Scruffy Ashton is out. Clean-cut Ashton is back. The actor has shed his much-debated hipster beard and cut his long-ish hair for next week’s Two and a Half Men. “These guys wrote a screenplay that dictated I cut my hair and shaved my beard,” Kutcher explained to critics at CBS’ press tour event in Pasadena on Tuesday (photo below). “Watch on Monday, it’s a real good show.”
Kutcher’s character Walden Schmidt changes his look, producers hinted, due to his current romantic relationship on the show. “It was great to have a lead character that didn’t look like any any lead character on television,” noted executive producer Chuck Lorre about Walden 1.0.
But the bigger issue raised during the network’s Men panel was whether Kutcher (and the show) will return next season?
“The deal we structured was a test deal,” Kutcher said of his Men contract. “The show is outperforming the numbers from before I was here. I think people are responding to it. For me, having a show that people like and want more of – that’ll dictate my decision. I have a couple features I’m going to do in the summer. Right now, I’m looking at [the summer features] as a hiatus. I’m interested in coming back.”
Lorre told reporters after the panel that writer-producers “absolutely” have a desire to continue the series, which is about to shoot its 200th episode and in its ninth season.
“I think the ratings warrant it,” Lorre said. “But CBS has not said anything to us about it, and there’s Ashton, and [co-star Angus T. Jones] is about to go to college – there’s a lot of things up in the air.”
It’s hardly going out on a limb to predict that Two and a Half Men will be back for another season – with Kutcher. The current Men arrangement is pretty advantageous for all involved.
One critic asked about Charlie Sheen’s comment mocking Men as having “lazy” writing and noted he’s not the only person who feels that way. After joking that the show’s writing made Sheen “a very wealthy man,” Lorre said: “If you dont like the show, I’m sorry. I’m doing the best I can. I’ll try harder. We try to put on a funny episode every week.”
What do you think of Kutcher’s less-hairy look?