Last fall, America’s hearts and minds were captured by a new television character – a dapper, dark-haired gent who looked good without a shirt and went by the name of Schmidt.
That character…was not Walden Schmidt, the dotcom billionaire Ashton Kutcher now plays on Two and a Half Men. Though the former That ’70s Show star did make headlines throughout the 2011-2012 TV season, they generally had more to do with his personal life or endorsements gone wrong than his performance on CBS’ venerable sitcom. That’s not to say Kutcher is necessarily doing a bad job; our own Ken Tucker praised the actor in his review of Men’s Season 9 premiere, saying that his poker face seemed positively Sheenian. (Charlie Sheen, of course, famously made a different assessment of his replacement.)
So why haven’t critics and audiences been buzzing about CBS’s Schmidt?
Maybe Two and a Half Men has simply lost its luster in the wake of Sheen-gate. Its departed star cast a huge, tiger-blood-shaped shadow – which is probably why the show is determined to keep airing plots that revolve around the absent Charlie. Take, for example, this year’s premiere. Or the episodes where Alan slowly morphed into his dead brother. Or the one with Kathy Bates as Charlie’s ghost. (“I’m in Hell… in this old broad’s body… eternal damnation.”)
Under these circumstances, it’d be tough for any recent cast addition to stand out. But even so, we want to know what you think: Has Ashton been able to help you forget Charlie, or at least miss him a little less? Are you glad he’ll be sticking around for at least one more year? And what’s your favorite Walden moment from this past season – his very first shirtless appearance? The revelation that he was partially raised by a gorilla? The time he had sex with that lady?*
*Note: This may have happened more than once.