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Charlie Sheen proves with his new show that he's both past his prime and decidedly overpaid....
Lionsgate / 213 Minutes / 2012 / Unrated / Street Date: January 8, 2013
Charlie Sheen thinks making television is easy. This is the impression he gives with this first season of Anger Management, the first major project of his to go before cameras after his Two and a Half Men debacle from a few years ago. Sheen is a major star, of course (he clearly knows it), and he achieved that status for a reason, but he feels this glamour and notoriety is enough to keep Anger Management at full steam ahead. It isn't.
In fact, a show like Anger Management might be firm proof that the sitcom as we knew it in the 20th century has officially gone the way of the dodo. The laugh tracks here, the show's unbearably familiar and predictable scenarios, the dull-as-dirt dialogue - this isn't Friends at its prime, this is just another TGIF installment with a PG-13 rating.
FX has picked up Anger Management for an extended run, so it looks like we'll have the opportunity to suffer through this seriously lacking series for a while. It's not even worth synopsizing - Sheen's a therapist with a kid, a girlfriend who's also his therapist (Selma Blair), a friendly yet sassy bartender he hands out with (Brett Butler) - simply because anyone with even a marginal familiarity with Cheers or Mad About You episodes would be able to call out every possible narrative turn this show takes with crystalline accuracy. Charlie Sheen may be the most highly-paid television star on the air right now, but even though he thinks he's winning with a show like this one, the rest of us should know better.