Here they are. The final 16 episodes of Two and a Half Men featuring Charlie Sheen as Charlie Harper. It’s kind of sad, actually. I mean, despite all the crazy drama behind-the-scenes between Sheen, Chuck Lorre, and Warner Bros., it’s sad to see this version of the series come to an end. Luckily, these final sixteen are a lot of fun, hilarious, and filled with plenty of “I can’t believe they got to say/do that on CBS” hijinks that only Two and a Half Men can deliver.
Admittedly, the series has definitely started to show its age, and this season the show does trend toward familiar territory. Charlie’s out boozing, womanizing, and blacking put as always, while Alan is still his cheap, sponging-off-his-brother self. But what makes the show work and has made it sustainable for so long is the fact that the series has never deviated from its basic premise.
Jon Cryer and Charlie Sheen have great comic chemistry, and you can’t deny that these two, along with the rest of the amazing cast, have made this series the comedy juggernaut it’s been for the last eight seasons. Even Angus T. Jones has developed into a solid comic presence on the series, trading in his cute kid snarkiness for slacker dumbass who’s more like his uncle Charlie with the ladies than dad Alan.
There were several things that make this season unique from the previous ones other than the shortened number of episodes and it being the final season with Charlie Sheen. Season eight pushes the boundaries out even farther than previous seasons and even has a tendency to cross lines than some may find offensive (Alan hooks up with a girl who likes to role-play that she’s a Nazi? Yep, and he’s cool with it). There are plenty of other instances as well, but you get the idea. All I can say is I’m glad that shows like this exist to deliver plenty of politically incorrect material into our over-sensitive, P.C. world.
On one of Chuck Lorre’s Vanity Cards (the white screen with text before the WB logo) at the end of a season one episode, Lorre sets up the rules of Two and Half Men. One of the rules was that he would never allow the studio audience to react with “Ohs” and “Ahs” when something happened to the characters. Well, the audience this season appears to be from the Married with Children school of audience reactions. It’s almost funny how much they cheer and react aside from all the laughs. Of course, the show has broken almost all the rules set out in that Vanity Card, but this was the one most prominently on display this season.
There also seems to be even more of an undercurrent of mean-spiritedness in this season than in seasons past. Perhaps it’s because of the storm brewing underneath the surface that led to the upcoming season starring Ashton Kutcher. Make no mistake: this is Two and a Half Men at its height of popularity, but there’s definitely some feeling that either the writers knew or Sheen knew that things were on the outs. Perhaps the clues are in some of the character’s lines about Charlie’s inevitable death; while these were in other seasons as well one can’t help but wonder who knew what and when about the fate of the series.
This final season is a satisfying conclusion to the Charlie Harper story. Granted, it’s a couple seasons too soon, but at least he’s not dead at the end of episode sixteen. For fans of the show that will no longer watch after this season, it’s a good send-off and fitting conclusion for the Charlie Harper character (plus, I think we all knew it would end like this to some extent).
Unlike previous seasons, this one does not have any special features. Other DVD sets have had featurettes, audio commentary, and outtakes, but this one is just the final 16 with Charlie Sheen. But for fans of the show, it’s still worth it to own what is on some level TV history.
Get ready to laugh, gasp, and cheer for the Two and a Half Men: The Complete Eighth Season on DVD. It’s a definite must watch!
Two and a Half Men: The Complete Eighth Season is available now!
What are your thoughts on the final season? How would you have wanted the series to end if Charlie Harper were still around? Leave a comment and let us know!
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