Two and a Half Men The Complete First Season
Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, Angus T. Jones
24 Episodes 4 DVDs
CBS 2003-04 season
Warner Home Video 2007

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Two and a Half Men until I got the 4 DVD 24 episode box set of The Complete First Season. In its first season, Two and a Half Men was fresh, very original, non-repetitive, and the writing was solid. Watching these shows made me pine for the good old days of that situation comedy. Perhaps the show’s writers should take a look too and see what they once had: a

The premise of Two and a Half Men is two brothers, one a single ladies man (Charlie Sheen as Charlie) and the other a recently separated father of one (Jon Cryer as Alan) end up sharing a house and custody of the kid. The differences between the two brothers and the fact the kid isn’t one of those smart-alecky Hollywood TV kids are, in part what make the first season of Two and a Half Men work. The other reason it works is the characters, especially the mother and the housekeeper (the very good Conchata Ferrel) bring a little womanly touch to the show without getting in the way of what is really a guy’s world.

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Especially good in the 4 DVD 24 Episode set of this sitcom is Last Thing You Want Is To Wind Up With A Hump where Charlie and Alan, especially Allan, discover the perils of dating divorced soccer moms. I also enjoyed Go East On Sunset Until You Reach The Gates of Hell though the ending is a bit ridiculous though it makes TV sense. Enjoyable is episode 8 where Charlie gets to write a musical for Jake’s class: ah, the power of jingles.

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The Thanksgiving episode of the first season of Two and a Half Men is also very good as Charlie tries to get one of his exes back by faking that old family feeling. Most excellent is Camel Filters and Pheromones (DVD 2 of The Complete First Season) where Berta’s teenage daughter makes the two and a half men completely testosterone driven. There are many great moments here and some great physical comedy by Alan Cryer. The ending feels a bit rushed but otherwise this is a fun episode.

I was less impressed with episodes like Phase One Complete where Charlie seems to have met the perfect woman, or Sarah Like Puny Alan which takes a long time to get going and has a rather lame pay off.

There are a few very educational episodes here such as If They Go Either Way They Are Usually Fake where Jake learns an important thing about women and Charlie almost gets liked by Alan’s ex-wife.

DVD 3 of Two and a Half Men First Season starts off strong with a two part episode: Round One For the Crazy Hot Chick; Alan plays Mushmouth from the Cosby Kids after coming out from the dentist and the boys meet a baseball bat swinging blonde (Jenna Helfman of Dharma and Greg) destroying her shrink’s BMW because she has anger issues: of course Charlie brings her home. Also good is An Old Flame With A New Wick where one of Charlie’s exes has had a sex change. As Berta says to Alan: “You make them gay, he makes them guy.” In fact, this is the best DVD in the bunch episode wise as it also includes the show where the brothers compete for Alan’s ex and her sister (terri Hatcher of Desperate Housewives) and the sisters compete for the guys. Also excellent is the episode where Alan’s lawyer (Heather Locklear) and Charlie get hot for each other and for Alan this means his “settlement conference turned into a drive-by colonoscopy.”

DVD 4 includes Just Like Buffalo where, after Judith’s support group talks her into keeping Jake from Charlie, Charlie smooth talks the entire group to get Jake back. There are also the extras. The outtakes reel is fun but much too short. The backstage tour is not bad, and the behind the scenes about how Two and a Half Men came together is not bad.


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