Monday, February 28, 2011

Enormously Sad

I confess that I like Two and a Half Men.  It's simply very funny and well-written, a lampoon of a drunken, gambling satyr; a commentary on men when they submit to their darker natures.  That it has survived for nearly a decade on network television speaks to its entertainment value (among other less praiseworthy things).  It is a guilty pleasure of Mrs. Skeptical Observor, who resides with one and two half-men of her own.

Sadly, Charlie Sheen seems to have been typecast in the role.  He's an enormously talented guy who first rose to Hollywood prominence in Oliver Stone's Platoon and Wall Street (and never mind their politics) holding his own against his more prominent and accomplished co-stars like Willem Dafor, Tom Berenger, and Michael Douglas.  He demonstrated his range in Hot Shots, a satire on Teop Gun.

And even with his wild lifestyle, he demonstrates a self-awareness that must speak to his intelligence.  When he was connected to "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss, he was quoted as observing that men pay prostitutes to go away.  Cold?  Absolutely.  Self-aware and insightful?  True, as well.

And now, he seems to be living the life that "Charlie Harper" has been living on network television during the run of his show.  However, the consequences so rarely suffered in a 22-minute situation comedy cannot be avoided in real life, even the semi-real life of a Hollywood star.

And his self-destruction has been much in the news of late.  He's alienated all of those around him (today, his publicist), and seems hell-bent on alienating his distinguished acting family which (again, forget their politics) has stood with him.

It's truly sad to see an enormously-talented man's decline played out in a media more interested in acting like celebrity-stalking paparazzi than in reporting on real news.

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