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DVD Review

DVD cover

Two and a Half Men
The Complete Fifth Season


Starring: Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer and Angus T Jones
Warner Home Video
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 15
Available 13 April 2009

Charlie Harper is a successful and respected advertising career-man living out a luxurious, sun-soaked lifestyle in Malibu. Times have been good for Charlie up until recently with women falling at his feet, a tranquil beach house and a shiny new Mercedes in the garage, until his brother Alan and Alan's son Jake crash into his life. Uptight, geeky Alan has divorced his neurotic wife, Judith and lost his home, leaving them no choice but to move in with Charlie...

Two and a Half Men is an American sitcom that started in 2003 and is currently (as of April 2009) in its sixth season. However, in March 2009, CBS the show was given the green light for an additional three seasons which means it should eventually run for at least a total of nine seasons.

The basic premise is fairly straightforward. Charlie Harper is a wealthy man who lives in a gorgeous apartment on the seafront. His brother, Alan, is a chiropractor who has very little money - as most of it goes to his ex-wife in alimony payments - and ends up living rent free in Charlie's large property. Jake, Alan's son, spends his time living between his mother's house and in his own room at Charlie's. Charlie and Alan are very different. While Charlie is a womaniser and likes to live life to the full, Alan is awkward around the opposite sex and is very boring in his outlook on life. Jake is a good kid who likes his food, but isn't academically gifted.

The titles of the episodes mean very little, being obscure lines that one of the cast has uttered in that episode. Highlights in Season Five include:

'Media Room Slash Dungeon' - Charlie pretends it's Jake's birthday in order to blow out a date and winds up having to accompany his mother, Evelyn, to the opera. This is the start of a beautiful new friendship as he and Evelyn get on better than they have in the past. This results in Alan getting jealous as Charlie and Evelyn start to do more activities together.

'City of Great Racks' - Charlie has started to date a judge, but everywhere he goes he thinks he keeps seeing Rose. Is the mad stalker back, or is Charlie just starting to realise how much he misses her?

'The Leather Gear is in the Guest Room' - Charlie is starting to get irritated by the fact that his house is no longer his. When Alan buys a cheap bowl for the living room the two brothers fight and Alan and Jake decide to move out and move in with Evelyn.

'Is There a Mrs. Waffles?' - Charlie finds fame by writing children's songs and singing them under the name of Charlie Waffles. This he uses to pick up young single mums. But when he has to perform at a sell out concert he has to face his biggest fear - stage fright. This episode is noteworthy for the ridiculous titles of Charlie's songs, which include: 'Bye Bye Boobies', 'Grandma May Smell Funny' and 'When Mummy and Daddy Wrestle'.

'Fish in a Drawer' - CSI spoof written by the CSI writers in which Evelyn and Teddy's wedding day is ruined when Teddy is found dead and it looks like he was in the middle of performing a sexual act with another woman. The police are called in to interrogate the family. This episode stars George Eads (who plays Nick Stokes in CSI) briefly as a guest at the wedding. It also has the funniest line of the series, as Charlie points out that the Marg Helgenberger look-a-like police officer has a very distracting top.

Extras include Two and a Half Men at 100 (5 min, 21 sec look at the 100th episode); The Lore of Chuck Lorre: Must Pause TV (4 min, 56 sec look at vanity cards that appear at the end of each episode - each of which has something of interest for fans of the show); Two and a Half Men: Dying is Easy, Comedy is Hard (10 min, 25 sec look at the background to the CSI and Two and a Half Men experiment where the writing staff for both shows switched for one episode. The CSI writers penned the episode 'Fish in a Drawer' on this release, while the Two and a Half Men writers wrote the 'Two and a Half Deaths' episode of CSI); and CSI Episode Two and a Half Deaths (40 min, 21 sec CSI episode that the Two and a Half Men writers penned).

Another strong collection of episodes that make the fifth season of Two and a Half Men well worth picking up.


Nick Smithson

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