Not-so-young actor Angus Jones, sub-star of the sub-par Two and a Half Men, plays the half-man in the series title. Ironically, though, that might pass to perpetual wannabe Ashton Kutcher who, quite frankly, is not going to be playing Iago on a London stage anytime soon.
As you probably heard, Angus Jones has recently become some flavor of over-the-top Christian, and like many recently converted under-thirty-year-olds, is lashing out at everything in his life. As you certainly heard, this includes his own television show. By now you have read the quotes in which he advises people to stop watching the show due to its “filth” content.
The entertainment media is making good hay out of this because (a) he is absolutely right and (b) because he is a Christian, we can kind of make fun of him for it. So while his anti-anti-values message is getting across, the media are portraying this as a whimsical adventure for another kooky (probably anti-pro-choice) Christian. Ha! What a beleagured show, they might agree, if any of them knew what that word meant.
The Czar thought that Two and a Half Men should have been axed years ago, even before Charlie Sheen left. In fact, pretty much every television should should be whacked after four to five years; make about 100 episodes, get them into distribution, and make a pile of money for everybody of residuals. Most shows, including the once incredible The Simpsons cannot go more than seven years without turning into crap.
So yes, Mr. Jones is correct when he describes his show as filth. Completely bereft of fresh ideas, the show changed in about 2008 from some fairly clever Odd Couple remakes commenting on social culture to a junior high-level cheap laugh show revolving around sex. It got unfunny fast, especially when every plot became a variation of the same theme.
But this is the norm on network television. The Czar actually doesn’t care if you love or hate Two and a Half Men, and thinks you can watch it if you want. He further agrees with Angus Jones on the show’s content, but disagrees with Mr. Jones’ obvious hypocrisy in condemning a show that pays him a handsome salary at the same time. Nor does he support Mr. Jones advising you not to watch it; that’s your business, not his.
The Czar is getting annoyed with the ongoing Two and a Half Men-ization of network comedies, some of whom are trying to grab Two and a Half Men’s fleeing audience by emulating the show in style and content. Hey, if you want to have a show like that on your network, by all means. God knows CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC have no clue to how program successful television comedies, and when they do coincidentally get one, they overrun it and kill it.
What annoys the Czar is when he’s watching football with the family, or another family-themed program, and finds the family treated with promotional commercials for the network’s “edgy” comedies, in which the whole brood of all ages is treated to throw-away lines involving menstruation, homosexuality, masturbation, promiscuity, teen sex, unprotected sex, and puberty—all in the same commercial break.
Day after day, week after week, the same types of ads. “Okay,” we shout, “We get it. Your show is about sex. It is evidently only about sex. It is not even clever or funny or witty or observant about sex; it is purely giggling 12-year-old cheap shots about sex.”
And here’s the kicker; didn’t we spend the last two decades trying to convince everybody that sex wasn’t dirty? The Czar sure thought so, and was happy to learn we could move on to bigger and better things. But evidently network television doesn’t think so. To watch their promotional advertisements for the current crop of sitcoms, you have to assume the executives are behind the garage with a couple of dad’s old Playboys trying to figure out what else is behind the crossed arms and knees while giggling.
Once again, we are compelled to say that the 1990s’ Beavis and Butthead was a dire warning to parents everywhere about the future. Because that’s who is now in charge. Sigh.