Ashton Kutcher’s fey confection clicks with viewersBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
When Charlie Sheen blew it and was fired from the hit sitcom, “Two and a Half Men,” he was replaced by movie star Ashton Kutcher. How is the show faring now with its new lead? Since we learned only recently that the sitcom is shown here on Jack TV, we were relatively in the dark about it, until we went on a trip overseas and caught quite a number of its episodes in full flight!
Well, we can report to you that the show has survived its sudden change in leading men. Its production team wisely opted to replace Sheen not with a clone who would do pretty much what he did, but with a new character written specifically for Kutcher’s own strengths.
Kutcher’s role is that of an exceedingly wealthy man who befriends Jon Cryer’s character on his own terms.
Instead of being a “corrupting” influence on the show’s other lead players, as Sheen used to be, Kutcher comes across more like a clueless man-child.
Sex is still a part of the sitcom’s fun and games, but it’s of a more “innocent” and less predatory coloration than it used to be.
In addition, Cryer’s role appears to have been punched up for greater participation and comedic effect. When Sheen was around, he was clearly in charge of things, but that focal position is now shared by Cryer and Kutcher.
As for Angus Jones, the “half” member of the stellar cast, he’s now a teenager and has his own growing-up problems to deal with. Noticeably, however, his participation in the sitcom’s central concerns appears to have been reduced. Could this explain in part why he recently railed against the production and dissed it for its sexy and sexist content?
These and other changes in the show have renewed viewers’ interest in it, resulting in consistently good ratings even after Sheen’s stunning departure.
That isn’t an easy feat to pull off for a hit program, so its cast and production staffers should be credited for snatching victory out of the jaws of traumatic stellar conflict and separation.
In particular, Cryer should be cited for his ability to assume greater stellar responsibilities on the sitcom, without missing a beat.
Sheen sometimes disparaged his costar’s talent and stellar clout, but it’s now clearly apparent that he was dead-wrong.
In fact, Cryer is doing so well on the “new” “Two and a Half Men” that his own stellar career has been given a big shot in the arm, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him starring in a comedy film, as well.
As for Kutcher, he should also take a bow, because his character has been able to take the hit show in a new direction without losing its popular appeal to viewers.
His character may not be as feisty and in-your-face as Sheen’s used to be, but he depicts it so winningly that it’s proven to have an appeal all its own.
At the root of the character’s charm is his ability to retain his “innocence” even after becoming filthy-rich. That may be a fantasy, but Kutcher makes his fey confection endearingly “relatable!”
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