“Two and a Half Men”: Season 2

Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
January 8, 2008

Take a pair of bickering brothers, a precocious child, an ex-wife, and a meddling mother and you’ve got Two and a Half Men.

In the sitcom’s sophomore year, which aired during the 2004-2005 television season, siblings Charlie (Charlie Sheen) and Alan (Jon Cryer) have their living situation somewhat under control. Alan is still as fussy as ever and Charlie is a overgrown child who views women as his preferred playthings.

But they somehow manage to provide a surprisingly stable home for Alan’s 11-year-old son Jake (Angus T. Jones), who in many ways is more mature than either his father or uncle.

Living together in sunny southern California, the two and a half men in this 21st-century version of The Odd Couple create a lifestyle that works for their oddball family, whether it’s sparring with family members, dealing with intrusive friends, or juggling the various women who traipse in and out of their lives.

If you think too much about it, it’s unsettling that a child is thrown into some of the sexcapades. Though played for laughs, it’s a tad creepy watching Jake walk into some PG-13 situations–some of them including his dad.

When he learns his ex-wife is dating, Alan tries to give Charlie a run for the money in the bachelor department. Cryer has always been a natural when it comes to comedy, but Sheen’s best work always has been in drama. This season, he comes into his own in an easygoing role that suits him. The storylines offered aren’t unique, but Cryer and Sheen exhibit warm chemistry that elevates this so-so series.

This year’s guest stars include Sean Penn and Elvis Costello, who appear as heightened versions of themselves. Denise Richards–who was married to Sheen at the time–also guest stars as one of Charlie’s babes. (The couple’s real-life daughter, Sam, also makes her acting debut here.)

The four-disc box set includes all 24 episodes from the second season, as well as a gag reel (that’s pretty funny) and a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of the sitcom’s stars.

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