Sunday, September 8, 2013

Two and a Half "Men?"

     It is safe to assume that the average American knows of the popular television show, Two and a Half Men, and the amount of controversy it has been associated with in recent years starting with the termination of the show’s lead actor, Charlie Sheen. Since the departure of Sheen, actor Ashton Kutcher has assumed the lead role on the sitcom as an internet billionaire who purchases the house that once belonged to Sheen’s character (known as Charlie Harper on the sitcom). Before the departure of Sheen, the plot of the sitcom revolved around jingle writer, Charlie Harper allowing his brother, Allen Harper (portrayed by actor Jon Cryer) and his son, Jake Harper (portrayed by actor Angus T. Jones) to live with him after Allen’s divorce from his wife. Though ratings for Kutcher’s debut season were reportedly lower than Sheen’s final season on the sitcom, ratings were seemingly high enough for a renewal of the sitcom.
     During Kutcher’s debut season, controversy reared its head when actor Angus T. Jones released a viral video not only berating the sitcom, and discouraging viewers from watching and supporting the sitcom. Jones later apologized for his negative comments regarding the sitcom, and subsequently parted ways with the show this past season. Both Jones and current cast members on the sitcom have adamantly stated that he voluntarily left the show to pursue other endeavors. According to producers of the sitcom, an actress by the name of Amber Tamblyn will act as the replacement for Jones, and will appear in a recurring role in the upcoming season as Jenny, the long-lost lesbian daughter of Sheen’s former character, Charlie Harper.
     Despite the inclusion of Tamblyn, the producers seem to be retaining the original name of the sitcom, which could possibly receive backlash from the LGBT community since it would seem as though the producers are equating lesbians with men; or in the sitcom’s case, “half-men.” Also, the text book definition of a lesbian is a female who is physically and/or emotionally attracted exclusively to individuals of the same sex. Point being, if the producers wanted to replace Jones’ character with a female character, they could have easily written a storyline in which the new female character were transitioning from female to male; which would allow producers to retain the original name of the sitcom, and avoid backlash from the LGBT community since transgender males (unlike lesbians) by definition identify as men. Nevertheless, viewers will simply have to take a “wait and see” attitude to see how the producers justify retaining the name of the sitcom with the addition of a female character. The new season of Two an a Half Men begins September 26, 2013.