Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Two and a Half Men - Season 4 DVD Review
Written by General Jabbo
Two and a Half Men tells the story of freewheeling jingle writer, Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen), whose hard-partying lifestyle is interrupted when his brother Alan (Jon Cryer) gets divorced and kicked out of his house. With nowhere to go, Alan and his son Jake (Angus T. Jones)
move in with Charlie. While art definitely imitates life with Charlie's
character — he is rarely seen without a drink in his hand or without a beautiful woman by his side, his brother Alan is his polar opposite. Alan is a nerdy chiropractor who resents, yet envies Charlie's lifestyle.
At the beginning of the Emmy Award-winning season four, we are left with a cliffhanger from season three. Charlie met the love of his life and wanted to get married. Everything was set to go until she decided that her marrying Charlie meant his brother and nephew had to move out of the house. Not being able to commit to the relationship, Charlie tells her he can't bear to kick his family out and calls off the wedding. Meanwhile, Alan marries the pretty but dimwitted Kandi (April Bowlby) and wins $500,000 on a slot machine. They get their own place, much to Charlie's chagrin as he had called off his own wedding partially so he wouldn't have to kick out his brother, but Kandi quickly goes through Alan's money. When Alan is left with only $11, he returns to Charlie's house a defeated man about to get a divorce. Meanwhile, Alan's family, including his ex-wife Judith (Marin Hinkle) had a pool (which Judith won) to see who could guess how long Alan's marriage would last.
When one of Charlie's conquests leaves his house and Alan notices she has a gun, he is concerned for Charlie. He tries to get Charlie to give up his drinking, gambling, and one-night stands all the while sucking up to Charlie for taking him in again. At the same time, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith has rented the house next door and is doing vocal exercises and practicing his harmonica. The noise finally gets to Charlie and he goes over to pick a fight, only to get pummeled by Tyler.
Another episode finds Alan fighting Kandi in the divorce arrangements over their dog — a Great Dane named Chester. Alan goes to Judith to ask for the lawyer she used in their divorce so he can stick it to Kandi, but Judith has already recommended her lawyer to Kandi. To add insult to injury, when Alan goes to Kandi's apartment to try and get Chester, he finds she is sleeping with the lawyer. Ultimately, Alan ends up stealing the dog and goes to jail for his crime.
Charlie dates a woman who is very insulting to him and his family. She has little use for her children or anyone else for that matter and everyone but Charlie realizes she is exactly like his mother Evelyn (Holland Taylor), right down to the nearly identical pantsuits she wears to her profession (real estate). Charlie finally realizes it when he sees her and his mother go at it, trading insult after insult. Nevertheless, he still sleeps with her.
Alan gets excited when Judith announces she is engaged to Jake's pediatrician Herb (Ryan Stiles) as it means he soon will no longer have to pay her alimony. Jake doesn't like that his mom is planning on marrying him and runs away to Charlie's house. Charlie and Alan end up bribing him to like Herb. Meanwhile, Alan and Charlie get Herb drunk and film him cavorting with strippers to blackmail him, only they didn't realize it was Herb's cell phone they used to film him. Judith ends up seeing the video and is none-too-pleased with all involved.
Charlie convinces a blonde surfer girl that he is an expert surfer and nearly drowns. While he was underwater, he had a vision of his deceased father who spoke to him saying, "take care of your mother." Charlie, who has never been close with his mother, takes this as a sign that it is time for him to make things right with her. He and Alan take her to lunch and she is immediately suspicious. Alan lets her know what is going on, but Charlie still insists on being nice to her, even taking her in when she was recovering after having lip implants done. It is only when they watch a mob movie together and he hears one of the characters say, "take care of him" that he realizes he had misunderstood his father all along.
In addition to the episodes, the DVDs include commentary on one episode by series executive producers Chuck Lorre and Lee Aronsohn and commentary on another episode by Sheen, Cryer and Jones. Also included is "Two Men Talking About Two and a Half Men" with Lorre and Aronsohn sharing stories behind season four and a gag reel of bloopers.
Two and a Half Men delivered another consistent season with season four and showed why it is one of the most popular comedies on television. While the storylines are often absurd, it never tries to be anything but fun and makes for an enjoyable escape.