SPOILER ALERT: If you’re old enough to read this and don’t want to know now what happens on tonight’s series finale of Two And A Half Men, do not continue to read. Otherwise you’re entering a No Victimhood Zone.
Chuck Lorre gave viewers exactly what they wanted for the series finale of Two And A Half Men tonight — two hours being teased as to whether Charlie Sheen would be back. In the end, someone who looked like Sheen, but was not, was seen from behind standing outside the door to his Malibu beach house. A baby grand piano falls from the sky — it was being delivered to the house by helicopter. Camera cuts back to Lorre sitting in a chair, watching the scene; he turns his head around and faces the camera. “Winning” Lorre smirks, as another baby grand falls, crushing him.
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“I know a lot of you might be disappointed that you didn’t get to see Charlie Sheen in tonight’s finale,” Lorre wrote on tonight’s vanity card. “For the record he was offered a role. Our idea was to have him walk up to the front door in the last scene, ring the doorbell, then turn, look directly into the camera and go off on a maniacal rant about the dangers of drug abuse. He would then explain that these dangers only apply to average people. That he was far from average. He was a ninja warrior from Mars. He was invincible.
“And then we would drop a piano on him.
“We thought it was funny.
“Instead, he wanted us to write a heart-warming scene that would set up his return to primetime TV in a new sitcom called The Harpers starring him and Jon Cryer. We thought that was funny too.”
Oh, and Angus T. Jones returned to the series finale tonight — which was funny too, because the actor had left the show right around the time he started publicly begging people not to watch this “filth” anymore.
Sheen was famously fired from Men after several humdinger rants against Lorre — like how he’d spent the past decade turning Lorre’s “tins cans” into “gold” — as well as Warner Bros. and CBS, when the show didn’t resume production after Sheen’s stint in rehab. Sheen filed a lawsuit and settled for a reported seven figures. Ashton Kutcher later replaced him. Sheen’s had a lot to say about that too.
The loss of its star would have killed a lesser show, but Men defied the odds and has continued these past four seasons. Asked whether Sheen could appear on the final season to resurrect Charlie Harper, CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler would go all coy and simper, “Chuck Lorre has a lot of surprises in store; I’m not sure this is one of them.”
More teasing of reporters this past January at TCA Winter Press Tour, when Lorre got asked if Sheen would participate in the series finale. ”We’re going to have a finale you’re going to be very pleased with, and that’s all I’m going to say about it,” Lorre said. But then he thought better of it and answered again: “It would be inappropriate to not acknowledge the extraordinary success we had with Charlie and how grateful I am, we all are, to his contributions. And there’s nothing but great feelings for the 8 1/2 years we worked together. But how to wrap the show up? It’s tricky. … Because in a way, the show morphed into something else entirely for the last four years — and it’s something we love — and we want to honor both. How to honor both is the challenge of this finale.
“The other challenge is how to get people to watch it without telling them what it is,” Lorre joked — which passed for confirmation among the rabid fanboys and girls in the hall.
In December, CBS announced Two And A Half Men would end its 12-season run with a one-hour finale. It was to be preceded by the series debut of The Odd Couple, which got the strongest comedy lead-in on television, The Big Bang Theory.
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