Two and a Half Men’s Adoption Arc: A Surprisingly Thoughtful Story or a New Low?

My post today is a way to direct your attention at something that is happening with the final season of Two and a Half Men. Two and a Half Men, for the most part, is a pretty raunchy show following raunchy people. It peddles cheap laughs with a slew of dirty jokes thrown at the audience at breakneck speeds. If there is any opening for a lowbrow joke, you better believe this show will take it. Originally starring Charlie Sheen as the drunken womanizer Charlie Harper (“HAHAHA KINDA LIKE THE REAL CHARLIE SHEEN HA!”), the show followed how his life was shaken up by the arrival of his deadbeat brother Alan Harper who is played by Jon Cryer. After Sheen was fired (thus ruining the integrity of Two and a Half Men for many viewers by sullying its proud name), Ashton Kutcher came aboard as Walden Schmidt, a tech-company billionaire bachelor. A few sitcom contrivances later, Walden has replaced Charlie as the person Alan is sponging off of as a deadbeat tenant. Now, after a few seasons of being with Alan, Walden decided his life was empty, so he decides to adopt a child. Because he can’t adopt a child as a single man, he needs to find someone he can marry quickly (and due to his unbelievably terrible experience with women), he has chosen to marry Alan who he can trust. This is where things get tricky.

The show, which rightly does not take itself seriously at all, has started this odd plotline where Alan and Walden have to pretend to be a married gay couple for him to adopt a child. What’s odd about it is how often it treats the subject with gravity, of course it often goes and undercuts it with some crude gay joke, but still. One minute it brings up legitimate concerns that men in similar situations have to deal with, and the next it expects us to chortle at the gay double entendres Alan constantly spouts. It’s like the show can’t decide whether or not it wants to be sincere about this subject and is flipping back and forth on how to approach it. There are even hints that perhaps Walden and Alan do have legitimate feelings for each other that immediately get slapped aside by a “Haha, that’s gay!” clarification from the characters for the audience. Nonetheless, their feelings may end up being explored at the show’s conclusion and I’d be interested to see how that plays out (they really want to sell you on their bromance). At the same time however, I dread having to sit through watching the final season of one of the biggest and most controversial sitcoms of all time only to be continually disappointed at its inability to define itself.

Two and a Half Men is a gross, raunchy show that is not above virtually any cheap joke it can get its grubby hands on. To see it tackle important issues like adoption and homosexual married couples is jarring to say the least. I won’t lie and say I’m not intrigued by all this, but I can’t help but feel like whatever Two and a Half Men has to say about gay marriage and adoption is not something I want to hear. I don’t know, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. As of now I’d argue that the show would have been better off ending by sticking to what it knows best, but perhaps it’s up to something huge here and I just can’t see it.

Quote of the Day:

Ted: Oh, Barney, I’m never going to meet the right girl and get married.

Barney: You know Ted, don’t you think it’s kinda strange for a guy in his 20s to always be talking about getting married rather than getting laid?

Ted: Barney…. I’m in love with you. 

Barney: Suit up.

– Family Guy

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