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Two and a Half Men on CBS
It would be an understatement
to say Charlie Harper – the hedonistic lothario played convincingly by Charlie
Sheen on CBS’ Two and a Half Men (Monday, 9:00 p.m. ET) – has always been
promiscuous. But in the August 18th rerun entitled, “Rough Night in
Hump Junction,” he outdid even himself. For its vulgar, sexually-explicit
humor, Two and a Half Men has been named Worst TV Show of the Week.
The show opens with Charlie
asking Alan to keep the girl he has upstairs occupied while he goes out on a
date. Not an unusual request for Charlie, except for the fact that it is 8:30
in the morning. Charlie wants to have sex with a married woman while her
husband plays a round of golf. He elaborates, “Her husband is out playing nine
holes, so I thought, as long as he's out, I'd try and play a couple myself." As
the show progresses, Alan notices that Charlie’s sexcapades have gotten out of
control, even for Charlie. After the golf husband punches his lights out,
Charlie’s nose bleeds profusely, yet he still climbs the stairs to have sex with
the waifish, willing blonde waiting for him in his bedroom. The next morning,
Charlie sports two black eyes and a noticeable limp. He explains, “I just had a
little accident. I tried to pick my lady friend up and put her on the bureau and
now I can't find one of my testicles." His housekeeper, Berta, chimes in with:
"That is something you do not want to find in the vacuum bag." For the rest of
the episode, Charlie sits on an inflatable ring and complains about his painful
Concerned that Charlie is on a
path of self-destruction, Alan presses him:
ALAN: “Don’t you think you need to slow down a bit?”
CHARLIE: “Why would I want to do that?”
ALAN: “Oh, come on! Is this lifestyle actually making you
CHARLIE: “Let me answer that question with another question:
Who would you rather be - you or me?”
ALAN: “You’re kidding, right? You have two black eyes and
you’re perched on a scrotum cozy…(dejected) You.”
After Charlie is arrested for
soliciting sex from an undercover cop, he decides that maybe Alan was right.
Eventually, through the help of his therapist, Charlie comes to realize that his
sexual binge stems from the fact that his ex-girlfriend - whom he still loves -
is getting married soon. Charlie decides that he must win his ex-girlfriend
back. On the day of her wedding, Charlie crashes the ceremony but his ex
refuses to take him back. The show concludes with a battered and bruised
Charlie contemplating the notion that perhaps it is time to settle down.
Charlie tells Allan:
Charlie: “I thought I'd find some chick with a big heart and
ass and marry her. Maybe that girl from the beach, she seemed nice.”
Alan: “You're going to get married?”
Charlie: “Yep, settle down. Have a couple of kids. Ship the penis off to
What’s most telling about the
episode, however, isn’t the blue humor but what it says about marital intimacy.
As the PTC’s recent study Happily Never After illustrates, network
television consistently paints marital sex in a negative light. Even when an
episode recognizes that promiscuity can be empty and unfulfilling, the option of
marriage is seen as a death sentence or at best a retirement party for one’s
privates. Deep down Charlie knows that a loving, stable marriage will fill the
void in his life, but he can’t seem to reconcile this fact with his desire to
have an exciting, adventurous sex life. Why does television always assume you
can’t have both?
For vulgar humor and yet again
disparaging marital intimacy, Two and a Half Men fully deserves to be
called the Worst of the Week.
Parents Television Council,
Clean Up TV Now, Because our children are watching, The
nation's most influential advocacy organization, Protecting
children against sex, violence and profanity in
entertainment, Parents Television Council Seal of Approval,
and Family Guide to Prime Time Television
are trademarks of the Parents Television Council.