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Anger Management starring Charlie Sheen: Surprisingly Entertaining

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Anger Management Charlie Sheen

Anger Management Charlie Sheen. Image via pop-break.com.

 

When baseball player Charlie (Charlie Sheen) ruined his career because of his anger problems, he went back to college, got a degree in psychology and started working as a therapist.

As Charlie offers group therapy sessions in his house, he also has to find a balance between his ex-wife Jennifer (Shawnee Smith) obsessed with ridiculous business ventures, their teenage daughter Daniela Bobadilla (Emma of Awake)- a smart, sweet kid with OCD, his neighbor Michael (Michael Boatman, Carter Heywood of Spin City) who often considers Michael’s problems  as non-problems, his best-friend/sex-buddy/own therapist Kate (Selma Blair) and of course the members of his anger therapy group- Ed (Barry Corbin), Nolan (Derek Richardson), Lacey (Noureen DeWulf) and Patrick (Michael Arden.)

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Anger Management: A Few Good Laughs

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Anger Management. Not that the concept isn’t fun (I liked the movie Anger Management with Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson as well, though they are in general very different), but I wasn’t a fan of Charlie Sheen on TV. I absolutely couldn’t stand One and a Half Man, and didn’t for the life of me understand what so many people saw in it. I didn’t like anything about that show, so I was worried Anger Management would be so…well…not funny.

Now while Anger Management doesn’t deserve all of its laughing tracks, it deserves several of them well- it doesn’t score laughs that gives you stomach pains,but it makes you smile, giggle and laugh a lot- and even when it is not very funny, it is still entertaining.

It’s refreshing to see a modern comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously (aware of the pun, but it really is the case with a lot of new comedies).

People having problems with the show complain about Shawnee Smith’s acting, saying she is not supposed to seem dumb- but her character is gullible, not so savvy and the only thing she is good at is being Sam’s mother-and even there she doesn’t always make the best call. Hell, she was cheated on by Charlie so many times during their marriage, and she still wouldn’t have gotten out without some shoving from the others.

And some people joke that it is unrealistic that Charlie’s character can get so many (hot) dates, in addition to the constant benefits he is getting from his best friend. While I don’t find the 47-year-old Sheen attractive (not that 47 is old, but his relationship with alcohol has showed its effects), his character is likeable. He’s smart, fun, nice and doesn’t lie about who he is. Wouldn’t want to date him, but can understand why others would. And I’ve always liked Selma Blair.

The patients can come off as annoying and not funny at times, but they do make up for it with some decent one-liners and/or amusing events to make up for it within the same episode.

Nope, it is no Friends, Coupling or Spin City (the first 4 seasons with Michael J. Fox.) But it is a good laugh, and I don’t mind watching more episodes. And I have watched all 10.

Fun notes:

1)      Charlie Sheen’s ex-wife Denise Richards, with whom he’s not exactly parted well with, appeared in one episode as his love interest. They had some lines about her ex, who she referred to as a total nut job several times, and Charlie stopped her at one point, saying he got it. It was a great self-directed humor, and very well done.

2)      Charlie’s dad came to visit for one episode. His name is Martin, and was played by none other than Charlie’s real life dad Martin Sheen.

 

See it. The worst case scenario is that you will waste 20-40 minutes, assuming you will try 1-2 episodes before writing it off. Best case, you’ll find a fun new show.

 

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