(As posted to my Gazette blog)
I might have known that the writers of Two and a Half Men would wait until the last episode — the last scene of the last episode — of the season to address something I had been wondering about. I mentioned it in a post early in the season: would there be a series name change? Because, the “half” man in the title had grown up and left the nest, ya know.
Well, silly me. Name change? Why do that when they could bring in another “half” man?
It was a touching scene, actually. Kinda classy. Allan had been left standing at the altar after his bride-to-be ran off with her ex, and he and Walden were sitting on the sofa in their, er, Walden’s beachfront home. They were talking about their friendship, how they needed to spend more time hanging out together. Allan suggested they make a weekly date — “don’t call it that,” Walden protested — and they agreed to do the buddy thing . . . on Thursdays at 9 p.m. Just two men hanging out, Allan said. Walden corrected him: “Two and a half men,” he said, pointing to his little robot, which had been introduced at the beginning of the show.
Who knew? I didn’t see it coming when Walden was playing with the robot in the early scenes. It wasn’t the focal point of the show, even though Allan inadvertently knocked off its head.
It’s ingenious, of course. Brilliant writing. So very 2014, yes? Once again, the writers have overcome what looked like insurmountable obstacles, and made the show better. And it has been getting better and better ever since Charlie Sheen departed and — sigh . . . be still my beating heart — Ashton Kutcher was brought in to replace him.
But it wasn’t just a simple character swap and silly business as usual. The writers seemed to have decided to introduce a little more social conscience into the series, to raise a little bit of LGBT awareness. They didn’t hit anyone over the head with it. They didn’t preach. It was all done with a touch of subtle class — which tells me a lot about the writers of that series. They treated their LGBT characters the way LGBT people should be treated in real life — equally, with respect and kindness, and with no fuss.
They brought in a lesbian character this season without much ado in the show itself, even if the media talked it up a bit — but not that much, actually. And there wasn’t much ado in the show when they brought in a female character who had gender transitioned — and not much fuss from the media, either. I particularly loved the way Allan accepted the woman almost without question and fell for her. I love the writers for what they were saying with that.
Of course, let’s not forget that this is an off-the-wall comedy series with some emphasis on sexual/romantic shenanigans. Hey, it’s for adults who need a release valve from the rat race. Personally, it works for me the same way Three’s Company, Cheers and Seinfeld did: it makes me giggle. It makes me laugh.
I’m not a TV critic. In fact, I don’t watch many television shows. I don’t have the time. I work evening shifts in a newsroom. So, I watch a few shows on the weekend, and tape a few during the week: Doc Martin, old Sherlock Holmes episodes with Jeremy Brett, and Two and a Half Men on Thursdays at 9. And when I come home late Thursday night, I hang out with Allan and Walden and company for a half hour before I hit the sack — and I laugh away all the serious news stuff I dealt with earlier at the office.
So, to the cast, crew and especially the writers of Two and a Half Men, bravo for a great season.
You are much appreciated.
See you next season.
— Jillian Page
P.S. I’ll be watching the season again in reruns this summer!