Two and Half Men with Ashton Kutcher sets ratings record, but was it any good?

I’ve watched a few episodes of Two and a Half Men prior to now. Usually that was the result of being stuck in a waiting room or an airplane with absolutely no other programming options. It’s a dumb show with canned laughs, but at times it did crack me up. So I went into this with low expectations, which were met I guess. I mean it sucked. The show opened with Charlie’s funeral, where his ex lovers trash talked him and listed off his sexual fetishes. There were plenty of dumb jokes and groan-inducing one liners. A few were kind of funny though. Here’s my very brief recap. Evil Beet has a better one you’re interested.

Rose explains how Charlie died, by “falling” in front of a moving subway train after she caught him cheating on her. “I want you to know that Charlie didn’t suffer. His body just exploded like a balloon full of meat.
Jake asks “does anyone else feel hungry?

They establish that no one can afford the house now that Charlie has passed. Later, when Alan is alone, Ashton Kutcher comes in to use the phone after unsuccessfully trying to commit suicide by drowning. He tells someone on the other line “I want you to know that I just flung myself in the ocean because I can’t live without you. No, I’m not calling you from the ocean. Because it was cold.”

Ashton’s tech billionaire character Walden: “Money does not buy happiness.”
Jon Cryer’s character, Alan. “I don’t know I’ve never had either.”

Ashton then strips down to his skivvies to change. Then they go out to some TGI Fridays type place to bond over drinks. Ashton picks up two chicks with his sad sap story, and the two of them bring the ladies back to Charlie/Alan’s place. Ashton scores a menage a trois and gets laid while Jon Cryer’s character goes to bed alone with no nookie.

The next morning Walden/Ashton proceeds to walk around shirtless/nude while everyone exclaims at his penis size. Then he announces he’s buying the house.

At least the whole episode was only 20 minutes or so. It wasn’t terrible, just kind of there.

A lot of people tuned in to watch Ashton’s half dressed debut, though. The show got over 27 million viewers and a Nielsen rating higher than any single episode when Charlie starred. So it’s safe to say that Ashton will be sticking around. Don’t cry for Charlie, though. He just made $25 million from Warner Brothers for his past episodes and could get $100 million for syndication rights over the next ten years. I guess it was money he was owed or something, but still that sounds outrageous.


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58 Responses to “Two and Half Men with Ashton Kutcher sets ratings record, but was it any good?”

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  1. jc126 says:

    It was awful. Creepy to have Charlie die when the real-life Charlie Sheen might not live long (yes I know he’s a turd, but it was still morbid). The laughs were hostile and not funny, Ashton was just weird. Terrible.

  2. kel says:

    It wasn’t funny. I thought Ashton’s character seemed naive and dumb like Kelso in That 70s Show.

  3. David says:

    Kel is correct. It’s a re-tread from that 70′s show

  4. RobN says:

    People didn’t tune in to watch Ashton; they tuned in to watch how they got rid of the Sheen character. Whether the show makes it or not will be dependent on future shows; not this one.

    The show worked a lot better if you’d seen a lot of previous episodes. The ex’s at the funeral were all people we’d seen before and it was more amusing when you knew what Charlie had done to each woman.

  5. anne says:

    I didn’t laugh once. Will give it a few more trys…

  6. garvels says:

    I actually loved it and I thought it was really funny but than again I am into dark humor and I love Jon Cryer.

  7. Ms. Candy says:

    He was ok but as time goes, he character will get better. I tuned it to watch the show cause I wanted to see.

    As for Charlie payments, That’s right laugh all the way to the bank… He will still get paid no matter what the director may feel or think

  8. Sherri says:

    I thought it was terrible- very dissappointed . . . I loved the show once . . .loved all the characters – but it didn’t have the same sharp wit . .

  9. Luise says:

    It was terrible. Ashton was not funny and his parading around naked all the time won’t keep the ratings up. Big disappointment. It will never make it.

  10. Redd says:

    Ashton Kutcher’s Kelso character is the only performance he can deliver; when the producers had to resort to nudity on the premier of the character, they knew the scope of his acting abilities.

  11. Sue says:

    These reviews match what I’ve been reading on Yahoo and cbs that it was bad many people said they wouldn’t watch it again.

  12. Kiki says:

    I thought it was refreshing and I really liked it… I actually believe it has a chance.

  13. Anon says:

    I enjoyed it. I was happy to see the familiar characters again that I love so much: Alan, Berta, Jake, and Rose. I noted that they really got rid of the Charlie character for good — not only dead, but cremated and the ashes spilled all over, then vacuumed up. Kutcher was clearly nervous, and the nudity was a waste of time, but I still maintain that the ensemble cast without Charlie Sheen is funny enough to carry the show.

  14. Sandy says:

    Ashton’s character reminded me of Keslo from that 70′s Show. The show was funny until he showed up and then it just got dumb.

  15. gee says:

    I just don’t get how he buys the house and the other two stay? I feel like they could have done so much with that.

  16. Quest says:

    I did not see it just read the reviews online, but a co-worker told me that it was funny.

  17. The Bobster says:

    The show sucked, especially with dumbass Kelso just playing himself. And the opening just proved that Chuck Lorre is a vindictive little shit.

    BTW, are there subways in California? No, not the sandwich shops.

  18. layla says:

    The Header of this article is hilarious….. “but was it any good?”

    Has this show EVER BEEN GOOD?????

    I have never understood this shows popularity. Out of curiosity I tried once to watch it … and did not last 2mins.

    It physically makes me cringe it is so bad and so very NOT FUNNY.

    Any show that needs to tell you when to laugh (ie: Cue lame laugh track) is not a clever nor funny show.

  19. Firecracker says:

    Ashton’s acting resembled a piece of wood. The funeral was really stupid with all the former chicks piping up.

    The funniest part of the episode was when John Stamos showed up at the open house. That was hilarious! I wish they would’ve replaced Charlie with him instead.

    I always watched this, I will keep on hopefully it’ll get better.

  20. Sweepea says:

    Two and Half Men was never funny in the first place. It’s very cheesy and cringeworthy.

  21. Joanna says:

    I thought it was funny. I will keep watching to see how it goes.

  22. j says:

    I never liked it because it is crass and sophmoric.. definatly low class humor like people passing gas etc.. but I do not think Ashton can act so it will fail..

  23. Diane says:

    I agree that people tuned in to see what they planned to do to Charlie Harper, NOT for Ashton. The real test will be next week and whether they can maintain and I doubt that will happen. To me, the show was declining for years but the premier episode was just okay. Personally, I liked the show better BEFORE Walden came on the set.

  24. Dani says:

    Have never been a fan of the show, but tuned in to see Ashton. His role was like a reprisal of his role on That 70s show. Fortunately, Kutcher strikes me as nice guy off camera, so I could bear it.

    The best part of the show was definitely the guest appearances: John Stamos, and Dharma and Greg, and I think I spotted Jeri Ryan.

  25. CristinaC says:

    It wasn’t so funny. And this show is not going to survive on Appletinis alone. Booze and Charlie drunk were the backbone of the whole show. Jon Cryer was great, though – his character seemed to have learned a lot from Charlie. I’ll miss him and his alcoholic jokes.

  26. Maritza says:

    I liked it and I bet the show will get better and better.

  27. Mourning the Death of Music says:

    @The Bobster: Charlie took Rose to Paris, it is there that he “fell” in front of an oncoming subway train.

    Nit-picky of me, but it bugged the royal hell out of me that this Walden character, who claimed to love his wife so much and was so devastated over their split to the point he tried to commit suicide, would turn around and happily have a three-some.
    Another point towards showing men as having zero integrity.

  28. whitedaisy says:

    It stunk. The ratings will drop precipitously from here on out.

  29. Paloma says:

    Jon Cryer was, as usual, over the top funny. He is such a good actor. On Ashton, oh me oh my. I hope he gets better. It was rough watching him.

  30. MMF says:




  31. Barbara says:

    I agree, the 70′s show was very onboard.

  32. BerMan says:

    I just tune in to check it much fuss , really much ado about nothing. The show premise is chauvinistic. Purely for male audience and beer giggles. This new episode was not refreshing enough and dialogue/story line was mundane.

  33. F5 says:

    Why does Ashton look like Charles Manson?

  34. Madison says:

    It’s not the same without Charlie. I tuned in out of interest, but it was dull boring. Ashton and Cryer don’t have the same dynamic that Sheen and Cryer had. I’ve seen enough and won’t be watching next week. Now I know why Sheen was being so nice and apologizing to everyone, for $25million I would have sucked up nicely to everyone too.

  35. Ari says:

    I barely watched the show with Charlie on and it was good when I did catch it. I thought Ashton actually reminded me of how the son (Jake) might be grow up to be like. The halting sometimes dumb manner of speaking, confidence galore, nice person on the whole…good looking, etc. I get the whole Kelso thing, but yeah we will see.

  36. Madisyn says:

    I thought it was terrible. Why would a billionaire move into a house with 2 complete strangers? It didn’t make sense. The show was good the first couple of years but its run its course. They should have left well enough alone.

    They won’t be able to sustain those ratings. It was the ‘curiosity’ factor that those ratings were as high as they were. Lets see what the ratings are the next couple of weeks.

  37. Isa says:

    A lot of people on my FB enjoyed it. But Charlie’s death sounds morbid and not funny…

  38. sally says:

    Regardless of how he went about it, Charlie Sheen stood up for himself and what he knew was right. Chuck Lorre is a vindictive, greedy, spiteful, corporate suck up who has had many a personal vendetta and so far has succeeded with this one because Ashton Kucher is an immoral scab.

  39. Lee says:

    The ratings are a “bounce” only. There is a reason why CBS signed Kutcher only to a one season contract. This show will tank….as much as I really enjoy the cast, Sheen was the main draw of that show. This will hobble along for maybe half season and then CBS will start to wrap the series up.

  40. olcranky says:

    there were a couple of good lines but, for the most part, it was just downright mean spirited when they could have just as much fun at Sheen’s expense without being nasty. Like everyone else has said, Kutcher was just playing Kelso and it’s gotten really old

    I only watched on On Demand because I heard the John Stamos and Dharma & Greg references. Am I the only one that didn’t like that bit of nasty discord between Dharma and Greg (the disagreement between the 2 seemed a bit sharper than it needed to be)

  41. LittleDeadGrrl says:

    I honestly can’t believe this show has lasted as long as it has …

  42. Baffled says:

    Pure drek. The jokes were anti-funny. The simmering hostility towards Charlie Sheen was on full display. The whole thing was in such bad taste, I was embarrassed for the cast having to deliver those unfortunate lines. I also felt sorry for Ashton Kutcher walking into that fiasco. He wasn’t bad and should get better with time. That said, the only person I would have liked to replace Charlie was Hugh Grant.

  43. Victoria says:

    Had no interest in seeing it. A friend of mines loved the show when Charlie was on and I have to say that he was brilliant, even if it was a similar version to himself, he still had the acting chops and delivery to pull off what I think we all know that Ashton can’t.

    Even though Charlie’s behavior was weird as fuck and if it were a normal person we’d call for a psych eval ASAP, I feel that a lot the stuff he was saying was completely true about the industry and about Lorre. Charlie spoke out, got his money, and walked away with another sweet deal on top of that.


  44. DarkEmpress says:

    I loved the show when Charle Sheen was on it. I didnt tune into the premiere with Kutcher and I wont be watching any episodes Kutcher was never funny to me. I also still feel that it was outrageous for Lorre to be upset over Sheens drinking and partying when that is what he has been like for decades and his playboy behaviour is what they based the show on. No one said that his lifestyle was affecting his work. He showed up on time and never flubbed his lines. Lorre’s personal dislike of Sheen is why he was fired.

  45. Kara Ann says:

    The show was okay. Don’t really care if I see it again. Charlie Sheen, for all of his troubles, was/is very talented and the ensemble cast isn’t nearly as good without him.

    BTW, John Stamos…HOT!HOT!HOT! Why in the world would anyone hire Kelso over Stamos? And yes, I do mean Kelso because that, apparently, is actually who Kutcher is. Sorry but to me, stupid never, ever equals attractive and Kelso/Kutcher always plays it stupid.

  46. JaneWonderfalls says:

    Never really watched the show, Not a fan of Charlie’s or Ashton but I know most people tuned in out of curiosity, but I doubt the show will actually survive a full season. I do wish the cast and crew the best. It’s a shame how one person can ruin an entire show because of their ego and failure to get the ultimate treatment for their addiction when the producers was willing to work with Charlie until he was properly ready and capable to return to work.

  47. JaneWonderfalls says:

    @DarkEmpress I disagree with you, they didn’t get rid of Charlie until he began bad mouthing his cast and the producers who pay him on the show. I feel that if you see a person who works for you in serious need especially dealing with addiction it’s only human to make sure they get help or die. You sound pretty ignorant to say that they should have not been concerned. Charlie is an addict not a functional addict but a destructive one. You should analyze your lack of knowledge about the whole situation before you make a dumb comment. I have lived with an addict like Charlie Sheen and it’s not pretty for anyone who’s around them.

  48. shawnalorraine says:

    Ashton Kutcher really had nothing to do with the high ratings. The fact is that it all had to do with is Charlie Sheen not being on the show anymore. I was curious to see how Ashton would do. A few parts were funny but the show will not last for long. All of his nakedness was weird. He plays the same role over and over. I actually watched the roast of CS and he took it all with great stride. I like him and the show sucks without him

  49. sandra says:

    Betting the show isn’t renewed after this season. It was such an incredibly bad episode!!! Did they fire the decent writers along with Charlie?? Ashton – what a waste of film.

  50. Mario says:

    Why won’t it just die???? It’s like Dick Cheney, its horrible and evil and it refuses to die.

  51. bettyrose says:

    @Bobster: The subway incident happened in Paris, but yes there are subways in CA: LA, SF, and Oakland all have them (maybe more, not sure).

  52. blinditemreader says:

    I have never seen this show and would never watch it. I just wanted to comment on how much Ashton looks like a hobo. Take a bath and tidy up, dude!

  53. Amanda G says:

    My prediction remains the same. It’ll be canceled after this season.

  54. Auds says:

    It wasn’t a far jump from Kutcher’s whiny himbo character on the 70s Show to this – older, whiny dude.
    This show is being governed by advertising dollars and related contractual obligations. They had to keep on producing it. I doubt it will last a full season though.
    I agree with an earlier comment; the high ratings were all about the curiosity factor. Big Bang Theory is funnier.

  55. i want charlie back this sucks without charle it is like the 70;s show he stupid i want charlie sheen back i love u charlie ,rhonda

  56. I watched the new episode on tv and the internet. I was very disappointed in who ever (I have yet to find out.) wrote and directed this new episode. The fact that they killed of one of my favorite characters “charlie” and worst of all replaced him with Mr. kutcher, (No offence ) but his acting sucks!!! Its an insult to the whole show. I hope they do better in the next show.

  57. Now i agree with RobN on that statement. We all tuned in to see how they would kill off the character “Charlie”. Not to see who would replace him or how it would go. because most fans already new who would be replacing “Charlie”.

  58. Dianne says:

    Ashton isn’t a good fit…He is a terrible actor and I didn’t laugh once in all the first three shows….so I won’t watch it anymore….It’s totally boring…Chuck made a big mistake….Cancel the show and save some of the new viewers….