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. Julie says:

    I think I was the only person who didn’t really know who Dharma and Greg were (sorry… didn’t watch sitcoms when it came on TV ;-) ) but she did play a chick on the show before (Frankie, the girl who stayed there and wanted to go steal her daughter or something like that) so I thought she was just that character with a guy (or the girl’s dad)… my mistake I guess, but still sorta made sense-ish in my head…

    All that I’m praying for is that they won’t turn Ashton into a new Charlie. The show doesn’t need to be about the rich dude getting random chicks while Alan cries his way through sex (and by sex I mean masturbating). They have a chance to make a new show out of this so why go back to the thing that made Sheen go crazy for dope? (okay bad joke-ish there, still in a Roast mood). I’ll be watching next Monday, but that might be my last attempt at trying to follow a full season of 2 1/2 Men that isn’t reruns.

  2. Tisha says:

    I’ve only watched this show a few times when Sheen was on it and it really didn’t do much for me. However, out of curiosity, I did watch last night and I thought it was hilarious. I will definitely watch again.

  3. Pat D, says:

    I’m sorry but Ashton was terrible in the premiere…I cant even remember if his face changed expression the entire episode. Maybe when he settles into the role things will get better, but last night did nothing but make people long for Charlie to return IMHO.

  4. ML says:

    The funeral was to be expected Charlie treated women like crap, it was fun to see all of those familiar faces. I think the show will improve with each week you forget the real strength of the show was the whole cast and their contributions. Charlie was getting to be pretty predictable but Alan was the one being challenged.
    The episode was entertaining it had to cover a lot of territory it’s going to take time to integrate Kutcher’s character but in the mean time the rest of the cast will step up and shine.

    This was the only way to keep this cast of characters together, if you looked at Sheen’s last episodes he was not looking well at all his eyes were sunken and showing the abuse. He may not of lasted the rest of the season, Lorre could of just ignored it but when he tried to intervene Sheen’s ego took over and that was it.

    The show won’t be the same but I’m looking forward to the new version with this cast I’ve enjoyed watching these past years.

  5. nitemar says:

    Must say the show had great moments and many laughs last night, but not from Ashton Kutcher for me. I know it was his firt night and would be unfair to rate it on one single shot. Will give another try next week.

  6. still hate it says:

    thought I’d give it another try and okay, I was curious how they would solve the Charlie problem. But OMG the homor on that show is still definitely not my cup of tea.

    But it’s for the best, I’ve more than enough brilliant sitcoms on my watch list (Parks&Recreation, Community, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Cougar Town)

  7. Guy says:

    Now i know why i haven’t watched this show for 7 years. Was always a piece of trash and last night was no exception. The trash continued. Won’t ever ever watch this show again.

    • Helen says:

      This episode was nothing like the first 8 years – too bad you’re comparing this piece of trash to shows you’ve never seen before!

  8. Pam says:

    Ashton is simply playing another version of his Kelso character on that ’70s show.

  9. Bean says:

    Don’t normally watch the show because it’s trash. Watched it just to see the Charlie/Walden transition. Interesting cameos. Disappointed in the Dharma and Greg cameo. Since when does Dharma care about money or threats? This is not them at all. Will go back to not watching Two and Half Men. Chuck Lorre you can do a lot better than this. You’ve done better than this. Seems you’re just not trying anymore.

  10. Uh Oh says:

    The internet TV critics association is in this morning.

  11. Tommy Byrne says:

    I thought that show faired better with the removal of Sheen and that Cryer knocked it outta the park! If anyone would like to read it heres my review http://the-tv-room.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-does-two-and-half-men-get-by.html

  12. Lisa says:

    Men was horrible! It wasn’t funny, the chemistry was off and Kutcher was terrible – he has no sense of comic timing. The premiere was obviously meant as a personal (and highly unprofessional) jab at Charlie Sheen that fell flat and ended up being a grave disservice to the cast and the history of a show we used to love.

    I’m done with Men and I think Chuck Lorre is a fool and a wimp. Lorre was making cracks about Charlie Sheen via his vanity cards long before Sheen started making potshots at him proving Lorre can dish it out but he can’t take it. And then to kill Sheen’s character, replace him with a nobody like Kutcher and destroy the chemistry amongst the cast all to get even because Sheen said things about him that he didn’t like? Lorre is pathetic! No one really likes their boss and no American would throw away millions of dollars just because someone is bad mouthing them. Lorre is an ingrate and Men is now unwatchable. Next Monday at 9pm my DVR will be set to record “House” and “Hart of Dixie”. Goodbye Men!

    • Sam & Lesley says:

      Here Here, couldn’t have said it better ourselves. We take our hats off to you and hope that many more fans of Charlie’s will write the same. Please find our post below.

  13. O says:

    I didn’t like it. I think Charlie was the big deal and Alan and the rest played along. I hated the way they killed Charlie off. I’ll miss him. I think I’ll watch the next episode too, so I can make up my mind whether to stick around or not but this wasn’t a good start at least IMO.

  14. Melanie says:

    I watched the last two or three minutes while waiting on another show… I was wondering the same thing, was the audience told to laugh? It was awful, so over it.

  15. Joanna says:

    I loved it. I’ve watched every episode & loved most of them. Will keep watching as the rest of the cast is always great. Hoping Walden will improve with the next few episodes.

  16. SK says:

    I’ve watched 2.5 Men occasionally in the past, but not much. Checked out tonight’s episode, and it was just kind of the same for me. Very meh, with a few laughs. The funeral was super tacky, though, I liked Alan’s scene with the urn. It makes sense to kill Charlie off, but I think I would have prefered he’d just run away with Rose and didn’t come back.

  17. Sam & Lesley says:

    The storyline of killing him off is really disrespectful to Charlie Sheen who made that show eight years of fantastic success which without him the show would have never been the hit it was. I have to say though that the existing cast are terific but however good they are the show still belongs to Charlie.

    We feel the same as Charlie himself, why make a sitcom around him and then get rid of him? It would have made more sense to have finished the show altogether and say do a spin off.

    The other alternative is that they could have put in a new character for three months and then brought Charlie back when he had recovered from his problem because that’s what the public want, they want Charlie.

    Very unhappy he is not in the show and felt very sorry for him at the Emmys this week when he made his speech.
    What a lovely and generous man he is to the rest of the cast wishing them luck and best wishes for this new season.

    If we should watch it, it will be heartbreaking without Charlie because in our opinion nobody can touch him. We got such a lovely lot of laughs watching the show which we now miss very much.

    Hope Anger Management is a great success for him and wish Charlie the best of luck and lot’s of happiness for the future.

  18. bigworm says:

    Watched 2 minutes and went back to listening to music. Better get a better director and writers that work well with Kutcher.
    The acting in the 2 minutes that I watched was terrible. It was the part when Jon Cryer goes to get drinks for the girls and when he gets back the girls and Kutcher have gone upstairs.

    • uhyeahright says:

      Seriously? You’re judging the show based on watching two minutes? Yes, you’re right that was the weakest scene. But if you didn’t watch all of the episode, then how would you know if it was bad acting and bad directing?

      • Helen says:

        It was BAD!!! As bad as it gets. Was a huge fan of the former show – will never watch the New one again. It was a real struggle to sit through this totally demeaning and insulting show – didn’t laugh even once.

  19. Karen says:

    Agree with Sam & Lesley. The one thing I got was the maturing of the relationship of Dharma & Greg. Thought that was funny! Sorry, But didn’t get the vanity card? Did any one else?
    Anyway Now that Charley is on the right path, Can’t wait for Anger Management!

  20. Nadine says:

    Jon Cryer did a beautiful job when Allen was reflecting on his brother, while holding the urn with his ashes.

    • Absolutely true. It felt like something you could have gotten out of some of the great sitcoms of the past, like M*A*S*H* or Cheers. But then he dropped the urn four seconds later and that feeling came crashing to earth with it, reminding me that “Men” is not, and never has been, Cheers or M*A*S*H*.

  21. Lisa says:

    I found it completely IN character for Evelyn to do that at the funeral; she has ALWAYS been about herself and her money above all else.
    I really enjoyed it, could it have been funnier? Probably, but I think it was a good set up and I can’t wait for the second half next week. jmho.

  22. Avery says:

    I was terribly disappointed in Kutcher’s performance. He’s no
    Charliue Sheen. His comedic timming was flat and he lacks the subtlety and delivery that Sheen has built into an art form. Pity!

  23. uhyeahright says:

    I thought it was a pretty good season premiere episode. I never really watched previous seasons with Charlie too much, but this new season with Ashton was pretty cool. Its kinda sad that they just upstaged Jon Cryer and made him 2nd fiddle again, at least that’s what it looks like. Jon Cryer needs to be the star of the show, and then Aston second; Cryer’s been the second fiddle long enough when Charlie was there.

    I must say Aston’s acting was much better with the beard.

  24. Savage Lizard says:

    Didn’t think it was all that funny, but to be honest I have felt that way for the last season or so. I think I have been watching it out of habit for awhile, I thought I’d give it an episode or two with Kutcher to see if the writers had anything clever, or if they would just fall back into the same tired crap. Eight minutes in and we get a fart “joke,” so I guess not. I might watch one or two more, but the show is on thin ice with me.

  25. Dede says:

    Charlie Sheen was the show. I was already tired of Cryer’s character; enough with the wining. The kid stopped being funny years ago. I agree with a previous poster, it’s amazing that the kid never learned how to act. Kutcher, what can I say…not funny, one dimensional, childish humor. I sat through it last night just to give it a chance. Won’t waste another 30 minutes.

  26. Jim Thomas says:

    Thought it wasn’t as good as it was with Charlie Sheen.

    Here’s another review that agrees with it
    http://yawgurt.com/two-and-a-half-men-nice-to-meet-you-walden-schmidt-s09e01

    And Dharma and Greg were definitely the highlight.

  27. mgb says:

    I stopped watching “Men” years ago. Sheen always looked ill, and the jokes, while funny, were getting stale. Now that Ashton Kutcher is on it, I’ll start watching again. The only weak spot is Cryer. I’m tired of the poor me, sad sack routine. More Berta, too. She’s a treasure.

  28. I’ve never been a regular fan, but have a season or two on DVD and was curious to see what last night would be like. In my opinion, it was a train wreck. I think the only good laugh I got all night was at Dharma and Greg. The funeral, Evelyn’s crass attitude and the humorless, predictable way that both the urn and the double date ended up really just turned me off, while the excess of d*ck and fart jokes left me wondering if I’m really their target audience to begin with.

  29. Earl Spencer says:

    Lorre is a douchebag, show what extend he would go to hate Charlie and destroy the show to disgrace charlie. Come on in all seasons Charlie had classy tastes Egyptian cotton, extensive alcohol use, its not class but he even allocated money for hookers in an envelope and unlimited credits cards for con-artist girls friend. What is Lorre thinking???? People who watch the show are fools?? We just laugh and that’s it?? We are so dumb that we can’t remember the details of the characters and the show??? Lorres is insulting viewers!!!
    And worse part is though Lorre has no respect for the show he is scared that the new season will fail without charley. That’s why there is no dead body showen, Lorre you money and fame minded pig. Shame on you!!!! And think about it guy want to big 1billion dollars to get his love to be back with him and then same night he does a two random girls. Dude get a life!!!! And Lorre is so scared that show will fall he uses Ashton’s to be nacked to distract viewers from his sick mind episode and the new beginning. I hope the show will fail.

  30. Khrystal says:

    Mr. Matt, you are right. I will not say that show sucks but for the ones who watched CBS last night, the changes made to the show are “to say the less” to big to swallow easily. What’s going on here? On an unnecessary turn I will say, that writers may try to minimize what people were hungry to watch last night “what happened to Charlie?” -in the show, everybody knows what happened for real-. Did the boss pressed the writers as he pressed Charlie a few month ago? Particularly, I felt that Charlie is the Grand loser here -mathematically, rate amount loss between the losers and you see this amount is bigger in Charlie’s wallet than anyone else- and a few other people will be dragged down with him, a bunch of people that in some way were living on “the push” of his popularity. Last night premier open more doubts than oportunitities, as you well described, if we were watching a diva substitution, I will understand another well formed diva “unfolded” to the public eyes on the show but otherwise in my opinion it is still poor judgement from the same people that make me believe that they just write about Charlie’s character to evolve the show. Have you ever heard that the show is based on Charlie’s life experiences and why he looks so realt in the play. It is a shame that Charlie behivior makes his life and the people related to him so dificult , no doubt that we did not judge his performance based on what hi does out on the streets but if you fought with your wife I don’t see why is the advantage to let that to scalate into a huge and a dissapointed event. Charlie’s success is not going to last for ever and all the wave of unfortunately events press report everyday about his bad acts that somebody called it “price of fame” will eventually finish for good or bad with his carrier regardless that everybody knows why always reporters write horrible things about celebrities as a resource to sell their newspaper.
    We hope no body will tell us that Mr. Kutcher is better actor than Sheen because he has never been arrested in Colorado! or New York!. If you want to show guys drinking soda do not put them into a bar. It is a shame how tv producers are destroying our families but showing Mr. Kutcher un-dress is same or worst than a drunk Charlie -in fact – both ideas came from the same people who are trying to manipulate what we can watch. Watchout as we watching you guys fighting like selfish kids that will rather stop playing that play differently of what they want…Force be with you guys…,

    Their succes is so big that keeping it is becoming no possible…

  31. Volcfom says:

    Never liked the show. I only watched Monday’s episode because my boyfriend wanted to see how they introduced his character. I had too many things recording and couldn’t change the channel.
    That being said, I thought Waldon’s initial reveal was hilarious. I like his character, but I still won’t watch the show again.

  32. Helen says:

    I find it extremely hard to believe that your voting poll percentages can possibly be from true fan-based votes (69.71% Loved or Liked It and 25.93% Hated It)! That is the total opposite of any other message board regarding this premiere episode. If anything, the figures should show a tonne more negative votes towards the show because, as they stand, they don’t make any sense. Methinks that there is foul play afoot and that a bunch of CBS execs and/or staff members, etc. are doing most of the positive voting for the show (which was totally disgusting and spiteful from beginning to end). I will never watch it again. Just check out screenrant.com to see the more than 1,000 comments on that episode, 90-95% of which did NOT like the New show.

  33. shane says:

    Are you kidding me? The reason the show worked so well in the first place is because Charlie Sheen was playing the role of a lifetime for him. So when he actually lives that roll in real life the studio fires him instead of working things out, schmucks! Ashton doesn’t have the depth to pull of what this show needs. They should have brought Charlie back or killed the show, so sad to see it go this way.

  34. Dia says:

    You know it’s a sinking ship that Chuck Lorre has to pull out Dharma and Greg into an episode. Hasn’t Jenna Elfman already been in the show once before playing Alan brief fling and now she back with Greg? Is Chuck Lorre trying to forget the last 8 years completely that he can’t remember who he had on the show before.

  35. Al Helm says:

    Thank God for reruns…I believe Charlie/Charlie reruns will out class and out score the new 2 1/2 Men…The producers hired good old Charlie for this part because Charlie was Charlie…My thoughts are the producers should have been replaced (thin skinned and all)..and left the show alone…It waS FUNNY, ENTERTAINING AND ENJOYABLE…the new Walden/Ashton….was YUK…At least this new program will give me a chance to view ABC or NBC,,,CBS just lost a viewer on Mondays…I’m betting reruns will draw more viewers than this new
    offering..Lorre swaller your pride…(wash it down with the money Ole Charlie made for you) and bring back Charlie Sheen…

  36. Adrian says:

    Not even close to being as good as the original…bring back Charlie!!!

  37. paul g says:

    It’s pretty clear from going through the comments that the women are happy with the show. Nothing to do with acting or comedy. Just Ashton (swoon). This show will die… quickly.

  38. demi says:

    dont think i laughed at all watching the show tonight. slapstick comedy is only good for 2 seconds until you realize it isnt funny. that’s where it appeared to have headed.

  39. wra says:

    …the new show will not be around… 2 yrs top.

  40. michael says:

    Ashton cannot carry the show or demi.
    He’s sophmoric. The powers that b think he can carry the show. How childish..Cryer although capable
    Has not been allowed to developed.
    Same for Jake. A good director would allow and incourage input from cryer and jake
    Need I go on…….

  41. michael says:

    Right on demi
    I’m with u.

  42. Joe says:

    It seems all the old cast will remain stuck in their worn out roles. No growth after Charlie’s death. It’s all about Ashton now. Truth is the old cast made the show and could saved it if they had a chance.

    The nonchalance over Charlie’s death is out of context too. It may feed the egos of the Moron’s who screwed up the show, but it ruins the show completely.

  43. charliefan says:

    charlie fan all the way…..ashton cannot pull it off!!!

  44. Acj says:

    Horrible!!!!!

  45. B. Dutton says:

    Kutcher plays a guy who is dumb and needs a shower.
    Maybe a smarter or more savy part would work better.

  46. Greg Hi says:

    only getting comments from last posting Sept 20 20011 agree a cold and repulsive funeral will not not be watching any ashton I cheated on demi kutcher yes i know the person who plays rose is from N.Z but the show is going down hill quick in aussie dam bad taste the funeral Chuck you you have done better! No laughs only the canned laughter you can edit into it

  47. termineta says:

    Well, it’s Nov.15, and I gave the show another chance. It’s AWFUL!!!!
    Ashton Kutcher is about as funnny as Hannibal Lectur. I love Jon Cryer, but he cannot carry off this show by himself. Even “Jake” is no longer funny. I hope you people who run this show either get it off the air or do something outrageous to get Sheen back. Also, “Rose” was another funny part of the show. I also hope someone connected with the show reads these comments.

  48. Karen says:

    I think Ashton was awful the show has lost its way without Charlie. Will never waste another moment on this show. Shame I loved the show but its just not funny anymore.

  49. NashuaIndigo says:

    I don’t like the new Two and a Half Men. The jokes are not funny anymore since Charlie left.

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