The Ashton Kutcher reboot of Two and a Half Men has survived to see 2012. It hasn’t just survived. According to TV by the Numbers, Two and a Half Men is “certain to be renewed” for another season. Although many long-time fans of the Charlie Sheen era have expressed their disappointment with the new season, the show continues to see ratings that will ensure its survival.
In the first episode of 2012, the new year started out gloomy for Walden. After losing $80 million in an investment in a social media company, Walden is attacked by the other board members of his company: his ex-wife, Bridget (Judy Greer) and his mom, Robin (Mimi Rogers). They claim he is spending too much money in a frivolous manner, and in a vote of two to one, they remove Walden as president of the company.
Before the Two and a Half Men holiday hiatus, Walden rejected Bridget when she decided she wanted him back. Ever since then, Bridget has been out to get him. His mom only agreed to vote with Bridget so she could double the funding for the Robin Schmidt Primate Research Center.
Luckily for Walden, he’s now dating a lawyer. Zoey (Sophie Winkleman) reads through the articles of incorporation for Walden’s company, Walden Loves Bridget Enterprises (as the new girlfriend, she loves the name). Zoey determines that Walden has the right to appoint a fourth board member, and in the case of any tie vote, he has the ability to break the tie. He offers Zoey the position, but she smartly refuses to mix business with pleasure. She does agree to be his lawyer though, since she’s “already screwing him.” He’s left with two options for the fourth board member: Alan or Jake. It’s difficult to decide while watching them both play a video dance game.
2012 starts to get really awesome for Alan. Walden asks him to be on the board and tells him it pays $50,000 annually–all he has to do is vote with Walden. The next board meeting is a dream come true for Alan. He eats free food and agrees with Walden, getting paid all the while. Zoey explains to Bridget and Robin why Walden can appoint a fourth member to regain control, and they both set out to get their own lawyers. Zoey loves repeating the name of the company–Walden Loves Bridget Enterprises–and Walden keeps telling her he will change the name as soon as he is reinstated as president.
There’s just one problem for Walden in this situation: Alan is attracted to his mother. Knowing this, Robin and Bridget bombard him at a bar after the board meeting. Alan drinks light beer while Bridget and Robin drink cognac at $1,000 per shot. After they fail with logical arguments as to why Walden’s spending needs to stop, Bridget leaves so Robin can seduce Alan. Her hand winds up on his lap, and as per the title of the episode, Alan asks her to remove it “slowly and in a circular fashion.”
Back at the beach house, Alan shows off his new suit from Sears. Walden tells Alan he found an online gaming company he wants to invest in once he becomes president again. Alan tries to talk him out of it, and says he has a fiduciary duty to the stockholders to make sure the money is being spent properly. Walden knows what’s up, and threatens to give Alan’s position to Jake. Alan assures Walden he has his back. “What could possibly make me even consider betraying you? Certainly not some expensive cognac and a happy ending in the men’s room.”
Somehow, Bridget and Robin bombard Alan again before the meeting. Seducing isn’t going to work this time, but when asked what it would take to change his mind, his sarcastic answer is a brand new red Porsche. The next scene, of course, is Alan driving a brand new red Porsche.
When Walden sees the car, he knows what happened, and forgives Alan for being weak. After all, that’s why Walden picked him. They hug, and at the meeting, Alan votes with Walden and gives the car back. Walden is president again and changes the name of the company to Walden Loves Alan Enterprises. How sweet. And weird.
What could Walden possibly have given Alan that was better than a red Porsche? What he’s always wanted: his name on the deed of the house. Even though it comes with virtually no rights, it makes Alan happier than he’s ever been. Life can’t be too awesome for Alan though. Sitting on the balcony, he manages to light his pants on fire with expensive cognac and a cigar. All we see after that is a fireball running towards the ocean.
Alan is forever the underdog of Two and a Half Men, and this was a rare episode where rooting for Alan pays off. Too bad Walden didn’t get him a replacement Porsche.
We learned that Bridget’s attacks against Walden won’t be with a consistent level of craziness. First she drove her car through his house. This time, she took an approach that actually wasn’t unreasonable.
This was a solid episode that felt very comfortable. You could call it safe, but after the Walden’s-brother-is-a-gorilla episode, maybe that’s a good thing. Part of the comfort comes from the completion of the transition from Charlie to Walden. For the most part, you can once again know what to expect when you sit down to watch an episode. Is it different from seasons past? Sure.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Two and a Half Men airs Mondays at 9pm ET on CBS.
I keep trying to like this Ashton Kutcher version. I really do, but I'm sorry. It' snot funny. Look, on this night and time ANY show can get phenomenal ratings. It doesn't mean that what is being put out there is good and this show lost it's way this season and has yet to come back. What made it rock, what made it really funny was the chemistry of the "Harper Brothers" Try as they will Kutcher and Cryer don't have nearly the chemistry that Sheen/Cryer did and the fact that they played brothers made it all that more funny. I'm sorry. I get why "Men" will be renewed as money and ratings are the name of the game, but wow, what a legacy they decided to leave the show with this season with such poor writing and a sad shell of what it once was. It's not a "Sheen" thing. It's just that this season is simply bad and with the loss of one of the Harper bro's, the show lost the charm and humor it once had sadly.
i stopped watching the show after the first episode (it wasnt funny) i agree sheen shouldve been fired but the show shouldve just been canceled. not trying to replace him and ashton isnt even funny and the kid is getting to old too.
I was never a Kutcher fan, but now I am. The show has a different quality, but I like it. It feels like a spinoff. Not so sure about this board room change of scenery, but all in all I look forward to it just as much as the old days. Angus has always been a pivotal reason for watching the show for me, and he's aged well, not like kids in other shows. I'll look forward to another season.
GET REAL : it was lameeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..lame lame lame the real interesting 'thing' in all this mess is how this show still has great ratings..people want to see how bad that can be ? Seriously..
There definately won't be a season 9 DVD of Two and a Half Men in my collection to compliment the other 8 seasons. This show has landed on the "Giant Python square" in the slippery slide of Snakes and Ladders (back to square one). I can't fathom for the life of me, what the producers are trying to achieve with Kutcher's character? As an avid fan, I am bitterly dissapointed and simply won't be watching future episodes. Bring back Charlie, even if it's in the spiritual sense to begin with, then slot him back in living 12 houses up the road attempting to evade Alan's mooching. ANYTHING!!
I quit watching after the 3rd episode and won't come back until after Charlie is brought back from the dead. He could just walk in and when everyone gets over the shock and they ask him where he's been, "Hiding from his new bride!" He has no idea who was smeared by the train. Come on it would be something Charlie would do. It's not just my family that has quit watching, many of my friends on facebook have talked about not watching anymore either. We watch a rerun everyday though with Charlie on the network.
I agree with Craig…what are they trying to accomplish with Ashton´s character he doesnt suck but his character does, not funny!!!! Did they get ride of the old writers too? Bring back Charlie there would be sooo many ways to do it for season 10!!!! Make one more season for the fans