TV Show Review – Anger Management

TV Show Review – Anger Management

Rating: 2.  Charlie Sheen’s latest outing, “Anger Management,” has not found fans with the critics.  Possibly the nicest review said that the show is “not too bad.”

Variety said the show “is competently executed, but — thanks to Sheen’s colorful past — almost entirely beside the point,” and that “there’s nary an original bone in its body.”

The New York Times said the show “is full of comeuppance,” and that “The plot seems to owe more to karma than clever scriptwriting.”  They also said, “The dialogue has just enough profanity and risqué 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.”

USA Today said, “Sheen isn’t half the man he once was,” and that the show “looks…old-school and clunky.”  They added that “The first episode in tonight’s double run is flat, but not offensive. That dubious achievement is reached by the stupid, misogynistic second outing, which revolves around an ugly woman Charlie slept with back in his baseball days to stop a slump, a joke that is far uglier than the woman could ever be.”

Salon called Sheen “misogynistic” and “homophobic,” and said the show is “as lame as you’d expect.”  Scathingly, they added that the show is “a godawful, small-minded, crassly commercial exercise.”

The Boston Globe said the show is “not winning,” and said the problem is that “everybody’s in on the joke but nobody seems to be writing any.”  They also said it’s “just an average sitcom with a few good laugh lines here and there that could star any middle-age actor as a former baseball player to whom much was given and who now is trying to give back in his own anger management private practice and pro bono work with a group in state prison.”

The LA Times said the show is “is an old-fashioned, multi-camera sitcom, from makers of old-fashioned, multi-camera sitcoms, and sticks to the rules. It is distressingly average.”  They added that “It is not a train wreck; it’s just a train — chugging along from A to B, carrying the people, delivering the freight.”

The San Francisco Chronicle called Sheen “an almost perfect sitcom star,” and said that “He’s never demonstrated much acting range, but his personality is, you should pardon the expression, “winning,” particularly on the small screen.”

The Huffington Post called the show “repulsive,” and said it “will no doubt go a long way toward solidifying Sheen’s image as a harmless party boy (an image that the media is all too willing to go along with), and erase the image of Sheen as a man who has repeatedly been accused of being violent toward women.”  They added, “the core ugliness and toxic narcissism of “Anger Management” are impossible to ignore.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said, “Charlie Sheen can’t manage laughs,” and added that “A viewer’s willingness to tolerate “Anger Management” will correlate to their previous enjoyment of “Two and a Half Men” or past TV series from “Anger Management” executive producer Bruce Helford (“The Drew Carey Show,” “Nikki,” “George Lopez”).”

The New York Post said, “‘Anger Management’ [which] feels a lot like ‘Two and a Half Men’… may, however, be the perfect vehicle for a man with tiger blood in his veins and roil and rage in his brain,” but added that it “is not the out-of-control outrageously naughty series you (or I, or anyone, really) was expecting and secretly wanting.”  In the end, they called the show, “not too bad.”

The Hollywood Reporter said, “yes, ‘Anger Management’ is consistently funnier than the current version of Two and a Half Men. It’s not even close.”  But they also said, “that doesn’t make it an FX series. And it doesn’t make it the kind of series you’re looking for on a cable channel. Which is likely to be the problem greeting ‘Anger Management’.”

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