Charlie Sheen returned to the spotlight Thursday with the premiere of his new FX sitcom Anger Management. And while many will be waiting Friday to see how his much-hyped project fared in the ratings, it's clear that Sheen is much more concerned with how Anger Management fares with the public. But is the series really Sheen's great acting swan song or just a ploy to remake his tarnished image? We look at the evidence presented in the series premiere:
Exhibit A: His Daughter
On Two and a Half Men, steadfast bachelor Charlie Harper rarely missed an opportunity to tease or belittle his lazy, not-so-bright nephew Jake. On Anger Management, Charlie Goodson -- his name even has the word "good" in it! -- will stop at nothing to protect his teenage daughter, Sam (Daniela Bobadilla). When he sees her OCD symptoms start to surface, he drops everything, including his anger management patients, to ask her what's wrong. Charlie's own anger management only resurfaces when he learns his ex-wife's new boyfriend (Brian Austin Green) told his daughter that college was worthless. The lesson here? It's OK to attempt to throw a lamp at someone's head... if that someone is holding your child back from reaching her potential!
Exhibit B: His Womanizing Neighbor
Charlie Harper's Malibu mansion got more foot traffic than an outlet mall on the Fourth of July thanks to his skills with the ladies. Charlie Goodson might be a former ballplayer on Anger Management, but it's his slightly chauvinistic neighbor Mike (old Spin City co-star Michael Boatman) who seems to be playing the field. When a young, attractive female patient runs over Mike's lawn, he exclaims, "I like a fixer-upper," and then says he doesn't understand why he can't date one of his female patients.
Exhibit C: His Best Friend
He may not be a womanizer, but Charlie gets plenty of action... at least at the start of Anger Management. The problem is that he's getting it on with his best friend and respected anger management expert Kate (Selma Blair). The sex is great, Charlie laments, but she's the only one he trusts and he knows he needs to get his anger issues under control. It doesn't hurt Charlie's image either that Kate seems just as not interested in a romance as he is. When Charlie goes to her office to talk about his issues and a study on therapists, the only thing she's interested in studying is... well, you can probably finish that sentence.
Exhibit D: His Job
How do you make a man who once accidentally shot his fiancée in the arm and then allegedly held a knife to the throat of his wife (and mother of his children) look safe? By putting him in a room with a bunch of violent offenders, like a woman who gets revenge against her cheating boyfriend by shooting him in the testicles. Charlie the therapist looks tame in comparison! He's intelligent, sweet and in touch with his sensitive side. That's what we call winning!
What did you think of Anger Management?