‘Anger Management’ Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 3 years ago by , Updated June 29th, 2012 at 1:31 pm,

anger management series premiere review Anger Management Series Premiere Review & Discussion

With only a few slight missteps, Charlie Sheen’s new series Anger Management has, for all intents and purposes, perfectly executed the rarely attempted genre of the adult sitcom. Louis C.K.’s Lucky Louie (2006) previously attempted to do the same, and though that series had a difficult time finding itself, its immense potential was evident from the start.

Playing former baseball player Charlie Goodson, Sheen definitely knows his way around a sitcom. The premiere kicks off with an obvious reference to the public feud between Sheen and Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre, though the brief jab certainly doesn’t represent the type of series that Anger Management is, or its quality.

Sheen comfortably nails every set-up and punch line given to him. You can tell that the series was completely written around him, and rightfully so – though it doesn’t always work. Throughout the two-episode premiere, Sheen’s character seamlessly jumps from scene to scene and is always able to drive the dialogue. However, a few of the locations feel less strong than others, so having fewer locations for Goodson to travel to in future episodes will help build up the stronger, more enjoyable scenes, serving to highlight more of the series’ talent.

With an expansive cast, containing many familiar faces (and a few new ones), Anger Management has a high level of talent at its disposal. Unfortunately, that makes the few lines that fall flat from the newer talent all the more apparent – no matter how hard the laugh track is trying to convince us otherwise. Additionally, Sheen brings with him fellow Lorre exile Brett Butler, whom the producer had a feud with in 1998. Having been off the screen for so long, it’s nice to see Butler back in action.

anger management series premiere charlie sheen Anger Management Series Premiere Review & Discussion

It may take audiences a few episodes to adjust to seeing such a mature sitcom utilize the familiar three-camera setup. Fortunately, Sheen may just be the perfect ambassador for this type of unfamiliar genre.

Still, there are certain aspects of the network sitcom that would be better left on the networks. For example, the often annoying laugh track makes what would typically be a fun joke much less so. It’s an especially unfortunate inclusion considering NBC’s Whitney received complaints about the very same thing. One hopes that a less boisterous, more realistic audience reaction will be included in the future.

Of course, it’s difficult to talk about Anger Management without mentioning the unique situation that it finds itself in. Receiving an initial order of 10 episodes from FX, the series deal dictates that if the first episodes hit a certain ratings number, the network will have to order an additional 90 episodes, essentially making it a syndicated sitcom.

anger management series premiere 2 Anger Management Series Premiere Review & Discussion

And with lofty goals of producing those episodes over the course of the next few years, FX’s overt financial move certainly shakes up its current line-up. Attempting to rework audience’s expectations for its network, FX’s already late starting 9pm primetime programming now erases that clear divide with evening television.

In a brilliant programming move, FX has created a perfect transition between its marathon of evening Two and a Half Men episodes and Anger Management. However, by providing a buffet of Sheen entertainment, it’ll be interesting to see how its placement will impact the series that follow - Wilfred and Louie - as the transition is noticeable and rough, making a continuous night of viewing potentially challenging.

Though perhaps not falling within everyone’s tastes, there’s little doubt that Sheen’s Anger Management will be a success. Based on curiosity alone, Sheen should have no problem hitting that contractual ratings average. That being said, one hopes that all of this rightly deserved attention that Sheen is bringing to the network will benefit Wilfred and Louie, two shows that certainly deserve it as well.


Anger Management airs Thursdays @9pm on FX

Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio

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  1. The laugh track really was grating and make most jokes falter. I really didn’t find it that funny or interesting overall and I guess I was expecting a little more focus on the patients (which were just plain and uninteresting, then spending time on the supporting cast (which had great level of talent –Shawnee Smith, Selma Blair, Brain Austin Green)… I would have thought the therapy people would be more interesting like with shows like Dear John or Newhart… I didn’t want an all Charlie show…

    • I completely agree about the laugh track!

      As I said somewhere else, this show belongs on TBS but definitely not FX.

  2. I loved the show…but i am kinda being a bit bias b/c he has been one of my favorite actors of all time since “The Wraith” (don’t judge me) and i hated the way they treated him at 2 and a half men, but i do appreciate the marathon they had all day n night on fx with his fav episodes and the promos 4 the new show…my favorite one was “Better than the current version of 2 and a half men”….lol

  3. I thought the show was……ok. Definitely not as funny as 2 1/2 men out the gate (as far as I can recall) but worth watching to see if it will make it past the trial run.

    The thing that stunned me more was the sheer amount of past sitcom/movie stars packed into this show; Shawnee Smith (Becker and Saw), Selmia Blair (Hellboy), Brett Butler (Grace Under Fire), Michael Boatman (Spin City) and Barry Corbin (Northern Exposure). Did I miss anyone? That is an expensive cast.

    • Eddie Winslow! lol

    • Brian Austin Green lol

  4. GREAT SHOW !!!

  5. Overall I really didn’t think it was funny. I guess I was expecting that crazy, out of control character from the movie where the guy would have the sessions, move in with people, and just cause havoc on their lives. I guess it’s hard to live up to that Jack Nicholson character because I thought Jack just made that movie what it was. I might check it out again to see if it improves but overall I thought the patients weren’t anything interesting. Charlie’s character seemed like he was trying to bring in that 2 & a Half Men character into this series which just doesn’t work.

  6. Maybe it will pick up, but it really seems out of step with the other two shows it is packaged with, Wilfred and Louie. It almost seems too packaged and formula driven.

  7. Loved it, can’t wait to see more! The cast is great, and Charlie still has his zing. The spaghetti incident had me rolling.

  8. I was never a fan of 2 1/2 men and never really watched it as it didn’t appeal to me. But I found myself laughing several times (even with the obnoxious laugh track). It’ll stay on the dvr for now.

  9. I really enjoyed and will continue 2 watch it glad 2 see Shawnee smith as his ex wife loved her in the Saw franchise

  10. Did I understand this correctly?
    If the initial 10 episodes reach a certain level in the ratings it automatically gets renewed for 90 more???
    I’m no TV expert but has anything like this ever happened before? That’s quite a commitment.

    • Tyler Perry is the creator of that killer contract. TBS has signed many of those with him.

      He has to get that $150 million a year from somewhere. ;-)

      • Haha!
        I now know why Perry is a gazilionaire.
        That’s still crazy to imagine IMO.
        So many great, well written and produced TV shows have to worry season by season and sometimes month by month if they’ll get cancelled and Hollywood’s resident bad boy Mr. Sheen gets a deal like this??
        Wow! You know what though, I gotta say good for him. I guess his agent knows what he’s doing.

  11. Hey, Tony — you wrote “high level of talent at its disposable.” You meant to write “high level of talent at its disposal.” Stop screwing the office assistants and pay attention to your writing!

    • Haha… thanks for the tip(s)! ;-)

  12. If you want to see Charlie’s “zing” then watch the first few seasons of 2-1/2 Men. Charlie and the supporting cast definitely had zing. They were almost 100% great! I stopped watching 2-1/2 this past season–no ZING! Somehow most of the “life” of the show has been missing since Charlie left. Is it because so much power & “say-so” over the scripts and cast were given to Ashton K. I watched the first few episodes with Ashton & found them almost “lifeless”–like he, the writers & director were being very, very careful. Finally as I sat thru the episode that had the dominant theme of vomiting, I decided that the humorless episode would be my last watch. I am an adult, not a pre-teen human who thinks farts, hiccups, and throwing up are funny. Last night I managed to watch 45 minutes of the two 1/2 shows. Again, lifeless, and very poorly written.
    The laugh track is very ANNOYING–a show with almost no good jokes that
    supposedly comes from a crowded audience (who are never seen) is in such
    poor taste. I flipped to another channel & quit Anger Management. I don’t think the show will succeed–or if it does, it will be without me as a viewer. A side-note to a HUGE mistake in last nights script writing: the physical monkey business between two “licensed” therapists! That goes against state laws in all or almost all 50 states. NOT FUNNY!

  13. Wasn’t bad, I could see it getting better but it had my attention for the duration. Charlie actually seems a little more restrained to me which works since he is trying to be the calm guy that is trying to deal with anger issues himself. I’ll keep watching to see how it progresses.

  14. I thought it was awful. I stopped watching about half way through the second episode. I hated Two and Half Men and found this show to be a desperate attempt to recreate that show with different characters/premise. Also, any show that has a laugh track in it is almost unwatchable to me.

    I honestly don’t understand how people are entertained by this kind of crap when you can see the punchlines coming before they are said and the characters and jokes are so cliche it’s like you’re suffering from a Groundhog’s Day event.

  15. I shot a promo with Charlie about a month ago and he seemed to have everything going right. I watched the show and think its great. Its what we all wanted more Sheen.

  16. I loved the first season of this show. The fact that is has been renewed for 90 more episodes is awesome. Charlie will never die!!! WINNING! :p

    • I just heard about the renewal a few days ago 2! I cant wait! Flippin giggity!

  17. Charlie Sheen rules!
    This is TV’s best sit-com. I can’t believe how ratings do not correspond
    to the quality of it.
    Are Americans blind or tv ratings do not really tell the truth?
    And bitter Ed’s character is by far the funniest
    Keep it up, guys!

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