Monday, July 23, 2012

What I’m Watching: Anger Management

Anger Management: Season 1, Episode 5 “Charlie Tries to Prove Therapy is Legit” (B+)

There are many who will likely take issue with the fact that Charlie Sheen’s ex-wife appeared on this show in a highly tongue-in-cheek role within its first five episodes. Yet, practically, it works on multiple levels as more than just a running joke, and even manages to make productive use of Denise Richards, whose acting isn’t always exactly top-notch. Introducing her as a friend of Jennifer’s was a good start, and it also enabled Charlie to mock her proposed business venture, Vanicures. Lori’s utter dismissal of therapy paid off most strongly in her final appearance, in which she professed a belief in ghosts but not in therapy or, more crucially, condoms. The sight of Charlie wearing a tie, a jacket, and boxers was most worthwhile for his complete ignorance of the fact that he looked ridiculous. Kate’s negative influence is entertaining, and it’s fun to see her try to poke holes in Charlie’s bad decisions and then pat herself on the back when he ends up being wrong. Patrick’s drama with his mother was a good foundation for Lori to be able to express her beliefs, and the group dynamic continues to be engaging and amusing, particularly when it comes to Nolan’s inability to make quips and Ed’s racism and homophobia. That’s a gimmick that could have been irritating, but it seems that it’s given just the right amount of time each episode so that its members can be present and featured without taking over too much of Charlie’s life.

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