Two and a Half Men: S3E6 “Hi, Mr. Horned One” – Peacock Halloween Review

A special request leads me to a great episode of television.

SUMMARY

Womanizer Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) begins dating a woman named Isabella (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) who appears to be a satanist witch, though she never says it directly. When Charlie’s brother Alan (Jon Cryer) mocks her, he starts to find himself cursed. He tries to get Charlie to break up with her, but the sex is apparently amazing, so Charlie refuses. At a party, Isabella has her entire coven sleep with Charlie, who begins to look increasingly gaunt and drained the more he dates Isabella. He also begins to suspect that Isabella is using him to sire the Antichrist. Even Berta (The Late Conchata Ferrell), the Harper’s aggressive housekeeper, is afraid of her. When Isabella tries to get Alan’s son Jake (Angus T. Jones) to contact Satan, the two brothers finally try to confront her. However, she claims that Charlie has entered into a pact and that it will cost him his genitals if he reneges. Charlie is about to give in when his mother, Evelyn (Holland Taylor), dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West, arrives to force Alan, Charlie, and Jake to join her for a costume party. Evelyn apparently knows Isabella, who is absolutely terrified of her and flees. Evelyn then leaves for the party with the three men dressed as her flying monkeys.

When you scare Lex Luthor, you are truly a force to behold.

END SUMMARY

Some of you may think this was an odd choice for a Halloween review, but I have two things to say to that: First, this episode is absolutely hilarious, particularly the quippy dialogue and Charlie Sheen’s reaction shots. Second, my dad loves this show and told me I had to do this episode or I was out of the will. I’m 99% sure he was kidding, but why take the chance? 

If I don’t get the money, I might look like them.

I’ve often said that the fact that an episode was building up to one big punchline should never be considered a negative. One of the most-read reviews on my blog, “The $99,000 Answer,” is entirely dependent on building up a single, absolutely insane moment of hilarity. Unlike that episode, which always focused on the characters who were going to be the butt of the joke, this one actually plays up the joke in the background while we watch a completely different storyline. At one point, we see Evelyn calling Charlie for a favor, which he rejects. We also see Alan finishing a phone call where he tells his mother that he still isn’t on board with her “Wizard of Oz” theme, but not much more is made out of it. This means that Evelyn’s appearance as the Deus Ex Machina that saves the boys at the end of the episode isn’t coming out of nowhere, but also was left just ambiguous enough to be absolutely hilarious when it happens. The fact that Evelyn is the only person that is scary enough to not just threaten but absolutely terrify a supposedly real witch is just delicious.

They might actually be flying later.

The rest of the episode mostly just works because it’s Charlie and Alan, an average odd-couple pair, dealing with what might be, but is never confirmed to be, the supernatural. It’s like Abbott and Costello meeting Frankenstein, it’s just going to be funny to see the juxtaposition. Add in a bunch of dirty jokes and some fun dialogue about curses and various subcultures and the episode actually goes by pretty quickly because you’re laughing the whole time. The title is a reference to Jake’s attempt to talk to Satan which quickly bores him when he finds out he doesn’t get wishes. 

Charlie also scores with a coven.

Overall, this is a solid Halloween episode that really stands out in the show’s history. Even if you didn’t like Two and a Half Men, this one was pretty great.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.

Mini-Review: Crisis on Infinite Earths – DC Tries to Answer Endgame

DC combines all of its current television shows, most of its prior ones, and many of its movies into one giant crossover that… was pretty awesome.

SUMMARY 

It’s literally impossible to summarize this in a reasonable amount of time. Let’s just say there are a lot of Earths (probably not an actual infinite number) which are being destroyed. All of the headlining heroes from the shows join forces to come up with a convoluted scheme to stop the destruction of the multiverse. The series features Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), Martian Manhunter (David Harewood), Green Arrow (Stephen “Dem Abs” Amell), Superman (Tyler Hoechlin and Brandon Routh), The Atom (Osric Chau and Brandon Routh), Batwoman (Ruby Rose), The Flash (Grant Gustin, John Wesley Shipp, and Ezra Miller), John Constantine (Matt Ryan), Black Lightning (Cress Williams), Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer), and so many more I’m really going to get lost. This is without getting into all of the cameos from actors who have been in old media, like Burt Ward, Tom Welling, and Kevin Conroy. Many of the actors play multiple roles.

Image result for crisis on infinite earths
So. Many. Characters.

END SUMMARY

The original Crisis on Infinite Earths comic book was one of the most influential events in the industry. The multiverse had been DC Comics mechanism for explaining away bad or inconsistent writing or characters for a long time, but relying on it had gotten too difficult, since it meant that there was basically no official continuity for anything. When the Crisis happened, DC not only killed off the multiverse, but hundreds of characters, ranging from minor characters like Huntress to major characters like Supergirl and the Flash. It was one of the most successful comic book series ever released at the time and is used as a benchmark when discussing comic book continuity. It’s kind of a big deal, is what I’m saying.

Image result for crisis on infinite earths comic
This image has been copied so many times by other people.

The reason why the comic Crisis on Infinite Earths worked is because all of the characters were well-established. No time was really needed to give backstory to Superman or The Flash because everyone knew who they were so well that we already had emotional investment in them. The reason the Justice League movie didn’t work was for the exact opposite reason: Nobody really knew or had any connections to any of the characters since only three of them had been in anything prior and only one of those movies was memorable in a good way. Also, Superman was dead for most of the movie, so that emotional connection was essentially cut. Now, you can replace emotional connections with spectacle, like Commando or The Expendables, but it’s better to have both. That’s what Avengers: Endgame did so well, spending the first two acts on emotional scenes and character moments, then spending the last act giving us the spectacle that we finally wanted. 

Image result for justice league film
Couldn’t even get seven members, the number that almost always forms the JLA.

This crossover actually mostly did it right.

First, almost all of the characters were well established. Yes, you might not have liked all of the series equally, but, by mixing-and-matching team-ups, almost every scene had something in it that you had a history with. Even more than that, by referencing all of the older shows and films that they’ve made, mostly just to have the characters we remember from them die tragically, the series was able to raise the stakes of the entire event while cashing in on nostalgia.

Image result for crisis on infinite earths cameos
Not that Robert Wuhl’s character in Batman was beloved, but it was a nice touch.

 

Second, the plot, while it does have a lot of fetch quests and convoluted elements in it, is pretty straightforward: Stop the bad guy. The thing is that the Anti-Monitor, the villain, doesn’t just have one plan to thwart, he has a ton of other plots that also have to be dealt with. The Anti-Monitor is also just too powerful and too above-it-all to really be punched to death by Superman, unlike certain other DC crossover villains, instead requiring actual sacrifices to gain the power to deal with him.

Image result for crisis on infinite earths cameos
Yes, not everyone lives through this.

Third, LEX. FREAKING. LUTHOR. My god, did they make a great decision in giving Jon Cryer this role and my god did they write him correctly. Lex is the single smartest character in existence but, rather than trying to save it, can’t resist using his power to try and kill Superman. Much as how Thanos is the one with the actual character arc in Avengers: Infinity War, Lex is the one with the biggest character arc and the series is all the better for it. 

Image result for crisis on infinite earths jon cryer
This was freaking amazing. You are a treasure, sir.

Are there problems with the series? Oh yeah, it’s still a mess trying to get this many characters to all have their “moments,” but I was genuinely impressed at how well they pulled it off. Since the nature of the entire TV multiverse is changed by the end of it, I’m looking forward to seeing how DC will handle their new continuity.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.