Warner Bros. // 2009 // 463 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // November 3rd, 2010
CBS's monster sitcom hits DVD for its seventh season, and no matter how hard Charlie Sheen tries to creep everyone out, there's no sign of Two and a Half Men losing steam with its audience.
I hard largely ignored this series during its broadcast run, acquainting myself with the hijinks of drunk playboy Charlie Harper (Sheen, Lucas), his hapless brother Alan (Jon Cryer, Pretty in Pink), and Alan's moronic teenage son Jake (Angus T. Jones, The Rookie) only when Season Six showed up on my doorstep for review. I'll admit, I laughed enough to give it a positive review. In fact, I sort of liked it so much I tuned in when it returned to air the next season.
Then I stopped watching, forgot it existed (save for the sporadic reminder when Sheen showed up on the back of a New York City tabloid), and went about my life gleefully.
Season Seven is okay, offering a decent amount of laughs. I've always pegged Two and a Half Men as a show that occupies the middle echelon of standard, three-camera sitcoms. The fact that it can generate a handful of laugh-out-loud moments is good enough to propel it past it to the legion of bottom-feeders.
It just doesn't have staying power. The broad humor, so relentlessly played (this is a surprisingly bawdy sitcom), grows tedious; the main characters never seeming to progress anywhere interesting. Charlie is a wise-ass and who hasn't changed; Alan does weirdo, unbelievable things like haul around a ventriloquist dummy for an entire episode; and Jake is stupid. This formula works in small doses, especially the stupid Jake part, consistently my favorite gag from Season 6. But after 20+ episodes, I just lost interest.
Worse, Season Seven is governed by the ongoing, rollercoaster relationship of Charlie and his fiancée, Chelsea (Jennifer Taylor, The Water Boy), which just isn't that interesting. Chelsea is nice and loving; Charlie is horny and oblivious, continually messing up, learning lessons, and apologizing until she finally leaves about three quarters of the way through the season. Charlie is so bummed, not even the hotness of Tricia Helfer can defuse his moping, though Sheen's emoting is virtually indecipherable.
This relationship sucks the air right out of most episodes, leaving little for Jake to do. In fact, in some episodes, the charming little delinquent is completely MIA. Not a good move by the writers. Those jokes aren't going to fart themselves!
The three-disc set: a decent 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, 2.0 stereo, a gag reel, and a brief featurette on Charlie's "ex-girlfriends," none of whom were porn stars locked in a bathroom with cocaine.
The jokes can be cheap and sophomoric, but joke are jokes. Not Guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 463 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Gag Reel
* Official Site