On what was likely the most-watched episode of Two and a Half Men in history, people tuned in to the season nine premiere for one reason: to meet Ashton Kutcher's Walden Schmidt.
But before we even get there, I want to discuss the star-studded opening, starting with the ex-girlfriend ladden funeral.
From old flames such as Courtney (Jenny McCarthy) and Mia to more recent women like Chelsea and even her friend, Sherri (Jeri Ryan), thy were all there. It was vintage Two and a Half Men humor, right on down to Evelyn trying to sell the house at the funeral.
Back at the house during the second act, we still had the entire supporting cast, including Berta and Evelyn and going right on down to Judith and Herb. And that's before the celebrity buyers came in.
These were quick and cute, from John Stamos and his devil's threesome to a modern day Dharma and Greg talking divorce. The latter was an adorable nod to Lorre's past sitcom and it put a smile on my face.
Really, the show seemed like Jon Cryer and the rest of his supporting cast could have carried things without Sheen. But Chuck Lorre and company, or more likely executives at CBS, did not have faith in their existing cast, so they had to bring on the gimmick that was Mr. Ashton Kutcher.
Enter Walden Schmdt and his hung-like-a-horse tall, good-looking, rich and supposedly smart self. So, was it "Nice to Meet You, Walden Schmidt?"
Clearly, the shows tried to build Walden in with some sympathy by introducing him as a shell of a man after his wife left him. And all it was going to take was a threesome to bring our man back and we would all be built up with him, right?
Well, unfortunately between Kutcher's terrible acting and a horribly written character, it all just felt awkward. Was Walden supposed to be bright like his character and wealth indicated? Because all I saw was the trait that has permeated every character Kutcher has ever played: stupidity. However, unlike his lovable, iconic Kelso, there wasn't even charm. There was just... dumb luck.
I'm giving the show an appropriate 2.5 stars. Not just because of the title, but because it was pretty much half of our maximum rating. But then there had to be a second half.
Obviously, like everyone else, I'll probably give it one more week. Past that, though? 2 Broke Girls seems like much better sitcom filler to me.
Eric Hochberger is the programmer of TV Fanatic, so please forgive his mediocre writing. His programming is far better. Follow him on Twitter and/or email him. Just don't request threaded comments. They're coming.