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Case Number 12984

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Two And A Half Men: The Complete Second Season

Warner Bros. // 2003 // 511 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Kent Dixon (Retired) // February 13th, 2008

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All Rise...

Judge Kent Dixon is looking forward to the eventual spin-off series, Two and Fifteen-sixteenths of a Man: The College Years.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of Two And A Half Men: The Complete Third Season (published May 26th, 2008), Two And A Half Men: The Complete Fourth Season (published October 27th, 2008), Two And A Half Men: The Complete Fifth Season (published June 11th, 2009), Two And A Half Men: The Complete Sixth Season (published October 7th, 2009), Two And A Half Men: The Complete Seventh Season (published November 3rd, 2010), and Two And A Half Men: The Complete Eighth Season (published September 2nd, 2011) are also available.

The Charge

Alan Harper: You'll go to mom's funeral, won't you Charlie?
Charlie Harper: Of course! As the eldest son, it's my duty to pound the last stake into her heart.
Alan: That's typical, nothing for Alan to do.
Charlie: Alright, you can chop off her head and put it onto a stake for the villagers.
Alan: Thank you!

Alan: What's the matter with you?
Charlie: I just had lunch with my mother and my stalker. We spent the afternoon eating off each other's plates and discussing my fear of intimacy.

Evelyn Harper (Charlie and Alan's mother): I'm not speaking to you.
Charlie: OK
Evelyn: Do you want to know why?
Charlie: No, I trust your judgment.

Opening Statement

It's nice to stumble across a show like Two and a Half Men without a bunch of preconceptions or recommendations setting your expectations up for potential failure. When I first saw the show, I knew very little about it, making it even more of a surprise just how much I enjoyed it and looked forward to each new episode. Witty writing and strong acting make or break a sitcom, and I'm pleased to say that Two and a Half Men: The Complete Second Season shows how much this relatively new show is improving with age.

Facts of the Case

Single, 40-something playboy Charlie Harper has it made…he has money, a house on the beach in Malibu, and few worries in his life, until his brother, Alan, comes knocking. Recently separated from his wife, Alan arrives with literal and figurative baggage and his 10-year-old son, Jake, in tow. The two brothers' lifestyles, attitudes, and personalities clash at almost every turn, and that's before adding in the extra dimensions of Charlie's bizarre neighbor Rose, his housekeeper, Berta, Alan's estranged wife, Judith, and the brothers' self-centered mother Evelyn. Two and a Half Men breathes new life into the often-tired American sitcom formula and is guaranteed to deliver solid laughs in every episode.

All 24 episodes of Two and a Half Men: The Complete Second Season are included in this release:

Disc One:
"Back Off, Mary Poppins"
"Enjoy Those Garlic Balls"
"A Bag Full of Jawea"
"Go Get Mommy's Bra"
"Bad News from the Clinic"
"The Price of Healthy Gums Is Eternal Vigilance"
"A Kosher Slaughterhouse Out in Fontana"

Disc Two:
"Frankenstein and the Horny Villagers"
"Yes, Monsignor"
"The Salmon Under My Sweater"
"Last Chance to See Those Tattoos"
"A Lungful of Alan"
"Zejdz Moich Wlosow (Get off My Hair)"
"Those Big Pink Things with Coconut"

Disc Three:
"Smell the Umbrella Stand"
"Can You Eat Human Flesh With Wooden Teeth?"
"Woo-Hoo, a Hernia Exam!"
"It Was Mame, Mom"
"A Low, Gutteral, Tongue-Flapping Noise"
"I Always Wanted a Shaved Monkey"
"A Sympathetic Crotch to Cry On"
Special Feature: "A Day in the Life of Two and a Half Men"

Disc Four:
"That Old Hose Bag Is My Mother"
"Squab, Squab, Squab, Squab, Squab"
"Does This Smell Funny to You?"
Special Features: "The Serious Business of Writing Comedy" and "Gag Reel"

The Evidence

What do these three things have in common: a gin martini, the Sahara Desert, and Charlie Sheen? They are three of the driest things I can possibly think of! As talented as he is at dramatic roles, Sheen is extremely skilled at comedic timing and deadpan delivery. From the moment I saw him in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, I admired his talent for comedy and hoped we'd see many more funny parts from him in the future. Fortunately, the Major League and Hot Shots films, a recurring role on Spin City, and roles in the Scary Movie series have proven time and time again that Mr. Sheen can make us laugh. And more recently with Two and a Half Men, he's proven very capable of not only delivering consistently as a core member of an ensemble sitcom series, but also working well off his fellow actors, allowing them to take their share of the laughs.

Sheen's co-star on this outing is none other than fellow '80s-film staple Jon Cryer. Growing up in the '80s, I experienced some of the high and low points of both Sheen and Cryer's careers, but there's something very nostalgic for me in watching them together in Two and a Half Men. Both men are skilled comedic actors in their own right, but there's a real magic that happens when they work together. Cryer's neurotic and retentive take on Alan is the ultimate foil to Sheen's hedonistic Charlie, and they play off their precariously balanced relationship at every turn. Holding his own beautifully with his two elder leads, Angus T. Jones, as Jake Harper, Alan's son, gets his share of the laughs and helps take many of the scenes to the next level.

If it's not enough that the lead actors can carry this show, the creators have assembled a solid supporting cast that enhances the overall flavor that much more. With veteran actors like Holland Taylor (The Jewel of the Nile, She's Having a Baby, and Bosom Buddies) and Conchata Ferrell (Edward Scissorhands, L.A. Law, and True Romance) supporting Sheen and Cryer, the chances of the series' success increases dramatically. It also doesn't hurt the show to have guest appearances by the likes of Elvis Costello, Sean Penn, Harry Dean Stanton, Robert Wagner, and Jeri Ryan to keep fans coming back for more.

"A Day in the Life of Two and a Half Men" takes viewers through a day of shooting on the set, talking with various production team members along the way. If you ever wondered what goes into making a show like this, you'll be impressed by how a well-oiled production team can turn organized chaos into an Emmy Award-winning show. "The Serious Business of Writing Comedy" shows interviews with the members of the show's writing staff, giving a sense of their different styles and how their collaborative process delivers from concept to broadcast. With solidly funny material week after week, you'd think the show's actors would flub and goof up more of their lines, and you'd be right as the "Gag Reel" feature clearly shows.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

At the risk of sounding a bit like a prude, I find the sexual humor in the show a bit childish and tiring. That was one of the things that kept me from becoming a more loyal fan of Friends, and that's the element of the writing in Two and a Half Men that I can see eventually causing me to tune out. In my opinion, it takes far more skill as a comedian or comedy writer to deliver a strong laugh and hook your audience with clean humor than it does to go for cheap laughs with shock value or sex.

Closing Statement

It's rare to see a show get its feet under itself while still in its premier season, let alone maintain that footing and carry on into second and even third seasons. Two and a Half Men: The Complete Second Season proves that when the chemistry between the writers, production team, and staff is really clicking, and the creativity continues to flow, you likely have a hit on your hands. In my mind, Two and a Half Men has all the conflict and tension at its core that made The Odd Couple so successful, with the added bonus of an equally skilled supporting cast to keep the character dynamics and storylines interesting for years to come.

The Verdict

There really is something for everyone in Two and a Half Men: The Complete Second Season, and this set delivers enough quality to warrant a purchase by even casual fans.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 90
Audio: 85
Extras: 80
Acting: 100
Story: 100
Judgment: 90

Perp Profile

Studio: Warner Bros.
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Portuguese)
• English
• Chinese
• French
• Korean
• Spanish
Running Time: 511 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Comedy
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• "A Day in the Life of Two And A Half Men"
• "The Serious Business of Writing Comedy"
• Gag Reel


• IMDb
• Official Site
• Wikipedia: Two and a Half Men

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