Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Charlie Harper Is a Real Live Boy

Okay, I watched the 20/20 interview of Charlie Sheen, and have followed the breathless hysteria/moral panic outrage over his recent behavior. I have read articles about his outbursts and the subsequent production halt on "Two and a Half Men." He is being compared on ABC's "Nightline" to Lindsay Lohan and Christina Aguilera, and even Qaddafi.

I haven't the slightest idea what everybody is so worked up about. Charlie Sheen honestly advertises his values and lifestyle every single week on his sitcom (and several times a day in syndication). Nobody who watches this show should be surprised in the least by these "shocking" new revelations.

I am never, ever going to get on a high horse and judge the guy. He's living a lifestyle the rest of us can only envy. In his ABC interview most of what had was say was quite reasonable, given his unusual life perspective. About the only thing I can say about his recent behavior is that it resulted in shuttering his show, and any sort of personal outburst that interferes with profits is bad business. But come on: whose fault was that? Sheen's, for having a chip on his shoulder and an oversized ego, or Chuck Lorre for being thin-skinned and also having an oversized ego? Name a person at a level high enough to directly profit from the #1 sitcom on American television who wouldn't have an oversized ego?

If we're going to go ahead and compare spasms of media celebrity outrage, Charlie Sheen would best be compared to Woody Allen. In 1992, Allen's relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, 34 years his junior and his sort-of stepdaughter with Mia Farrow, became public. The hue and cry was most extreme. But Woody Allen had telegraphed his preledictions for, um, younger women in his film Manhattan. Why was everyone so surprised when it turned out to be true?

Hey, as long as nobody gets hurt and nobody's livelihood is threatened, Charlie Sheen can be Charlie Harper all the livelong day. In fact, that's what I love about the guy.


  1. Agreed. The entertaining thing about this whole thing is the stunning, refreshing, lack of humility. ("You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God.") The guy is doing a pretty good job of not appearing out of control otherwise.

  2. Above quote courtesy Alec Baldwin, from the movie Malice. Might be worth checking out again!

  3. Malice? Doesn't Jack Donaghy say that exact phrase every week on "30 Rock?" Well, he did until the whole Kabletown deal came to a head.

  4. Malice was co-written by ultra-hot Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin. I'm not surprised 30 Rock is sampling it.