Two and a Half Men: Our Two and a Half Cents

Ashton Kutcher made his Two and a Half Men debut on Monday night, leaving many a viewer wondering: Can Dharma and Greg maybe stick around?

That is, in a season premiere ostensibly set up to wow us with Kutcher’s comedic skills and make us look forward to a shiny and happy versus Sheen-y future, it was a flurry of cameos in the first act that delivered the only fun.

The half-hour opened with Charlie Harper’s well-spoiled funeral, he the victim of a suspicions train mishap. In attendance were any number of past “conquests,” including characters played by Jeri Ryan, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Jenny McCarthy, Liz Vassey, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe and Tricia Helfer. (Say what you will about Charlie H., but dude did well.)

That these women scorned were outwardly callous about Charlie’s demise made sense, but the funeral took an odd turn when Charlie’s mother used the forum to brazenly hawk her dead son‘s for-sale beachfront property. I was never any sort of regular Men fan, but I don’t recall Evelyn being that emotionally detached from her playboy son.

Yet it was the open house at Charlie’s home that gave us the “best” sight gag: On the heels on John Stamos (or someone played by Stamos) surveying and then snubbing the digs, Evelyn showed the property to sitcom lore’s Dharma and Greg (played by Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson) — though it was sad to see that while the former is still very Zen, their marriage seems a bit tense.

Oh, right – this is about Kutcher. One scene later, his Walden Schmidt pops up on the porch, causing Alan to heave Charlie’s ashes into the air, scattering all around… humorously.

And from then on, Men wrestled with the hung-like-an-elephant in the room: Is there as much humor to be mined from a goofy, well-endowed billionaire as there was from a not-as-wealthy jingle writer who seemed to satisfy women just as easily? Early indicators suggest no, seeing as the sitcom already and quickly played the “Look, He Accidentally Bedded Two Hotties At Once While Alan Lay Weeping and [BLEEP]ing” card.

What’s done is done. The clothing-averse, hug-friendly Walden is going to buy Charlie’s house, and presumably will invite Alan and Jake to keep living there, as “relationship-savvy” Alan helps him get over his wife, Bridget. But will the viewers who once made Men TV’s most-watched comedy continue to call the beach house home?

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138 Comments
  1. Darth Pablo says:

    I thought it was funny, until Ashton showed up

    • Jo says:

      The show has totally moved into to a childish slapstick comedy only suitable for fans of movies like superbad or fart jokes, the immature will love it, the new guy is eye candy I will admit.

      • Yo says:

        This show was always full of sophomoric humor, but it seems this show is geared to a different demographic. In my experience, the greatest fans are fifty-ish men; I’m gonna guess most of them are not interested in a naked Ashton Kutcher. Sheen reminded them of who they wish to be, while Kutcher reminds them of who they once were.

        • cookie says:

          This is an excellent comment — Sheen reminded them of who they wish to be, while Kutcher reminds them of who they once were. Hats off to you Yo for your way with words!

    • Lisa says:

      Now lacking any balance that I loved, Cryer and Kutcher are to much alike and both think its funny to pull your finger, it will suite some viewers but not 90% of the people that loved that old magic that sheen put into the show.

    • mandy says:

      My thoughts exactly. The scene where Alan spilled the ashes was the last good part of the episode. It went down hill after that.

    • me says:

      The new show substitutes porn for comedy. It really was degrading for Kutcher because one would think he wouldn’t have to stoop to getting naked to have a part. Not funny at all.

    • me says:

      There was no comedy with Kutcher. They had to make him naked to get the part. I thought that was only done with actors of no ability.

  2. Missy says:

    Yes for sure! It was hilarious.. I haven’t laughed so hard in awhile at a comedy! Ashton did an awesome job and fits in very good! I liked Charlie sheen but honestly I am extremely happy with the change, it makes it a whole new show really.

  3. Bec says:

    It was hilarious until good ‘ol Kelso showed up. I think the show ultimately would’ve had more success post-Sheen if they just kept Jon Cryer as the leading man instead of bringing in a completely new character.

    • 8daysaweek says:

      I agree with this. Jake’s getting pretty close to a full man at this point – a long lost son of Charlie’s – maybe around the age of 5 – to be the new “half” with Alan and Jake might have given the show some new blood but I think the show’s on it’s way out at this point.

      • dee says:

        Oh h*lls to the no. That Angus kid is the worst actor on TV. HOW he could have literally grown up in the presence of Jon Cryer and Charlie Sheen without picking up ANY acting ability whatsoever is a mystery. When he was little he could hide his lack of talent with his chubby cuteness. Now he’s got nothing.

    • Kate says:

      I wish they would have used this as opportunity for Alan to grow, because I’ve grown really tired of whiny pathetic Alan. I love Jon Cryer but his main purpose for some time now has been to deliver jokes about self pleasuring. ( I figured if Matt censored the word out of the article he probably wouldn’t let me use it in a comment.). In the same vein, Jake is still just fart humor which gets less cute as he ages. I think it might have been wiser for Chuck and gang to spend more time figuring out how to revive an aging sitcom than hoping Ashton alone would save the series. It’s unfortunate because if the show fails now they’ll hang it on Ashton but the truth is the show has been coasting for awhile. I will watch a few more episodes, but nothing tonight gave me any hope that there will be improvement.

  4. BT says:

    I liked it!
    I thought it was funny, stayed true to Men’s lack of emotions but still let Alan have a teeny tiny moment with the urn, Ashton Kutcher’s reveal had me hysterical. scared the bajesus out of me, too. and I thought it was a good way to set up next week’s finale of this premiere. I look forward to more

  5. Michael says:

    Ashton is really talented. But sheesh, could Chuck Lorre insult Charlie… Harper… any more? Genital warts, herpes, chlamydia, balloon of meet, sucked up into a vacuum…

  6. Sue Ellen says:

    You need to use spell check. Your hurried typing really threw me off.

  7. Lyla says:

    I stopped watching Two and a Half Men a few seasons ago, but decided to give tonights ep a try, and i must say, i was pleasantly surprised. I think the show will only get better and Ashton was hilarious! I think i’m a viewer once more!

  8. dudep says:

    Ashton was too much kelso again, seems like that will be the theme of the new show for his character which really he cant play anything else, miss charlie he was way better, think maybe if time heals Charlie could come back during sweeps as a cameo, did not really die, ran away from Rose, now that would make sense

    Back to ashton, no way this show makes it past this year

    Sorry, it had its run but its really the last season

    Charlie is winning again!

    • J.Norman says:

      Yes there was more than a slight reminder of Kelso.

    • Templar says:

      How did you get Kelso out of that? Kelso was a bombastic, egotistical, sophomoric case of arrested development. Walden is a geek who’s been brought low by an emotional blow. No ego, No conceit. No comparison.

  9. Nancy says:

    Loved it!Goodbyeee Charlie and hello Ashton!Will be watching!

  10. Esaul says:

    I’m sorry, but the show spiraled down hill with this premiere.

  11. JoshS says:

    I thought Ashton did a great job. Looking forward to seeing how all of this unfolds.

  12. Mister says:

    Missy or should I say Demi, you must have been either high or drunk, you need to get out more as that was the worst acting I have seen, the show was funny until Ahston showed up he always sems to play him self, a slow witted guy that can only get by on his looks, Wake up

  13. Martha says:

    I thought Ashton did a great job. He is not there to duplicate CharLie, he is going to keep it funny and go in a different direction.

  14. Esaul says:

    My favorite bit was when Thomas Gibson walked in.

  15. Moo Moo says:

    Seems Two and a half Men is no longer “Winning”

  16. Casey says:

    I was pleasantly surprised with the premiere. And this is coming from someone who was bitter about Charlie Sheen leaving. (I can’t help it, I’m Team Sheen forever.) Ashton was okay. I was shocked. I figured I’d hate him. But I think that all the funniest parts were Jon Cryer’s. I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard when he screamed and threw the ashes. I’m hoping Ashton improves in future episodes. I’m gonna keep giving the new season a chance. (:

    • Casey says:

      Oh, and my favorite part (besides the spilled ashes) was Dharma and Greg! When I saw Jenna Elfman, I thought the character she played on the show a while back was returning. And then I saw Thomas Gibson and squealed with excitement! :D

  17. tori says:

    It just wasn’t that funny tonight…will still give it a chance but lacks the ‘spark’ that made this show stand above all other citcoms…
    sorry.

  18. steve says:

    Im Sorry was ok untill ashton showed up then went downhill. Id be amazed if lasted beyond this season.

  19. Avoidinglaundry says:

    I don’t think Ashton was playing Kelso at all. Walden is much quieter, kinda nerdy even. Kelso was nothing like that.
    I stopped watching the show ages ago, but I’m going to continue watching it now. I thought it was great.

  20. iKitty says:

    Were you drunk and laughing at something else?

  21. Dee says:

    I thought it was pretty funny. Stamos’s scene was hilarious, and I even enjoyed the Dharma and Greg scene (even though I didn’t care for their show), but I thought Ashton’s character definitely had some funny chemistry with Alan. Looking forward to episode two!

  22. TigerNightmare says:

    It was good, I had a few laughs (which I sadly couldn’t say of the entire hour of HIMYM tonight). I never really watched the show other than a few minutes worth of reruns here and there, but I just had to tune in while riding out the end of the Sheen backlash wave. It’s hardly a new favorite of the caliber of Community, Modern Family or Louie, but worth a view. Cool to see Dharma and Greg again after 10+ years of their absence, too.

  23. TV Gord says:

    I’ve seen every episode, and I can testify that Charlie’s mother was always that emotionally detached. Hilariously, most of the time!

    I loved seeing Dharma and Greg, but yes, Greggy seems to be having a tough time in that marriage. I guess that makes sense. It was weird to have his law partner, Joel Murray, in the very next moment, though. I we supposed to believe Pete Cavanaugh is a messenger now?

    I enjoyed the episode, and I’m glad it didn’t rely too much on Ashton for the humor. What has gone unnoticed by many is that this show has developed a great ensemble cast, and it was all used to good effect in this season premiere. I was happy to see Herb (Ryan Stiles) there, since I always hoped he would get dumped and move in with Alan and Jake (hence, Two and a Half). Maybe they’ll use that as a fallback, in case Ashton doesn’t work out…but I think he will. I think he’s a great addition to an already terrific cast!

    • MelindaB says:

      I thought the same thing, Gord–Greg’s partner is delivering packages? Did their firm go belly-up, and was that a reason for the tension? Like Matt, I was disappointed that their (fake) relationship was so rocky. No wonder Greg’s mom chose to go live with her son Richard Castle. ;-)

      I watched only out of curiosity–I wasn’t a viewer before, and likely still won’t be one. I thought that Ashton did okay, but the “depressed, naive billionaire” schtick could get old fast.

  24. Alex says:

    I applaud them for keeping on with the show. I bet the ratings will be through the roof just because people will want to see how Kutcher did…as someone who didn’t watch the past seasons regularly, I can’t make too much of a comparison, but I thought Kutcher was relatively funny, and the show did its best with an unfortunate situation.

  25. scooterbeanbag says:

    I see the writing is catering to Ashton’s massive ego.

    I didn’t watch the show regularly before and I definitely won’t after tonight’s abysmal premiere.

  26. millie says:

    walden reminded me of another jake

  27. kendog says:

    I’ve read the reviews on 3 different sites and facebook about this show and all were 90% negative except this one. Leaves me wondering what’s up here, the Ashton fan club spamming this post?

    The show was bland, tasteless and vengeful. The entire cast looked like they wanted to be somewhere else. Say what you will about Charlie Sheen, but at least he and Jon Cryer had an onscreen chemistry that came across as genuine. This premiere was just horrible.

  28. J.Norman says:

    I was not particularly impressed with the introduction of the Ashton Kutcher character in this initial episode.I am willing, however, to let the writers show where they intend to go with the storyline(s) before I make a decision on whether to continue with the show.
    With that said, I think that the subsidiary characters (Berta, Judith and Herb, the mom, hopefully Rose) will have to carry the show. That is not all bad. A hidden factor on the show has always been the strong ensemble.
    Couple of quick thoughts.
    1) I know its a comedy, but I thought the scenes and comments at the funeral were a little over the top, but again its being played for laughs , so. . .
    2) They didn’t mention what would become of Charlies main financial source. The royalties from the jingles. Those are legal property and can be transferred after death to beneficiaries. They only refereced the home mortgages.

  29. kate says:

    this was pretty funny. haven’t watched “Men” in years, but I tuned in to see what they would be doing, and was pleasantly surprised. maybe some new life is exactly what the show needed!

  30. Daya Ryelle says:

    I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who’s sad that Dharma and Greg are on the rocks. I <3 them and wish that more than the first season or two was on DVD.

    And will Tom please smile for once? He so bleeping serious as Hotch, you think they’d give him a chance for a least a tiny smile! YEESH! (Sorry…I have a problem with him not smiling very much, for some reason.)

  31. Martina says:

    I have been addicted to 2.5 men, have watched each episode numerous times, I just didn’t think this was as funny. Evelyn trying to sell the house at his funeral was a bit much, she would have milked the sympathy imo. The funeral scene was done before when emilio estevez died in the show years ago. Plus wouldn’t charlie’s estate still have royalty’s coming in?

    I’ll give this another shot next week but I don’t hold out much hope

    • Stormy says:

      Of course Evelyn trying to sell the house was funny. Think back to When Harry Met Sally and Billy Crystal suggesting the obituaries carry a real estate listing.

  32. Karen says:

    Was hoping, but was disappointed. Jon Cryor is always great, as is the rest of the cast. But you can’t replace Sheen!

  33. valarie says:

    Loved dharma & Gregg. Chuck lorre needs to bring them back. W/ children. That would be awesome.

  34. Jessica Holyoke says:

    I was sad to see Dharma and Greg tense, and it didn’t seem like it was just Greg who was tense. Dharma carrying about the money? And seeing Joel Murray also through me off.

    I did tune in to see how they would set things up. I was never a Two and a Half Men fan but I did enjoy seeing Jenna and Thomas together again.

    As for Ashton, Walden is not Kelso. What little I saw that 70’s show, Kelso was dumb and really into his looks. Walden is not aware of his looks or how to use them. Walden seems to me to be like a toned down Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. He doesn’t know how to interact with people, he is smart, but Walden is rich and looking for a new ancher, now that Bridget is out of the picture.

  35. Babygate says:

    The only reason I decided to watch tonight was because of Ashton Kutcher. I never liked Charlie Sheen and refuse to endorse anything he does. As much as I was looking forward to it though, I was disappointed. My favorite part was the cameo from Dharma and Greg. The attention to Ashton’s ‘manhood’ and the constant walking around naked wasn’t funny. And the sleeping with the two women was vintage Charlie. What is new? Bottomline, the show felt gimmicky to me. I may or may not watch again because I love Ashton but the bad jokes and lack of comedic value are just too great to overlook.

  36. Mikaylah says:

    I was so happy to see Dharma and Greg! I didn’t like them fighting though, but I am choosing to believe they were both just stressed after a long day of house hunting and they made up when they got home. :)

  37. Janean says:

    The funeral was callous and cruel, in very poor taste! It turned into low rate cheap slap stick comedy, no need to watch more.

  38. 10SPro says:

    Can you say verbal porn??? I mean seriously, the whole show is about nothing but sexual references…all the time. Shows on HBO and Showtime while being allowed a whole lot more liberty sexually, their shows are so much more rich in content that doesn’t insult your intelligence. Ashton is acting way to dumb and the “half” is no where to be found.

  39. hollis says:

    Walden was Jake’s character…couldn’t you come up with a different character. The show totally blew….boring, disappointing, and really boring when Walden showed up. Was hoping I would like it….what a major disappointment. Won’t waste my time again on this despot show.

  40. jake says:

    Ashton is great and is the reason I started to watch this show — i didn’t really see the charlie sheen version, nothing against him, as must see tv. I just wish that ashton’s character was more tied into the characters of the show — that he was a long lost child of holland taylor.

  41. Matt C says:

    I thought it was all right. It seems so ironic how Sheen and Lorre are making up, when half of the episode is slamming Charlie mercilessly. The weak writing was a big problem, but I do appreciate that Walden is much more different than Charlie, and the socially awkward dunce thing could change the show’s dynamic for the better.

    I loved the Stamos and Dharma and Greg cameo. Makes me wish the Montgomerys would move next door and they could be reoccurring characters.

  42. Tucker says:

    Thought the funeral was thoroughly repulsive and not the least bit funny. It was mean-spirited and felt just as petty as all of the leaks about the scene seemed to suggest. The attitude towards Charlie’s death by everyone involved felt false and made everyone unlikable in the first half of the episode. They built a mostly nice moment with Alan’s monologue with the urn, but you really couldn’t escape a very ugly feeling left by everything preceding it.

    I thought Ashton was okay, but his character came off lethargic rather than depressed. It served to make a tepid entrance rather than a splash. One hopes that they allow him more personality in the second half of the opener next week.

    • Kate says:

      It did feel weird. I get all his exes bagging on him at the funeral, but having absolutely no feelings of grief from Jake, Alan, his mom or Berta felt off. I know the creators just wanted to kick Charlie to the curb, but as a viewer it felt completely false that those closest to him were so chipper about the whole thing. I think they could have done a better job of keeping it funny while at least allowing some appropriate reactions from his family.

  43. genia says:

    It seemed strange without Charlie and how they announced his death. Was hoping for re-inventing john cryor’s character instead. But nice butt Ashton.

  44. bamagirl says:

    I was willing to give it a chance and still will watch a few more before deciding if i will continue, I was not looking to compare Kutcher with Sheen and personally am not a big fan of either but was disappointed with it and Kutchers character of playing the same not so funny dumb dumb.

  45. J says:

    wow..that was really awful…in so many ways…did they pay the audience to laugh?

  46. Justajewel says:

    I TOTALLY MISSED IT!!! My stupid DVR was full…urgh..I guess I’ll just go to the CBS Website.

  47. Karrie says:

    I LOVED the premiere of the “New” Two and a Half Men! I’ve never laughed so hard since the beginning of the series! I grew tired of Sheen playing himself without adding any acting in there to boot! I thought Lorre did a great job of keeping true to the humor such as the funeral itself! Remember some of the other funerals they’ve had, Evelyn was always trying to sell or get the listing of the deceased person’s estate, nothing different here! Loved it! The favorite part was Dharma & Greg showing up though; I also loved Stamos’ bit! I think Ashton will give this show a breath of fresh air but only time will tell and I, too, wish they’d allow Alan’s character to grow a bit instead of always being the poor pathetic Alan! Thumbs up tonight!

  48. jay says:

    We needed a schlong shot.

  49. Susie says:

    My favorite part was seeing Dharma and Greg again. But I am a HUGE fan of Thomas Gibson because of Criminal Minds and so seeing him as Greg again was just a treat.

    Not sure I’ll be watching next week… Dancing With The Stars looks more interesting LOL

  50. Cindy says:

    Love “Men” with Sheen and Cryer but the premier last night was as expected. Kutcher walking around naked and hugging Cryer is supposed to be funny? He’s always only made movies geared to teenagers, not 30-40 yr olds so I didn’t expect him to suddenly be capable of really acting. Fart “humor” from Jake is old news, Cryer complaining of having to masterbate because Sheen now kutcer gets the chics is old news too. The mom advertising Sheens “open house” at his funeral is unbelievable, even for her, Sheen was her favorite son. The kid loved his “uncle Charlie” and he shows no emotion of his death at all? That’s insulting to Sheens’ character but then again that’s probably no accident on the writer’s part.

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