"Two and a Half Men" has never demonstrated itself as a particularly original series over its now 7 season run, but the series has managed to be not only successful, but delightfully entertaining thanks to quality writing and acting. The series has managed to not only be terribly funny, but there's a consistency that's pretty remarkable in this day and age - it's really one of the most reliable sitcoms on TV (or, should I say, left on TV.)
The series stars Charlie Sheen as Charlie, a bachelor (read: womanizer) who has managed to make a fortune via jingle writing - enough to net him a beautiful house in Los Angeles. Bachelorhood is interrupted early in the series by the arrival of his brother, Alan (Jon Cryer) and his son, Jake (Angus Jones), who are both looking for a place to stay after Alan's ex-wife, Judith (Marin Hinkle) took a great deal after their divorce - including the house.
The series also benefitted from its supporting players, such as Conchata Ferrell as no-nonsense housekeeper Berta and the wonderful Holland Taylor as Charlie and Alan's cold mother, who Charlie describes as the devil. Melanie Lynskey, who left the show and came back, is also perfect as the neighbor obsessed with Charlie. There's a certain way that Lorre plays the characters off one another that gives the show a certain charm - the characters spend much of the time irritated with one another, but underneath the one-liners there's a sense that they do care about one another.
The casting of the nervous Cryer against the laid-back Sheen was also a terrific choice, as the two opposites play off each other perfectly. Jones is also wonderful as Alan's underachieving, somewhat dim - although the character seems increasingly dimmer and lazier as the series goes on and he gets older - son. One of the funniest bits regarding Jake (Jones) happens in "Best H.O. Money Can Buy", as Alan and Charlie tell Jake that he'll be sent to military school to cover up for another situation. While they initially feel a little badly about the threat, they quickly realize that they can use the lie to get Jake to do whatever they please. In the end, Jake still manages to get out of trouble, in his own unintentional way.
The series manages to continue on a roll in season 6, with the writing and performances still managing to be consistently very funny - and in some ways, even an improvement on prior seasons. Some of the highlights of this season include: "Taterhead Is Our Love Child" (Charlie's ex has an eight-year-old who looks an awful lot like Charlie - who dated the woman about 9 years ago), "Damn You, Eggs Benedict" (Alan tries seeing two women at once and Jake tries beer), "Pinocchio's Mouth" (Charlie spends the night at Chelsea's sans a goose-down pillow, quilted toilet paper and other comforts of his own home), "He Smelled the Ham, He Got Excited" (Jake's grandmother gives him both a college education and a car to get there - which causes an unexpected reaction from Alan and Charlie), "The Two Finger Rule" (Charlie vows to win Chelsea back) and "Good Morning, Mrs. Butterworth" (to share all the girl stuff that Charlie hates, Chelsea gets a new pal: Alan.)
116. 6- 1 22 Sep 08 Taterhead Is Our Love Child
117. 6- 2 29 Sep 08 Pie Hole, Herb
118. 6- 3 6 Oct 08 Damn You, Eggs Benedict
119. 6- 4 13 Oct 08 The Flavin' and the Mavin'
120. 6- 5 20 Oct 08 A Jock Strap in Hell
121. 6- 6 3 Nov 08 It's Always Nazi Week (1)
122. 6- 7 10 Nov 08 Best H.O. Money Can Buy (2)
123. 6- 8 17 Nov 08 Pinocchio's Mouth
124. 6- 9 24 Nov 08 The Mooch At The Boo
125. 6-10 8 Dec 08 He Smelled the Ham, He Got Excited
126. 6-11 15 Dec 08 The Devil's Lube
127. 6-12 12 Jan 09 Thank God for Scoliosis
128. 6-13 19 Jan 09 I Think You Offended Don
129. 6-14 2 Feb 09 David Copperfield Slipped Me a Roofie
130. 6-15 9 Feb 09 I'd Like to Start With the Cat
131. 6-16 2 Mar 09 She'll Still Be Dead At Halftime
132. 6-17 9 Mar 09 The 'Ocu' or the 'Pado'?
133. 6-18 16 Mar 09 My Son's Enormous Head
134. 6-19 30 Mar 09 The Two Finger Rule
135. 6-20 13 Apr 09 Hello, I'm Alan Cousteau
136. 6-21 27 Apr 09 Above Exalted Cyclops
137. 6-22 4 May 09 Sir Lancelot's Litter Box
138. 6-23 11 May 09 Good Morning, Mrs. Butterworth
139. 6-24 18 May 09 Baseball Was Better with Steroids
VIDEO: "Two and a Half Men" is presented by Warner Brothers in 1.33:1 full-frame. Picture quality can seem rather inconsistent, but even the lesser moments still look very good for a TV show. Sharpness and detail were often a bit better than basic broadcast quality, but the picture could look softer at times. Mild noise was also visible in some scenes, as well. No edge enhancement was seen, nor were any instances of wear spotted. Colors looked bright and well-saturated, with no smearing or other faults. At worst, the picture looks around broadcast quality, but it often stayed a bit above that level.
SOUND: The show is offered with a stereo soundtrack that offers a fairly basic presentation, but good audio quality.
EXTRAS: A featurette on actor Angus Jones and another on the women of the show. There's also bloopers.
Final Thoughts: "Two and a Half Men" remains one of the best sitcoms left on network TV, with excellent writing and a superb ensemble cast. The third season offers plenty of terrific episodes, as well. The DVD set does boast good audio/video quality, but very little in the way of extras. Still, recommended on the strength of the show.