Wednesday, June 27, 2012

FX runs risk of ruining comedy block with Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen’s meltdown was epic.

No, seriously, it was legendary.

We were seeing a grown man completely fall apart.

The fact that he did it in the public eye and no one could stop him was only part of the entertainment factor.

The other part was that he had no shame while doing it.

He surrounded himself with prostitutes, drugs and weird catch-phrases.

Everyone in the world could see that he was having a mental breakdown – and yet all we could do is laugh about it.

In the months since he stopped “winning,” Sheen has managed to gain some traction in his fight to hold on to his sanity.

The world will get a chance to see how he’s progressing Thursday night, when his new show ‘Anger Management’ debuts on FX.

‘Anger Management’ is based on that bad Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson movie a few years back. If the show is worse than the movie – viewers are in for a world of hurt. If the show is as good as the movie, viewers are still in for some pain.

Sheen was once a great actor – ‘Platoon,’ ‘Wall Street,’ ‘Major League’ – but he hasn’t shown anything near those acting chops in years.

From the trailers I’ve seen for ‘Anger Management,’ it doesn’t look like there’s anything even remotely worthwhile about the show. Should it fail, Sheen says this is his last foray into television. Let’s hope he’s telling the truth.

‘Anger Management’ joins FX’s other two comedies, ‘Wilfred’ and ‘Louie’ – which are already established hits and are returning with new seasons this week, as well.

‘Louie’ stars Louis C.K. and is about a stand-up comedian and the lengths he goes to when trying to perfect his craft. C.K. not only stars, but he writes and directs the show, too.

‘Louie’ really doesn’t cover any new ground, but it is so funny as a retread that it really doesn’t need to. The show sparkles from start to finish.

‘Wilfred,’ on the other hand, is an acquired taste. I’ve personally fallen in love with the show – but I can understand why it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

‘Wilfred’ has a certain surreal quality. Essentially, Elijah Wood plays Ryan, a down-on-his-luck 20-something that finds a partner in crime when he starts babysitting his neighbor’s dog. The problem is, everyone else sees the dog as a regular dog while he sees it as a mouthy man in a dog costume.

Yeah, it’s weird.

It’s also hilarious.

I’ve gone back and forth on my feelings for Sheen.

I loved him back in his ‘Young Guns’ and ‘Navy S.E.A.L.S.’ days.

When he made his comeback on ‘Two and a Half Men,’ I was indifferent on an entertainment level (I don’t find canned and formulaic shows like that funny) but I was happy for him on a personal level.

‘Anger Management’ is another story, though. I think the show has the potential to be another ‘Two and a Half Men’ when it comes to quality (and nobody wants that). I doubt the ratings will reflect the CBS shows’ numbers, though.

Personally, I would have liked to see something a little more creative to be paired with ‘Louie’ and ‘Wilfred.’

I’ve decided I’m going to give ‘Anger Management’ a chance. If it is subpar, though, I’m out of there after one viewing.

What do you think? Is ‘Anger Management’ going appeal to FX’s edgier audience?


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