Chuck Lorre apparently does not read Hit Coffee (or does – hi Chuck! – but does not heed the advice of its primary author):

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that series co-creator Chuck Lorre has hatched an idea to reboot the Warner Bros.-produced sitcom with a new creative direction that does not involve Sheen, who was fired from the series in March. Lorre is said to have presented close associates and Men co-star Jon Cryer with the plan, and the studio and network are aware of his intentions. According to an insider, Lorre has told Cryer this reboot would involve a significant role for him and the introduction of a new, yet-to-be-cast character.

Sayeth me:

So I think I am on board with the Darin Stevens solution. Stevens, for those who might recall, was the husband of Samantha Stevens on Bewitched wherein one Dick (York) was replaced by another (Sargent) and nobody really cared. For secondary cast members, I think that this is something that shows should consider more often. To take another example, The Drew Carey Show dropped Drew’s brother to save a few bucks. Dropping the actor wasn’t a problem, but dropping the character was because he was married to another character on the show and the excuse they gave was inadequate.

I watched and/or listened to the eighth season over the past couple of days. It remains difficult to imagine the show without Sheen and almost impossible to imagine it without Sheen’s character. That being said, they could not have possibly designed a better jumping off point for the character. SPOILERS AHEAD. At the end of the episode, Charlie and Rose are boarding a plane to go on a trip to France together. And so the story can simply be that he never comes back. Rose, who conned Charlie into thinking that she was married to someone else, has strong incentive not to come back. And Charlie and Rose ending up together – despite or especially as the result of a con – is perhaps the best ending I can think of for the Harper character. When you think of Harper’s ex-girlfriends, Rose is the only one that was (a) likeable (after a fashion) and (b) appropriate. Charlie’s consistent ability to snag classy women that were too good for him was a bit aggravating. Rose, the psycho with a good heart, I can live with (though I do remain morbidly curious as to the mechanics of the logistics of how that relationship would work out).

I have my doubts about the reboot. Alan Harper is not a compelling character. At the beginning of the show, he was a sort of likable, put upon straight man. As the show progressed, though, Alan demonstrated why he was put upon. You wanted to meet him just so that you could put upon him yourself. And he’s not as funny as Sheen’s character. So putting more of the focus on him is curious. Maybe he will become a more redeeming character. Maybe Lorre will figure it out.

But… they had a formula that worked. It wasn’t high art, but it was successful. And now they don’t have that formula anymore. Charlie Sheen has thoroughly demonstrated that he needs Lorre and a bunch of writers giving him material. It seems as though Lorre is going out of his way to demonstrate that his show needs Charlie Sheen delivering the material.


Category: Theater

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6 Responses to Exuent Charlie Harper

  1. Mike Hunt says:

    It is scary how well a post-Charlie Sheen transition was set up with the current story line.

    It seems as though Lorre is going out of his way to demonstrate that his show needs Charlie Sheen delivering the material.

    Lorre is doing everything he can to try to wring as much money as he can out of the situation. Now why would someone named Levine want as much money as possible? Well, you won’t read the answer on HalfSigma, who pretends to be a paragon of honesty, except for this one teeny tiny blind spot of his…

    It would be best if everyone would just kiss and make up. Charlie Sheen is anti-Semetic…big freaking deal. So is the rest of the country with the exception of NYC and LA. No one will hold it against him.

  2. trumwill says:

    Now why would someone named Levine want as much money as possible?

    That is not exactly a Levine concept. Would you leave that kind of money on the table? If anything, my proposal is the more moneygrubbing one. He is going a slightly more artistic route, apparently, taking the show in a new direction rather than a few more years of retread.

  3. Mike Hunt says:

    He is going a slightly more artistic route, apparently, taking the show in a new direction rather than a few more years of retread.

    I don’t think he is doing this because of artistic reasons though. I think he realized that the public will not accept a Darrin I/II situation in 2011, with John Stamos or whomever playing Charlie Harper.

    Kiss, make up, move on, and keep on making a quality sitcom.

    You are right though that most people won’t leave money on the table. My Levine comments were, umm, mostly tongue in cheek…

  4. trumwill says:

    Well, it probably fails either way, but I think the Darrin approach, in addition to allowing them to stick with the formula, would be (a) creatively easy as hell and (b) more novel. Not only has the cast change been done recently, but it was done recently in a stint involving Charlie Sheen (on the other end of it).

  5. Mike Hunt says:

    it was done recently in a stint involving Charlie Sheen (on the other end of it).

    Michael J Fox as Charlie Harper would be something to see. On second thought, I think Scott Valentine is also available…

  6. trumwill says:

    If they do like The Office is doing, and throw a whole bunch of big names out there, they should totally include Michael J Fox.

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