It says quite a bit about America when Two and a Half Men is the most popular sitcom on TV. It’s a foul, misogynistic, relentlessly immoral program. It also happens to be very, very funny. For all of the many cries of longing for a different, more innocent time, the truth is this country has loved this trashy show for seven years now, and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of that love slowing down. Even its lead actor being arrested on charges of domestic violence and all the legal brouhaha that ensued doesn’t appear to have tainted America’s view of Charlie Sheen or the program itself. I’m not here to judge, but it’s impossible not to take into account some of this stuff at this stage of the game. So what’s the lesson here, kids? You can beat your wife, but as long as there’s a good fart joke after the fact, everything will be all right? Stars have fallen for far more mundane reasons, and yet we keep giving Sheen a free pass. Color me perplexed. Also color me guilty, because I, too, still think it’s a funny show, and tend to put these facts out of mind while the DVDs are spinning.
In any case, allow me to at least explain that I never bothered with this show for the first five or so years it was on. It wasn’t until I became addicted to The Big Bang Theory, which followed Two and a Half Men for a season or two, that I begrudgingly started giving it a chance. Turns out, I really liked the show, although now that Big Bang is on Thursday nights, I haven’t found myself tuning in to Men on Monday nights. So clearly I didn’t like it that much. The problem with this show isn’t that it isn’t any good, it’s just that it really only excels in two areas: Bathroom humor and sex jokes. And yet you have to give it a kind of credit for that when there’s a surplus of writers in Hollywood who can’t get either of those things right. Its plots may be wholly unmemorable, but boy is it the master of double entendre.
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