"Jake from 'Two and a Half Men,' means nothing. He is a non-existent character. If you watch 'Two and a Half Men,' please stop watching 'Two and a Half Men.' I'm on 'Two and a Half Men,' and I don't want to be on it. Please stop watching it, please stop filling your head with filth."
That is well-paid teenager Angus T. Jones, discussing his newfound faith in God, as well as a black man called the Forerunner. Jones is the star of... oh, what's the name of that show? If only he had mentioned it in his spiel. I'm pretty sure it's a popular sitcom on CBS. It has 'two' in the title, I think. Lots of sex jokes, very little character developments, just a joke-a-second format. Oh, what's the name of it? 2 Broke Girls! That's it. Man, it was on the tip of my tongue.
What is it about Two and a Half Men that has attracted such incredibly controversial figures? It began with Charlie Sheen roughly two years ago, after he broke down and went on about tiger blood, adonis DNA and other memorable gems. How amazing is it that his non-sensical tirades led to a non-sensical disaster of a live tour? There was actually a time when Charlie Sheen was on a live tour!
Then Ashton Kutcher replaced Sheen, which in itself was controversial. Then he went through a very public and very predictable divorce with Demi Moore. Then they go and hire Miley Cyrus for a recurring role. Let's not get started on Miley. But who knew Jon Cryer would be the only controversy-free cast member of Two and a Half Men? Oh yeah, everybody.
But is Angus T. Jones wrong in his assessment of Two and a Half Men? If there is one word to describe the veteran sitcom, it's filthy. And the sad part is that Two and a Half Men is not the only series to feature added dirty content of late. 2 Broke Girls especially features more dirty jokes than an old Irish pub. I don't even know if that makes sense, but it sounds right in my head.
And it's only getting dirtier.
2 Broke Girls honestly features more sex jokes than any show on HBO or Showtime. And the envelope-pushing is non-existent: the envelope is gone. Jokes about masturbation, orgasms, intercourse, oral sex, anal sex and everything in between (if there's anything else in between) are made in every single episode. I can't imagine the old women that routinely tune in to CBS hoping for a Touched by an Angel reunion special watching 2 Broke Girls and not praying the devil away 24/7. Heck, imagine those that were outraged in the 1950s when Lucy became the first pregnant woman featured on television. Heads would be spinning today.
At one time, it was Oleg's (Jonathan Kite) domain to sexualize everything. Now everyone's in on the dirty business. But does it benefit 2 Broke Girls or Two and a Half Men to feature such prominent vulgar material?
I can't speak on Two and a Half Men. Honestly, I can't believe it's in its tenth season. I did view the first of Miley Cyrus's appearances on the veteran sitcom, and came away thinking that she should have her own sitcom, something north of Hannah Montana, but not quite as adult as Men. But 2 Broke Girls is regular viewing for me, and it's becoming a little tedious to sift through the vast sea of sex humor.
Now I am far from a prude. I watch HBO. I've listened to Howard Stern. But there's something 2 Broke Girls has that they seem to forget about: good writing. In its first season, the show was genuinely funny without repeated jokes about self-pleasure. Sure there were a few jokes here and there, but now I feel I'm drowning in them. The heart of the show has and always will be Max (Kat Dennings) and Caroline (Beth Behrs), as Max tries to fulfill her cupcake dreams and Caroline tries to shed her rich-girl image.
The writers were even able to make something sweet out of the support they receive from co-workers Oleg, Han (Matthew Moy, in an increasingly-improved stereotypical role) and Earl (Garrett Morris). Even last season's dead weight, Sophie (an over-the-top Jennifer Coolidge... though when does she ever play normal), has come into her own after almost derailing the show last year.
So I just don't understand why they feel they need to rely on dirty jokes. The dirty jokes used to be the appetizers or the desert. Now they're the appetizers, the main course, the desert, the drinks, the midnight snack and next morning's breakfast. Dennings and Behrs work too well together. Their chemistry is unmatched for two female leads on television. They're fun to watch together. And last season's one-note supporting players are still one-note, but they're a part of it now. I've come to accept them, for their assets and their flaws. But I can't get into repeated jokes about dicks, balls, vaginas, breasts and everything in between (if there's anything else in between) on a show too good for that crutch.
So while the world quietly ignores Angus T. Jones for being another in a long line of troubled teen stars, one has to agree that Two and a Half Men and, though unnamed by Jones, 2 Broke Girls, are filth. That's not the death knell Jones describes, not at all. I can tolerate filth. But with network standards lessening, these shows need to remember three little words: less is more. And somehow, Oleg would take that as a cue to get naked.
Oh that Oleg.
Until next time, stay tuned.