes to Charlie throughout the seasons, how he evolved from really disliking the fact that his family was there to genuinely loving and caring for them – even if he is still a bit of a jerk most of the time.
Charlie himself even had a few steadier relationships throughout the show, ones that really challenged him, and that I don’t think he ever truly recovered from entirely. I really enjoyed him overall and his signs of change, but at the same time, this show is still utter sitcom nonsense sometimes.
I Loved Seeing Melanie Lynsky In A Role That’s So Different From Her More Current Ones
Okay, keep this in mind – I hadn’t known about the star that is Melanie Lynsky for a long time. Since I’m so young, I never got the chance to watch a lot of the older projects she was in as a teen and young woman, just because I’m so focused on her new projects – like Yellowjackets on Showtime, or, more recently, The Last of Us.
But man, I loved seeing her as Rose, and it was so refreshing to see her in something like this after her more current roles that I’ve come to love. She’s so funny. Her comedic timing is constantly on point, and somehow, she always found a way to make me snicker even on my worst days.
From watching her in Two and a Half Men, Lynsky really cemented herself into my mind as a talented actress with everything she is able to do. I would re-watch this show just to see her as Rose once again, because she really was amazing.
Hands Down, Berta Is My Favorite Character, Though
However, even if I loved Rose, and the dynamic trio, I loved Berta so much. Oh my god, she was my absolute favorite character.
There is not another character in any sitcom that has made me laugh as hard as Berta did. I’m talking about Michael Scott from The Office, or Chandler from Friends, or even Schmidt from New Girl. Berta is probably the funniest character I have ever seen on television because she just has no filter. She just says what is on her mind no matter how insulting it is and it is refreshing to see someone who’s able to match Charlie’s wit on a daily basis. Love it.
I swear I had tears of laughter in my eyes every time she was on screen. Such a gem. May the actress who played her, Conchata Ferrell, rest in peace.
However, The Show Certainly Lost Its More Broad Appeal Around Season 10
You notice how I didn’t talk about anything post-Season 8? That’s because I don’t remember anything from Season 8 or beyond.
Look, I’ll be honest here and say that Ashton Kutcher was a fine replacement for Charlie Sheen. I know the drama that happened and yeah, maybe replacing him was the best course of action for the show to continue. But, at the same time, it just didn’t feel the same.
The trio that I cared for was only a duo now with a new person that I hardly knew, Rose wasn’t there to keep things interesting, Berta didn’t feel as impactful without Charlie there because it felt like there wasn’t anyone who was able to keep up with her attitude. It didn’t feel like the same show.
I still finished it – with that eventful and very aggravating finale – but the last few seasons lost me. That’s just how I feel.
With Two and a Half Men off the air for nearly ten years now, it felt like the perfect time to watch it. And now, I can at least say I watched the whole series and gave it a shot and enjoyed it somewhat. There were things I would change, but overall, it was a good time. Charlie Sheen and Chuck Lorre are working together again, apparently, so who knows? We might get another show like this, after all.