Ashton Kutcher is no Charlie Sheen

Published: October 23, 2011

Two and a half men, a situation comedy (sitcom) ranking amongst the top 20 shows since the time it was aired, is about to die. The rating is waning and the viewer ship has gone down. And it is all due to Sheen being replaced. Ashton Kutcher is a good actor but he is no Charlie Sheen. 

The original show was based around the life of this hedonistic bachelor jingle writer, Charlie Harper – a constant drunk and a compulsive womanizer. The other two important characters are Alan, the divorced brother who is homeless and penniless and his son, Jake. The show revolved around their lives and their problems.

Charlie’s character is free spirited and a party-holic. Without a care in the world and money to spend like crazy, he drinks till he passes out, usually starting his day with vodka and ending it the same way. He is someone who is unwilling to deal with his age (he is over 40) and still thinks and behaves like a teenager. Thus, his escapades with women much younger than him are entertaining to watch. He has a hate-hate relationship with his mother whom he blames for the way he turned out. To be fair to Charlie, she is an awful woman.

Rose, Charlie’s neighbour with whom he had a one night stand, is his female stalker in the show and plays an entertaining part.

Replacing Charlie meant that these sub-plots had to be killed as well. There is no longer Rose or Charlie’s mother to entertain. There are no longer the hangovers and humiliating scenes that the viewers came to expect on the show kept up for eight seasons.

Ashton’s character (Walden) is showed as a millionaire, who made it big in the internet market but is a teenager when it comes to life. He buys Charlie’s Malibu beach house. He has a wife who wants a divorce for he refuses to grow up even after 15 years of marriage. So far, the show has revolved around this and Alan trying to get back into the house to mooch off Walden.

Charlie Sheen was the life of the show. His charisma, acting and jokes carried the show so far. Ashton Kutcher is a talented actor and starred in the hit comedy ‘That 70s Show’. However, he doesn’t fit in here perfectly.

It is understandable that when you are trying to make fans forget a character, you would cast someone who is nothing like that character. But, the show was about the life of Charlie and to not have his frivolities and witty performance there just kills it. The fact that Sheen is and was irreplaceable and the producers  didn’t even try replicating his role is recognition enough of his performance.

“He’s doing the best he can. I don’t think the role is cursed, but I’m extremely disappointed with how they’re handling what I left behind,” is what Charlie Sheen had to say about Ashton.

CBS took a big gamble to replace an iconic performance and the gamble has failed miserably. Now, they need to hope for a miracle to get the rankings up again.

Dr Amyn Malyk

Dr Amyn Malik

The author is a PhD student at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. He is a former Fulbright Scholar who likes to write. He tweets as @amynmalik

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Talha

    Kutcher is no match for the great Charlie Sheen.Recommend

  • Patroncito


  • Juliet

    Great article, just spot on..however as for Ashton Kutcher being ‘talented’..well he is above all handsome but talented..I don’t know..maybe as a sidekick character but he is certainly not leading man material and doesn’t compare one second with Charlie Sheen (who,younger was a leading movie star..)Recommend

  • Fah

    I think the new season is alright.. but I agree Ashton ain’t Charlie :D Recommend

  • jamie

    bring back charlie sheen!Recommend

  • OrdinaryPakistani

    Who is charlie sheen?Recommend

  • Steve critcher

    The only way this show can be saved is by having rose faking chariles death and keeping him locked up in a sex dungeon till charile escapesRecommend

  • Carol

    I think that the miracle had to be the return of Charlie Sheen, the more we see what is going to be another miracle that they will try to find …..Recommend

  • http://headstroker Craig joseph ward

    They could bring charlie back in to the show .In the new season charlie gets killed by falling under a train. Rose said he slipped /pushed ,She could have pushed two people on to the track.The other person was killed and charlie Harper has been in a COMA for the last few months .We never did see Charlie,s body at the WAKE. So he could be bought in to the show .P.S and get rid of Chuck Lorre.Recommend

  • ChaoticOne

    “Two and a Half Men” is still above last year’s average total viewership per episode, 12.7 million. It’s also above last year’s ratings among 18 to 49-year-olds, the audience that TV sells to advertisers. Last year it averaged 4.0% of that audience. Monday night it was at 5.2%.”Recommend

  • Lynn Jamison

    I like the viewer who stated to just make Charlie’s death a fake set up by the crazy Rose. I, like so many other viewers really miss the show. There is not much out there that comes close. LynnRecommend

  • Sai

    Come Back Charlie Sheen T_TRecommend

  • Kate

    The only way to save Men is to bring back Charlie Sheen! It’s a shame Chuck Lorre’s inflated ego won’t let him do it!Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli,

    Most stupit comedy i ever seen.Recommend

  • Parvez

    The thing is that Charlie Sheen was a natural for that role, he really did not have to do much acting. Recommend

  • dand

    Lets face it no body likes change! Its very rare for a show to keep rolling when its lead star is gone! You been used to something for 8 years and when a change is made its hard to adjust.

    However the ratings argument is a very decepting one. The fact of the matter is that the lowest rated episode of this season is higher than the highest rated episode of last season. I dont know why people are worried because if anything the show is returning to its regular viewership.

    And this author has also said the show revolves around charlie sheen. Sure when you purchase the dvd set and read the description on the back it may say that. But anyone who really pays attention to the show knows that most of the comedy comes from Allen’s character. He continues to play this broke pathetic homeless man who sees nothing but good fortune for his older degenerate brother, and it drives him crazy. Thats what makes the show and thats why he has won the awards and not Charlie. For this reason, the show still has potential but it has to continue to maintain that kind of balance.Recommend

  • Aften

    I can’t get past the opening song….Ashton cannot sing and it is like nails on a chalkboard!!! I gave up on the show when they said that Charlie was fired because I know that without Charlie, the intelligence of the show is gone. Now we have to deal with stupid commedy???? HUH??? AND I love Rose…and she is gone as well! What was CBS thinking??? Guess they like it when they flush a good thing down the toilet!!Recommend

  • stan1012

    Seems to me the writers really goofed in casting Kutcher the way they did. He really doesn’t have much of a part now. It’s not too late to remodel him into someone (for example) highly intelligent in science et al but not too sharp with women.

    The way they have him now, he is already in a rut. I just don’t understand how the writers (and/or producer) came up with this role for him.Recommend

  • Rehan

    Where are you getting your statistics from? Two and a half men is doing much better this season.

  • Bob the Builder

    Bring back Charlie!Recommend

  • chris hackney

    sheen is a star . he made the sitcom work . ashton is a hack ! you lose ! network !Recommend

  • chris hackney

    go back to your own country!Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    Oh! Come on. Can the stupid show already and move on already!Recommend

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    For those who want to discuss statistics, here are the facts:

    Show started out with 28.7 million people turning in to see how they would replace Charlie in the premiere. Last episode fetched only 14.9 million people (a drop of around 48%). The show is shedding audience @ 15% per episode. At this rate it will go below last year’s average in the upcoming episode.Recommend

  • Anoop

    I strive to be Charlie Harper, but only on Weekends. I succeed to be him once in a while. :)Recommend

  • Ali Noor

    I tend to watch the show only because of jon cryer (Alan). He’s the real reason the show still has audiences. Recommend

  • Tipu

    What the bakwas piece is this , This is not America nor Britain remove it Recommend

  • Juliet

    not for long, just watch the ratings drop and drop again..Recommend

  • Anon

    Doing better than last season. You have got to be joking!! It is losing viewers every week!Recommend

  • Charles Van Meter

    @Parvez: That’s because the show was originally built around Charlie Sheen and was a parody of his real life, so of course he seemed so natural in the role.Recommend

  • Sobha

    Season 9 of Two and a Half Men has had the highest number of viewership for the show, Please get your facts straight, To confirm, Open List of Two and A Half Men episodes and view the viewer numberRecommend

  • ms

    @Talha: It could all be a dream! Like the soaps when they have a return actor. BRING BACK CHARLIE SHEEN. Kutcher is a phony and not an actor. He is crucifying 2 1/2 men. Please please bring back Charlie Sheen. I can only watch the re-runs of Charlie. I can’t stand the new 2 1/2 men. BRING BACK CHARLIE SHEEN. Recommend

  • ms

    BRING CHARLIE SHEEN BACK. Just like the soaps, Charlie’s death could be a dream and lets move on again with Charlie. Kutcher has to go! He is ruining the show Recommend

  • http://RealSteelToys

    I watched the show the first couple weeks, but won’t watch again. The story line stinks and so does the acting of all the remaining actors, especially Ashton.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Charles Van Meter:
    Thanks for spelling it out.Recommend

  • Loneliberal PK

    Sheen’s way over-rated.

    And I though it was pretty amazing how they jump-started the show back to life. Good job, Kutcher!Recommend