Critics: Sheen's 'Anger Management' more of the same
June 28th, 2012
05:07 PM ET

Critics: Sheen's 'Anger Management' more of the same

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?

Filed under: Celebrities • Charlie Sheen • television

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Herbert Mckean

    Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you're about to erupt. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other favorite physical activities. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. "-^

    Newest blog post on our very own internet page

    June 7, 2013 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Average Joe

    Not if you paid me – Pass.

    July 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Janice Belmont

    I will always be a big fan of his.

    July 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gabriel Berk

    Charlie is a Campion and will be on Top soon.

    July 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mose

    I watched the new show and thought it was good but nothing special. I won't continue watching. I did catch two new shows right after it though, Louie and Wilfred. Those shows were amazing and I owe it to Anger Management to the discovery of those two shows.

    July 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MOM Heather Detert

    We are proud of Charlie.

    July 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Michael Caliazzo

    Sheen is a great talent.

    July 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Always a Charlie fan

    I'm so glad he's back on tv. Really missed his brand of hilarity and his ability to make fun of himself. Me and my husband will surely continue to watch anger management. I can't stand two and half man without Charlie.

    June 30, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grammar Nazi

      You mean " My husband and I".. Either way, Two and a Half Men had a few good moments but it was and still is a canned laughter lame 'comedy' show on standard TV. It is a shame that FX is lowering it's standards.

      July 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Margaret

    its total charlie sheen humor...i hope he doing ok and this works out for him...LOL

    June 30, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. Chuck Lorre

    Of course the show isn`t good (yet)...C`mon,it was just the first 2 episodes. The need to integrate the characters,set the plot...etc. The show will grow season by season 🙂

    June 30, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. busheepoo

    I am so glad he is coming back to TV. I love CS, he is very funny. I just hope this show is as good as 2A1/2M., because now that show really stinks with AK.

    June 30, 2012 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. Eastender

    I quite enjoyed it myself. I've missed him since 2.5, and his premire gave me quite a giggle 🙂

    June 30, 2012 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. Upinsmoke

    Charlie Sheen is not an actor. He has played himself in every role. I've never been a fan, in fact, I cringe everytime I see him onscreen. I think the fact that FX will put on a burnout who is riding the drug comet to his own destruction, and wants you to watch while he does it, is the worst part of hollywood. It's like selling commercial time to a train wreck.

    June 30, 2012 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. Nwvotes

    Charlie Sheen's new show, 'Anger Management' brings in great numbers. Do you think he's made another hit? Vote at

    June 29, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. steiner

    Boring, predicatble, unfunny writing with a laugh track. Sheen is much better than this and should go back to his greatest acting success, dramatic movies.

    June 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  16. tran3former

    Look forward to seeing it in Australia- we still get endless re-runs of old 2.5 and i tried new 2.5 but it seems rather 'forced' the chemistry is just not there between the main players....

    June 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Socal Reggae

    June 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Jack

    Hello everyone. Each of you is welcome to visit ...

    June 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  19. E

    Not bad! Reminded me of some of the earlier seasons of Two and a Half Men when Charlie was really good with the sarcasm. So far, it's working for my wife and I. Can't wait to see how the rest of the season turns out. If the show can keep the humor going then I'm all for it though.

    June 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Melissa

    The show is quite honestly horrible.

    June 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Chris

    You can tell the Charlie/2.5 Men fans by the atrocious grammar and knuckle-dragger comments. Losers who aspire to "be like Charlie". Lol!

    June 29, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Kathy

    I REALLY liked Two and a Half Men. I watched Anger Management last night and felt lukewarm about it. It's not as good as Two and a Half Men, at least so far.

    June 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Steve

    I won't be watching. I have to wash my hair.

    June 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  24. CommonSense

    I kinda liked Two and a Half Men, I actually wasn't turned onto it until just before he left. It was funny at times, although I found Charlie to give me the least laughs (John Cryer and Angus T. Jones made me laugh more). I saw the second part to this premiere, and immediately thought it was just a rehash of his old show. Did anyone else notice that his therapist's office looks a lot like the set from his house on two and a half men? He even plays the same basic character, a rich, smart-mouth womanizer. OLD NEWS. I don't think it will last 3 seasons...

    June 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  25. say what

    Thanks for the shout out to Beloit, WI.

    Hope AM can go the distance & Charlie can keep his 'tude in check.

    June 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Derek

    It was a funny show, both episodes. It wasn't as good as 2.5 men, but that's ok. It's just getting started. I enjoyed it a lot, will be sure to watch it again, and am happy he's back on tv.

    June 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Sarah

    Parts were funny, parts were not,no different than any other new show.Charlie Sheen does look rough(and not in a good way) Meanwhile...Wilfred and LouisCK were GREAT

    June 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  28. rubbernecker

    Took a look at the new show and it felt like I watching his other show 2 and 1/2 whatever. More of the same old jokes. The worse part is Charlie Sheen's appearance, he's got that sickly boozer drug addict look, not good.

    June 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Michael

    Loved it! Will be watching again! The cast was great and Charlie is as spot on as he ever was!

    June 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Bloozegal

    I thought it was a good show, its totally different from 2 and 1/2 men but then again ITS SUPPOSE TO BE DIFFERENT give Charlie a break, critics, its not suppose to be about Charlie harper who is DEAD!!!, with that being said. who didnt love charlie on major league, he was awesome as wild thing. and that is exactly what he is WILD. loved it will watch all of the shows. You go Charlie (Goodson) Sheen

    June 29, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  31. john

    Thought show was very good. Sheen is a survivor. Good uck, Charlie!

    June 29, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  32. grammargrrl

    "The similarities between Sheen's old role of Charlie Harper and his new one at Charlie Goodson have a number of similarities." Now that's just good reporting.

    June 29, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Meatwad0222

      i love how its quit obvious that this cnn commentator didnt even watch the show...just pulled othe critics comments and decided it wasnt a good show based on the bias already formed and what the others said.

      June 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Blanca

    Charlie is a great personality so I'm glad he's back on track,the show was funny but more of patients is needed and less of the personal life

    June 29, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  34. Cazski

    I liked the new show and will record the series. Go Charile!

    June 29, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  35. Roy

    LOved the new show, "with raucous recorded laughter and predictable one-liners" Hey, where is the authors name? Who could had predicted that?

    June 29, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  36. RZ70

    These news headlines just in...
    TV trying to recreate a past success by doing something that's already been done
    Sometimes that works
    Sometimes that doesn't
    Some people don't like sitcoms
    some people do
    Some people don't like some actors
    Some people do
    And some people just like to argue.

    That's all the news we have today folks. Up next, the hippy dippy weather man whos is predicting darnkess tonight with patches of light towards morning

    June 29, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  37. Seamusgirl

    Ok, critics live in their own little overpaid worlds. Face it, we knew it was Charlie being Charlie. He is not going to play anything else than a character NAMED Charlie. If you love it then, you will love it now. I do. But i am not expecting Sheen to do anything else that what WORKS . He is sober-ish now, remember? He may be an addict-but he is NOT stupid. I wish they could get Jane to ro a few episodes. Their banter ROCKS!!

    June 29, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  38. DAS

    The show evolves around Charlie, disrespecting, and making fun of a woman, because she is not that pretty, or doesn't have that perfect body. You "bang" her in high school, and she comes back in your life to ask you why you did that to her, and you and your ex-wife polk fun at and disrespect this woman to the audience. How tacky can you get? You have sunk even lower than you already are. The whole show was just so tacky, and disrespectful. Sure hope young women were not watching, because the only message you send, is that you are a bum Charlie Sheen. And, the producers of your show, shouldn't even be in the business.

    June 29, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      You really missed the whole point of that show...that was the OLD Charlie Goodson. He even made it a point to try and not hurt her feelings, then he ended up going to her hometown to hold hands and show everyone. Jeez...way to over-analyze.

      June 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • pasky

      Hey Das, get a life, nobody asked you to watch. Also before posting, get your facts right, this show is a Sheen / Estevez production. At least he put his money where is mouth is.
      Good luck Charlie, more controversial, more rude, more fun, more sales , go for it maty.

      June 29, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  39. sarah

    I like Charlie, however, I was not impressed with the new show. I thought the show would be him going to therapy for anger management. Dating the older woman and the relationship with the buddy therapist, was so boring. I would rather watch this than 2.5 Men. But let's see next week.

    June 29, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  40. zrxgrim

    There is no such thing as artistically transformative television.

    June 29, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  41. nancy


    June 29, 2012 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  42. Caleb

    Ive never laughed so hard it was hilarious. Its going to do great me and my wife loved it.

    June 29, 2012 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  43. JT

    welcome back charlie,great show ,congratulation to your good writters too.

    June 29, 2012 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  44. Hairbear

    Here We Go Charlie! He's Back folks, and I'm loving it! As for two and half men, stick with the Re-runs!

    June 28, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  45. pennylane

    Saw it, loved it...have always been a huge fan of Charlie Sheen..Welcome back Charlie, you can make me laugh anytime... 🙂

    June 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Aura

    Saw the show and I thought it was good. I will continue watching.

    June 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  47. sonatherun

    Charlie's fine, and I can't really compare to the new 2.5 because I could only get myself to watch a couple of episodes, but this show just isn't as well cast or written as the real 2.5, so far. Can't blame them, it would be hard to match, but it makes me wonder if Sheen did burn being able to be associated with that level of talent.

    June 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Scott

    Glad to see Charlie back on TV ,first two episodes were better then the current Two and a half Men ,

    June 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  49. M

    saw the promos..he'll be fine..the show looks funny. LOL

    June 28, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Ethan

    After 3 minutes of watching Anger Management. It has officially beaten Two and A Half Men

    June 28, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  51. caw

    Will he just go away....

    June 28, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOCY D'Ambrossi

      If you do not like him, why read about him and take time to comment? Are you just one of those negative people that just won't go away??

      June 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nameless

      So we are only allowed to comment if we like something? That's rather self-righteous of you. Who made you the boss of me or anyone else? Go pound sand, b!tch!

      June 28, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • pennylane

      You should go away....

      June 28, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  52. gahh

    I keep remembering how he was making 2 million dollars a week, on his 2 and a Half Men show. That was a mess of money to loose, at least to the working class.

    June 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |

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