Photo Credit: FX
The reviews are in, and they're not all that kind. Over the last few days, leading up to the June 28 debut of Anger Management (FX, Thursday, 9 p.m. ET), TV critics have been skewering Charlie Sheen and the comeback vehicle he's riding in on.
The Huffington Post
That said, there is a story here, and it revolves around yet another guy named Charlie. (In Two and a Half Men, Sheen played Charlie Harper; now he's Charlie Goodman.) This Charlie is an ex-baseball player-turned-therapist who helps a motley group of rage-aholics deal with their mean-spirited impulses. In his personal life, this fictional Charlie is also dealing with his own, angry penchants. But through interactions with his ex-wife (Shawnee Smith), his teen daughter (Daniela Bobadilla), his therapist/love interest (Selma Blair) and his local bartender (Brett Butler), he's striving for personal growth.
Halfway through the second episode, it's easy to understand why some reviewers (and just plain old viewers) would be incensed. The story line describes Charlie trying to make amends for a past cruelty: to get out of a hitting slump, he'd slept with the ugliest woman he could find. So how does he make up for it now? He gamely tries to stifle his repulsion whenever he's around her. What a guy.
Meanwhile, TIME's critic expresses the common opinion that, at its core, the actual plot isn't all that important. This show is about Charlie Sheen getting another TV show. That said, the TIME review isn't too biting. "There's enough in the first episode to suggest that Anger Management could be a decent cynical comedy if it wanted to," the review says. "And there's enough in the second episode to suggest it doesn't really want to."
It's not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it's one of the more positive critical reactions out there. At this point, Sheen should take whatever compliments he can get. At any rate, this sure doesn't look like "winning."