Two and a Half Men: The Complete First Season – DVD Review


Available at Amazon.com

Creators:

Chuck Lorre
Lee Aronsohn

Cast:

Charlie Sheen ………. Charlie Harper
Jon Cryer ………. Alan Harper
Angus T. Jones ………. Jake Harper
Marin Hinkle ………. Judith Harper
Melanie Lynskey ………. Rose
Conchata Ferrell ………. Berta
Holland Taylor ………. Evelyn Harper

The Show

It’s amazing how one television show can be so rude, crude, and demeaning to women; but yet still be one of the most-watched sitcoms around today. Two and a Half Men is a show about an unusual family, but this is no “family show”. This is a guy’s show for sure, but can there really be this many guys watching this show in the world? Women must be watching this series for it to get the ratings it gets. The question here is why exactly?

Two and a Half Men is centered around a freewheeling bachelor, Charlie (Charlie Sheen), whose carefree lifestyle is interrupted when his newly separated brother, Alan (Jon Cryer), moves in, along with his son Jake (Angus T. Jones). Charlie and his nephew form an “unsuspecting bond” with each other. Charlie and Alan are complete opposites with little in common, except their dislike for their cold and domineering mother, Evelyn (Holland Taylor). Completing this crazy family is Alan’s sexually confused estranged wife, Judith (Marin Hinkle), Charlie’s sarcastic housekeeper, Berta (Conchata Ferrell), and Charlie’s rich neighbor/ex-lover/stalker, Rose (Melanie Lynskey).

The casting of Charlie Sheen as a hedonistic bachelor, who makes a lot of money for doing very little work writing jingles, sleeps with beautiful women, drives a Jag and lives at the beach, was brilliant. Sheen is natural in this role. Some might even say that Charlie Sheen is playing himself. Jon Cryer is also wonderful as Charlie’s nerdy, uptight brother, Alan. This is the modern day version of The Odd Couple. Charlie is a mess, while Alan is the neat freak. What makes this dynamic even more interesting is the fact that a 10-year-old kid gets thrown into the mix. Angus T. Jones plays his role to near perfection. The chemistry between the three lead stars is the big positive for this show.

The main criticism for this show has always been how it treated women. In the first season, women are either portrayed as objects of lust, crazy but hot, vengeful, or emasculating. It’s hard to believe that any woman would watch this show. In addition, some would argue the subject matter on this series is not intended for a “family audience”. The conflict here is that this is an adult show that stars a young kid. But perhaps those critics might be taking this show too seriously.

It’s remarkable to think that a show like Two and a Half Men can be wrong on some many levels, but yet still be funny to a lot of people who watch it. What makes this series work is the chemistry between the actors involved and the compelling dynamic of having The Odd Couple try and raise a kid together. Underneath the indecent exterior is an actual decent heart. All of these elements combined make this a comedy that everyone can laugh at, as long as you can take a good joke.

Episodes:

Disc One:

Episode 1 – Pilot
Charlie’s life is turned upside down by his brother and nephew moving in with him.

Episode 2 – Big Flappy Bastards
Charlie begins to learn how to parent Jake while Alan attempts to get Judith back. Seagulls also invade the house when Jake won’t stop feeding the feathered freeloaders.

Episode 3 – Go East On Sunset Until You Reach The Gates Of Hell
Alan fears he is losing his son and goes drinking with Charlie.

Episode 4 – If I Can’t Write My Chocolate Song, I’m Going To Take A Nap
Alan has trouble with Berta and Charlie needs to get Jake and Rose to follow his suggestions.

Episode 5 – Last Thing You Want Is To Wind Up With A Hump
After spending a night in Las Vegas, Charlie decides to live up to his promise that he made to Jake about attending his soccer game. During the game, Charlie sets up a play-date with an unattached mother named Kate, and they hit it off. During one of their dates, Charlie seems like he’s ready for a serious relationship. Alan sets up a meeting with Gloria (one of the soccer moms) to write a soccer newsletter, but Gloria has other intentions for the evening, and he has no idea. During the evening another soccer mom, Brooke, tries to move in on Gloria’s plans.

Episode 6 – Did You Check With The Captain Of The Flying Monkeys?
Charlie and Evelyn are dating members of the same family.

Episode 7 – If They Do Go Either Way, They’re Usually Fake
Judith gets worried when Jake draws the tattooed buttocks of a female surfer friend of Charlie’s who walks around his place half naked. Alan feels concern for Judith when she befriends the surfer girl.

Disc Two:

Episode 8 – Twenty-Five Little Pre-Pubers Without A Snootful
Alan tricks Charlie into joining him and Judith in leading Jake and his classmates in the school’s annual music show.

Episode 9 – Phase One, Complete
Charlie wants to dump a female friend that Jake has grown close to. Alan and Rose bond over a game of Scrabble.

Episode 10 – Merry Thanksgiving
In an attempt to prove that he is a family man, Charlie invites Lisa over for Thanksgiving dinner.

Episode 11 – Alan Harper, Frontier Chiropractor
While at the movies, the brothers bump into Judith and her new boyfriend. Seeing that Judith has changed her look, and the fact that Jake doesn’t think Alan is as cool as Judith; prompts Alan to realize that if he wants to get back into the dating scene, he’s going to have to change his look as well.

Episode 12 – Camel Filters And Pheromones
When Berta is forced to bring her granddaughter Prudence to work with her, the boys find themselves a little preoccupied with her.

Episode 13 – Sarah Like Puny Alan
Charlie finally gets a chance for a double date with a hot neighbor, who is out for revenge on her cheating husband, and her sister who’s a hot soap opera actress, and needs Alan to come along. The problem is that Alan gets sick from Jake, so Charlie takes them to a steam room to help Alan get rid of his flu symptoms. This backfires, as Charlie also gets sick, but he has no intentions of canceling the date.

Episode 14 – I Can’t Afford Hyenas
Stan, Charlie’s accountant, tries to explain Charlie’s financial woes to him.

Disc Three:

Episode 15 – Round One To The Hot Crazy Chick
Against Alan’s judgment, Charlie falls for a seemingly crazy woman named Frankie.

Episode 16 – That Was Saliva, Alan
Frankie tells Charlie and Alan why she and her daughter are on the run; Frankie’s daughter has a crush on Jake.

Episode 17 – Ate The Hamburgers, Wearing The Hats
Alan offends Charlie by choosing harebrained cousins as Jake’s guardians in the event of his death.

Episode 18 – An Old Flame With A New Wick
Charlie is stunned to learn his ex-girlfriend is now a man.

Episode 19 – I Remember The Coat Room, I Just Don’t Remember You
Judith’s sister, Liz, hits on Alan at Jake’s birthday party; Evelyn prefers alcohol to cake.

Episode 20 – Hey, I Can Pee Outside In The Dark
Judith believes that Jake is having a hard time dealing with his parent’s divorce, after he starts annoying everyone with his non-stop guitar playing. So she suggests that they send Jake to a therapist. Alan doesn’t agree at first, but after thinking about it, he believes it might not be such a bad idea.

Episode 21 – No Sniffing, No Wowing
Charlie jeopardizes Alan’s divorce settlement by sleeping with his attorney, Laura.

Disc Four:

Episode 22 – My Doctor Has A Cow Puppet
Charlie attempts to cure Alan of his recent bout of sleepwalking; Jake sees his therapist.

Episode 23 – Just Like Buffalo
Charlie tries to sweet talk Judith’s divorcee support-group into letting Jake continue to spend weekends at his place.

Episode 24 – Can You Feel My Finger?
A pregnancy scare has Charlie heading to the doctor for a vasectomy.

The Video:

The video is given in widescreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is enchanced for 16X9 TVs. Transfer is good with minimal distortion. The video quality is pretty good for a TV show. On par with other newer shows getting released on DVD these days.

The Audio:

The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound or Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. There are subtitles available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Korean as well. That’s the most impressive list of subtitles I have ever seen on a DVD. Overall, the audio is pretty standard quality for a TV show. The dialogue comes out crisp and clear. The theme song is also catchy, but yet can still get annoying after awhile.

The Extras:

“Two Adults, One Kid, No Grown-Ups” Featurette
This featurette runs 30 minutes long, and basically serves as the “making of” featurette for the show. We get all kinds information on the show. How it got created, how it got cast, etc. It’s good that both the crew and the cast talk about this show and their experiences doing it. You should definitely check this out to learn more about the show.

Backstage Tour with Angus T. Jones
This is really the “behind-the-scenes” featurette. It runs 8 minutes long and Angus T. Jones, who plays the kid in the show, takes you on a tour of the show. We see the sets and all that goes with that. It’s a little weird to see Angus as four years older here than what he is on the first season, but it’s fairly interesting overall.

Gag Reel/Outtakes
This is 5 minutes of bloopers from the first season. The usual funny stuff is here. Just as funny as the actual show.

THE INSIDE PULSE

If you haven’t seen the show, at least rent it and give it a chance. It seems like it is not for everyone, but just about anyone can find a laugh here unless you are easily offended. Fans of Charlie Sheen will probably want to buy this DVD set as this is really Charlie Sheen at his best.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Two and a Half Men: The Complete First Season
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

8
THE VIDEO

8
THE AUDIO

8
THE EXTRAS

4
REPLAY VALUE

7
OVERALL
7
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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