Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Two and a Half Men [TV]

Three and a Half Men [CBS]. This show is set in Malibu and provides a neat little lesson in the nature of life on the California beach front. Charlie Sheen plays a songwriter who has his divorcing brother and his son move in with him. It is a satire of California and its lifestyle. Just as Jethro Bodine engaged in every sin California had to offer as the basis for comedy on the Beverly Hillbillies, Two and a Half Men continues the ribbing.

The show is set in a house with a dandy view of the beach and ocean. The snad is used occasionally as a prop. The big element of local life though is the crazy nature of the characters. As with many California shows, the audience would not buy into the craziness if set in most other places. For example, would they buy Rose, a girl from down the beach who is crazy for Charlie, as she constantly lurks around outside trying to snarl Charlie in her life? Would Charlie’s Mom’s egotism make sense in Minneapolis? Well it might, but not to the national television audience.

The show follows Everybody Loves Raymond which is set in New York. Compare the arguing styles of the two shows to see an eastern and a western version of the dysfunctional famiy and how they bicker. The meanness of New York is tempered on the West Coast by alcohol and a sneering smoothness. The lower class nature of New York is placed against the laid back egotism of the Coast. Two comedy gems with a comparison of note.

[Note: it rained in the February 7, 2005 episode. The rare rain forced the guys to consider an ill-fated trip to Los Vegas.]

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