So, how did Two and a Half Men end its eighth season? You’d have to have been living under a rock to not know that the star of the highest rated sitcom on television was fired after he melted down in a haze of drugs, booze and personal issues. Charlie Sheen’s dismissal is probably the most talked about event in television in 2011.
The next most talked about event was the hiring of Ashton Kutcher to replace Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men. Speculation on who would replace Sheen had centered on Hugh Grant, Rob Lowe, John Stamos and even Jason Alexander. In the end though, it was Kutcher who took the role.
Ashton Kutcher has a relatively successful movie career that he could have maintained rather easily. His choice to give that up was unexpected but in being unexpected it was exactly what the series and Kutcher needed to build buzz.
The third most talked about TV story of the year was how Two and a Half Men would send off Charlie Sheen’s alter-ego. Info emerged early on that death was the most likely scenario. Then, the mode of death was discussed and the phrase ‘meat-explosion‘ was tossed around. Speculation had it that Melanie Lynskey’s stalker character Rose finally got her romantic relationship with Charlie only to catch him cheating. She then shoved him in front of a subway train resulting in the ‘meat-explosion.’
Producers have since disavowed the meat-explosion plan. We do know that Charlie Harper’s funeral will play a role in the season premiere however, fans in attendance at the first Two and a Half Men taping for season nine all signed non-disclosure agreements. As for Ashton Kutcher, he will join Two and a Half Men as Walden Schmidt, a broken-hearted internet billionaire who buys Charlie Harper’s beachside pad and let’s Alan (Jon Cryer) and Jake (Angus T. Jones) stay with him, a choice that will need an explanation.
As for Charlie Sheen, he’s suddenly apologetic. Sheen appeared on The Tonight Show recently and told Jay Leno “I would have fired my ass too.” Sheen has a deal with Lionsgate for a new sitcom, based on the Adam Sandler movie Anger Management. At the Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 18th, Sheen continued his mea culpa tour by presenting an award, minus his many catch-phrases, and later snapping a photo backstage with his Two and a Half Men replacement. Sheen and Kutcher then exchanged pleasantries on Twitter with Sheen promising to watch the new Two and a Half Men.
Having never watched an episode of Two and a Half Men, all of this controversy has me intrigued. I’m eager to find out how the show will kill off Charlie and how Ashton Kutcher will fare in his return to television.
Two and a Half Men returns for its ninth season on Monday, September 19th on CBS.