Two and a half men — none of them Charlie Sheen.
That’s surely what many viewers were watching for: To see whether Sheen would return for Thursday’s final episode of Two and a Half Men — the series he helped turn into one of CBS’s (and TV’s) biggest hits. The answer was “yes” in spirit, but “no” in body.
Though if executive producer Chuck Lorre’s final title card was true, it was almost “yes.” Lorre says he offered Sheen a chance to come back and be killed by a falling piano. Sheen apparently declined, tweeting, “I go where the love is.” (Instead, a look-alike had the piano dropped on him).
As it turns out, Charlie Harper — who was killed when Sheen was fired from the show and replaced by Ashton Kutcher — was actually still alive and living in a pit in Rose’s (Melanie Lynskey) basement. But Charlie was neither seen nor heard, except in an animated sequence and through text messages, including one that sounded exactly like one of Sheen’s “tiger blood” rants.
The finale was triggered by Alan’s latest scheme: To claim $2.5 million in music royalties owed to Charlie — the final step in the four-year process of degrading Jon Cryer’s once sensible, likable character. What followed was a tongue-in-cheek hour filled with guest cameos, including Lorre and the return of former ‘half man” Angus T. Jones, and a stream of inside jokes aimed at the loyalist crowd, from Arnold Schwarzenegger walking us through the show’s history to continued complaints about its longevity. All spiced, of course, with Men’s trademark sex jokes.
After 12 years, there’s really no sense re-reviewing Men or rehashing complaints. So let’s just say this: It was often funny in those early days, it made a lot of people laugh throughout, and it provided steady employment to some very good actors (Cryer, Lynskey, Conchata Ferrell and Holland Taylor chief among them.) And without its huge success, we might never have had The Big Bang Theory or Mom, two better shows from Lorre.
So just say “goodbye” and leave the “good riddance” to Sheen.