Friday, February 25, 2011

Tango Charlie!

By Anant Mathur (February 25, 2011)

A fair bit has been written and said about Hollywood actor/Television star Charlie Sheen in the last few weeks. I wasn't going to add to the clutter, but I feel someone needs to write something positive amidst all the negative Charlie babble. Before I begin I would like to point out that I am NOT trying to justify what he did and I don't support or condone his behavior, I am merely going to speak about Charlie the actor.

Unlike hoards of his other fans today, I'm not ashamed to admit, I've been a Charlie Sheen fan since the first time I saw him in Oliver Stone's Oscar winning PLATOON, almost 25 years ago. I took an instant liking to his powerful performance. Since that first encounter with this brilliant and somewhat underrated actor, I've had the pleasure of being entertained by him in films like Lucas, No Man's Land, Wall Street, Three for the Road, Young Guns, Eight Men Out, Major League, Navy SEALs, Men at Work, Cadence, The Rookie, Hot Shots!, Loaded Weapon 1, Hot Shots! Part Deux, The Three Musketeers, The Chase, Major League II, Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4, not to mention his unforgettable cameo in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. And who doesn't remember his wonderful guest appearance on Friends as Phoebe's boyfriend Ryan in the hilarious Chicken Pox episode.

People are very quick to jump all over Charlie Sheen when he does something they feel is wrong and they forget all the lives he's touched in a positive way. Who can forget that he single-handedly saved "SPIN CITY" from going under after Michael J. Fox decided to leave due to his illness, who other than Charlie Sheen could accomplish that feat? The show, which should have ended after season 4, ran purely on his charm for 2 more years. Do you know how many people kept their jobs and are still earning royalties from that show because of Charlie Sheen?

Similarly, in an age when shows are lucky to last only one, two or just three seasons, Charlie Sheen's Two and a Half Men has been on air for eight, plus the viewers want more. It's one of the highest rated shows on television and even the kid who plays Jake (Angus T. Jones), Charlie's nephew, on Two And A Half Men is minting money as the highest paid child star on television (earning $300,000 per episode), although he's only in the show for 2 minutes of each episode, he can thank Charlie Sheen for that too. Series creator Chuck Lorre would probably be the first to admit that Two and a Half Men wouldn't last for Two and a Half Minutes without Charlie Sheen.

So, how is it alright for Chuck Lorre to publicly humiliate Charlie Sheen by saying "If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I'm gonna be really pissed" in the vanity card at the end of an episode of Two and a Half Men, but the moment Charlie says something about Chuck Lorre, CBS and Warner Bros. cancel the season? Not only is that being hypocritical, but it also shows the kind of yellow belly people who are running the television industry. If Chuck Lorre can be rude why can't Charlie Sheen. Just because Chuck Lorre is using his vanity cards as a mask doesn't mean he should be able to get away with everything. And why cancel the season when Charlie is on the verge of returning - just because of a few silly comments no one really cares about except for the media, CBS and Warner Bros.

It's disturbing when crew members of a hit show like Two and A Half Men lash out against it's star simply because their show is delayed by a few weeks. Saying things like "We are really pissed. A lot of us do not get paid if we don't work. So, if he's off getting rehabbed, or porn-o-ing, or whatever, we're screwed.", and behaving like poverty-stricken people who get paid less than minimum wage doesn't benefit anyone. How quickly they forget that were it not for Charlie Sheen they wouldn't have had a steady job or paycheck for the last 8 years earning them millions in the process! Are you telling me that in the last eight years the crew hasn't saved enough to get them through a few weeks of trouble? If they're so needy, instead of bitching publicly about it and getting the show canceled, perhaps they could have asked for an advance on their salary. If they were starving and in such bad need of money, I'm sure the producers and network wouldn't have hesitated in paying the crew of the highest rated comedy on TV (they can certainly afford it after all the money the show has made for them)

If at a time, when a man is hospitalized, the only thing you're thinking of is what's going to happen about your paycheck, there's something seriously wrong with our society!

Let's suppose for a moment that Two and a Half Men ended after season 7 as a lot of comedies do. Where would all these people be? I'm sure after being part of a hit show like Two and a Half Men no one would want to hire them, right! These morons forget that Charlie Sheen not only gave them 8 years but set them up to be able to get work for the rest of their lives because they're working on the number one comedy in television. If you have a problem with Charlie Sheen's behavior then you can always leave the show, you don't have to work on it or with him, there are millions out there who would love to be in your shoes and working on a hit show like Two and a Half Men with Charlie Sheen. If the producers and network had a problem with Charlie Sheen why did they give him a new contract? His troubles aren’t a new thing; they should have canceled the show when his previous contract was up. It seems awfully like he's the golden goose for certain people, doesn't it?

Instead of beating him over the head, it should be everyone's responsibility to get Charlie Sheen back on his feet again so he can entertain us once more. Comedian George Burns smoked everyday till his death and he lived to be 100 years old - perhaps somewhere in there lays the solution to your conundrum Mr. Lorre. It's not for us to tell someone what kind of lifestyle they should lead. Unless we want to live in a dictatorship and I fear we're not far from it, last I checked everyone had a right to live their life as they saw fit. If they do something wrong, the law is right there to punish them. Many people have struggled with addiction and if they don't receive the required support they may never come out of it. So, the next time you read about Charlie Sheen, instead of belittling him, perhaps you will choose to support him and help him get back on his feet.

Again I'm not defending his actions, but I would like to leave you with this little quip... Imagine all the people who would be out of work if Charlie Sheen didn't exist as we know him: doctors, lawyers, the so called "experts", Journalists who were nobody's two weeks ago, agents, actors, writers, producers, directors, limo drivers, porn stars, bartenders, waiters, police officers, judges, therapists, the crew of Two and a Half Men and of course Chuck Lorre, etc. etc...

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: The above post is meant for entertainment purposes only; readers shouldn't take it seriously or interpret it as advice.

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