June 28th, 2012
05:07 PM ET
Tonight marks Charlie Sheen's big comeback after getting fired from CBS' "Two and a Half Men" last year, but reviews for his new FX show, "Anger Management," aren't leaving us with high expectations. Essentially, it sounds like you've probably seen it all before.
Sheen stars in the new series as baseball player-turned-therapist Charlie Goodson. His character counsels those in need of anger management .... even though he has some issues of his own. His anger is so prominent it ended his baseball career. (And yes, the show draws inspiration from Jack Nicholson's 2003 movie of the same name.)
According to critics, Sheen can still deliver laughs - but whether you'll agree with that likely depends on whether you've previously found him to be funny. Other than the title of the show, the last name of his character, and a different storyline, it doesn't sound like a whole lot has changed since his days on "Two and a Half Men."
"The dialogue has just enough profanity and risque punch lines to pass muster on cable, but 'Anger Management' is at heart a simple, old-fashioned sitcom, with raucous recorded laughter and predictable one-liners ... Basically it provides a safe format for Mr. Sheen to show that he is sane and almost his old, pre-Warlock self," says the New York Times. "It could easily be titled 'One and a Half Men.'"
Like the NYT, Time magazine found the first two episodes to be pretty similar to Sheen's old job at CBS, and not just because they both feature Sheen starring as a "Charlie."
"Anger Management" is more like a "raunchy CBS comedy" than it is akin to FX's other shows, "which is to say that it's sometimes broadly funny and sometimes broadly bad."
The Atlantic was left disappointed that "Anger Management" even made it onto FX in the first place, noting the stark contrast between the elevated comedy and creativity of "Anger Management's" time slot neighbor, "Louie," and Sheen's show.
"There's something particularly sad about seeing FX put so much energy into trying to sell the American viewing public a bland, ugly sitcom that would have been rejected by even its most milquetoast competitors, while Louis C.K. is making personally and artistically transformative television on a much lower budget, one time slot over."
USA Today quips in its review that "it feels like Charlie Sheen never left TV ... And no, that's not a compliment."
The similarities between Sheen's old role of Charlie Harper and his new one at Charlie Goodson have a number of similarities, the review continues, except Goodson "is a less amusing character than the one Chuck Lorre created for Sheen at 'Men,'" and "Anger Management" is "a pale substitute" for "Two and a Half Men" in its heyday.
But maybe those guys just aren't big Sheen fans - the New York Daily News offered a rave review, saying that "of all the reasons to check out Charlie Sheen's new FX sitcom ... the best one is the simplest: It's funny."
Are you planning on watching tonight?
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