Charlie Sheen is crazy, so it only makes sense that he'd play a therapist on TV right? After being ousted from his long-running CBS sitcom, which happened after his truly bizarre '20/20' interviews and media meltdown, Sheen was offered a new sitcom on FX, because people apparently wanted to see as much of the Charlie train wreck as possible.
The plot of his new show, 'Anger Management,' is essentially the same as 'Two and a Half Men.' Charlie plays a character named Charlie, who is old, haggard as a result of rough living, and still able to bed twenty-somethings on a daily basis. The show assumes we'll find this comical instead of downright creepy.
There are some differences, but the crux of the show relies on watching Charlie pick up hot chick after hot chick. When he isn't dating women who were infants when he was in college, Charlie spends his time managing the anger of his patients in group therapy. Having an anger problem himself, Charlie went to school, became a therapist, and now works out of his home trying to help people control their impulses.
Charlie has an ex-wife (Shawnee Smith) who stops by every once in a while to tell him what a dog he really is. They have a daughter who seems rather unfazed by their complete dysfunction. Charlie's best friend, Kate (Selma Blair), is also his non-committal sex buddy. She also ends up being his therapist, which complicates things further. Generally, whenever the show slows down and neither of them are doing anything, they make a few sex jokes and then jump into bed together.
Watching Sheen bed all these women is neither fun nor entertaining. It simply leads to questions of, "Why?" "What is wrong with these girls?" and "Is this how real-life is for Charlie Sheen?" (Answer: No, in real life Sheen pays for it). The show spends most of its time covering Charlie's sexual conquests. However, it does show glimmers of hope when it focuses on the eclectic bunch of patients that attend Charlie's group therapy sessions.
Patrick (Michael Arden) is the obligatory gay character who handles situations by being passive aggressive. He's constantly at odds with a racist, homophobic geriatric named Ed (Barry Corbin), who wears his hate on his sleeve. Nolan (Derek Richardson) is a quiet, awkward guy who has fallen for the fiery Lacey (Noureen DeWulf ), who is in anger therapy for shooting her boyfriend in the testicles for cheating. The moments where the group is together, riffing on one another, are some of the best parts of the show. All of Charlie's skirt-chasing is a lot less interesting.
Yes, 'Anger Management' is your standard sitcom, laugh-track and all. It follows the same tired formula of all sitcoms, where each line is a setup for an eventual punch line. The punch lines in the group therapy sessions usually hit, while everything else in the show misses by a mile.
I've never been a fan of Charlie Sheen, or 'Two and a Half Men.' While 'Anger Management' may be disguised as something different, it's still mostly about Charlie chasing after hot, young tail, without dealing with any of the consequences of life.
Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
This is a Lionsgate release. It's a 2-disc set with each of the discs being 50GBs. There are 10 episodes in all. They come packaged in a standard keepcase with two disc hubs. Lionsgate indicates on their packaging that this is a Region A release.
'Anger Management' certainly mirrors the look of a traditional multi-camera sitcom. There isn't anything overly flashy about the series. The 1080p presentation is a victim of the ordinary look of the show. There's only so much you can do with a traditional sitcom. The way they're filmed they're rarely considered eye-candy when it comes to high-def.
Sure, the picture is clear and free of blemishes, but it fails to really leap off the screen. With the camera constantly in mid-range mode, there's little room for fine detail to creep in. Facial features like Sheen's age lines are visible, but for the most part it feels like any other sitcom. Colors are strong and contrast is decent. It's just that even though the show is solidly presented it's still pretty unmemorable when it comes right down to it.
The show has been given a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. If you were to tell me that it was a 3.1 track I'd believe you. There's really not much need for the rear channels in a mix like this. With the multi-camera set up the action is always right in front of you. All the dialogue and effects are centered right up front. The only sounds bleeding into the rear speakers are the obnoxious laugh track and the show's scene-changing theme music.
The sound mix is confined by the fact that 'Anger Management' is a typical sitcom with 90-percent of its sound centered up front. The sound up front comes across clean and clear. LFE is pretty silent, as there really aren't many scenes in need of heavy bass. There are a couple clubbing scenes that get the beats pumping, but they're few and far between. Like the video presentation, this is forgettable to say the least.
I find it disturbing to watch Charlie Sheen continuously getting with girls that could be his daughter. That's what most of the show is based around. When it focuses on the funny situations some of the patients find themselves in, it's a marginally good sitcom. Sadly, too much of the series is centered on whether Charlie will have sex with a 28-year-old, a 25-year-old, or Selma Blair. With standard high-def treatment and no really amusing extras, 'Anger Management' is a rental at best on Blu-ray. Nothing more.