2. Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Stars: Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher, Angus T. Jones, Conchata Ferrell, Marin Hinkle, Holland Taylor, Sophie Winkleman, Judy Greer, Courtney Thorne-Smith
In its first two episodes, Charlie Sheen’s comeback series, on FX, Anger Management, looks and feels as if his Two and a Half Men character moved to a new city and began a career as a therapist. And, wouldn’t you know it, Sheen is the best thing about the show—he strains, admirably at that, to make the marginally humorous jokes work. It’s enough to leave us wishing he’d return to Two and a Half Men.
Especially since Ashton Kutcher, his replacement on the hit CBS sitcom, is mostly a bland straight man, exactly what Two and a Half Men didn’t need. There’s already Jon Cryer to fill that role, and, when paired with Sheen, Cryer’s Tony Randall to Sheen’s Jack Klugman gave their odd couple set-up ample room for a combustible chemistry. Cryer’s rapport with Kutcher, on the other hand, is equivalent to two wet sticks trying to make fire.