Fans think that Charlie Sheen was as integral to Two and a Half Men as Ashton Kutcher was to The Ranch
When CBS announced in 2011 that Charlie Sheen had been fired from Two and a Half Men, fans were not happy. Creator Chuck Lorre eventually announced that Ashton Kutcher was replacing Sheen as the new lead and the series was continued for another four seasons. But Sheen’s departure never really sat well with fans who even though gradually got used to Kutcher, thought that the original feel of the show was missing.
- Sheen as Charlie Harper in Two and a Half Men
- Kutcher as Colt Bennett in The Ranch
- Was replacing Sheen the sensible thing to do?
Eventually Kutcher went on to star in Netflix’s popular sitcom, The Ranch and even served as an executive producer for it. As per fans, Kutcher’s importance to The Ranch was the same as Sheen’s to Two and a Half Men.
Sheen as Charlie Harper in Two and a Half Men
Two and a Half Men revolved around the promiscuous and happy-go-lucky bachelor, Charlie Harper who let his brother, Alan (Jon Cryer) and nephew, Jake (Angus T. Jones) move in with him after his divorce.
Sheen led the show with his charm for 8 popular seasons until 2011 when he had his public meltdown and called show-runner Lorre names while declaring that the sitcom was successful only because of him. He said, “I didn’t care about that vanity card, I went straight home and dispelled that, that was actually one of the few compliments that clown has paid me in frickin’ almost a decade… I’ve spent, I think, close to the last decade, I don’t know, effortlessly and magically converting your tin cans into pure gold. And the gratitude I get is this charlatan chose not to do his job, which is to write.”
This was the time when Sheen gave his infamous “winning” interview in which he announced that he won at whatever he did while others were jealous. His erratic behaviour became the talk of the town and his frequent stints at rehab for his drug and sex addiction made him increasingly unpredictable and unreliable.
Taking all these factors into consideration, the show-runners and CBS decided to fire Sheen, ending season 8 a few episodes short of the original plan, and brought Ashton Kutcher on board.
Kutcher as Colt Bennett on The Ranch
The Ranch followed Cole Bennett (Kutcher), a former football player who found average success and returned to his dysfunctional family living in the fictional ‘Iron River Ranch’ to help out and mend his relationship with them. The series did a remarkable job displaying the struggles of a family working its way through troubles and worries.
Kutcher not only played the protagonist but also served as an executive producer on the show’s panel. The series went on for four seasons and guest starred some of his friends from That ‘70s Show and Two and a Half Men.
The Ranch found success and now holds the record of the longest multi-camera sitcom ever produced by Netflix totalling at 80 episodes by the end of its final season.
Was replacing Sheen the sensible thing to do?
It would be unfair to compare the two as Kutcher never replaced Sheen in his role and instead was introduced as an entirely new character called Walden Schmidt, a tech billionaire. Over time, fans did warm up to warm up to Kutcher, but there was always an underlying feeling that the show wasn’t the same as it before. Even though firing Sheen may not have had the best effect on the popularity of the show, it was important.
Sheen was struggling on the personal front, displaying signs of mental distress, and wasn’t fit to continue with the series. Also, going on programs and berating the creator of the show that brought him so much love wasn’t necessary.
The good thing is that Sheen did eventually get much needed help which was only possible after his removal from the series and has since even expressed his desire to make amends with Lorre.
Have you watched both the sitcoms? What did you think about Sheen’s replacement? Write to us in the comments below.