BY NICK CAVARRETTA
Well, you may or may not have not seen Charlie Sheen’s comeback yet, and I’m sure you’re sceptical about a kind of sober Charlie Sheen on television. The eighth episode of the new show Anger Management is about to be released in the US. Meanwhile here in Australia we’re waiting until Tuesday August 14 for it to premiere on free-to-air.
Anger Management is an American comedy series that premiered on pay TV channel FX on June 28. If you are reminded of the movie of the same name starring Jack Nicholson, then you would be correct. The show is actually based on the movie and Charlie plays a similar role. The TV version broke a ratings record, with 5.74 million viewers for the first episode, which puts it in the spot as the most-watched sitcom premiere in cable history. This could be for two reasons: either Charlie has a lot of fans, or people are curious about his comeback. I think it’s mainly curiosity, and apparently it doesn’t always kill cats – it brings them back.
Charlie Sheen plays Dr Charlie Goodson, a private therapist specialising in anger management. He has two groups in the show to break things up a bit: a house group and a prison group. Just to keep things in a Charlie-style, you discover that he also has his own therapist, and yep, he’s sleeping with her. It is not a surprise to see Charlie playing a character with his real first name, drinking on set, and sleeping with random women. The first episode starts off with a reference to Charlie getting fired from Two and a Half Men, with him punching one of those person-shaped balloons that bounces back. Another reference is made a few episodes later, when Charlie walks into a men’s fashion store wearing his trademark bowling shirt, which he throws away saying, “yeah I should stop wearing these”. You will be slightly shocked about the real Charlie when you see his worn-out face and croaky voice. It’s like he aged five years since the last episode of Two and a Half Men.
The show itself has been getting mixed reviews from the US and it will most likely be the same here in Australia next week when it hits our airwaves. Putting that aside, FX have pumped another 90 episodes into the contract, so 100 episodes are guaranteed to come. With Anger Management knocking the socks off Two and a Half Men, critics are already starting to say that this could possibly be the next Seinfeld. These could possibly be paid comments, who knows. What I do know is what happens in the first seven episodes, and I can assure you, it’s not extremely funny, but it is addictive if you like sitcoms.
It’s funny how they got Charlie to play a role that is similar to his previous shows. I guess getting him to learn a whole new style would be asking too much from the man. In this show he is not portrayed as an alcoholic, but he is as a womaniser. In a typical, predictable sitcom format, you might feel as though something deep will come from this, as he slowly falls in love with his therapist then BAM! Charlie becomes a one-woman man. Until that happens I’m going to enjoy the old Charlie for a little while longer. I’m personally a fan of this show and stoked that it’s received the ratings that it did. I just hope it won’t decline after the second season. It has been announced that Martin Sheen will make an appearance. However, the executives guarantee that it won’t become the Charlie and Martin show. So in the words of Charlie himself: everyone deserves a 24th chance.
Anger Management, starring Charlie Sheen, Selma Blair and Shawnee Smith, airs on Channel 9 on August 14, 8.30pm.
Official website: http://www.fxnetworks.com/angermanagement/