‘Two and a Half Man’ and ‘The Ranch’, both starred Ashton Kutcher, playing two wildly different roles. Which one is better? Let’s find out.
‘Two and a Half Men’ delivered what it promised, a sitcom heavy on crass jokes, misogyny, too much guilty pleasure, and a few emotional moments sprinkled here and there. It’s a sitcom that feels and breathes like a sitcom. ‘The Ranch’ on the other hand, provided a slightly different brand of humour. A comedy-drama, the show was branded as a red-state sitcom and was packaged in the same way as well. Overall, the series gained mostly mixed reviews and while people did praise ‘The Ranch’ for its inclusivity, it was criticized for carrying a quite cliché plotline that failed at making the audience fully appreciate its humour.
- ‘Two and a Half Men’ review
- ‘The Ranch’ review
- ‘Two and a Half Men’ vs ‘The Ranch’: Two different brands of humour
However, one common link between the two comedies is Ashton Kutcher, who entered ‘Two and a Half Men’ after its enigmatic lead Charlie Sheen left and he also has been the lead actor in ‘The Ranch’ since the series’ premiere. We’ll take a keen look at the two comedies and decide which one is better. It’s ‘Two and a Half Men’ vs ‘The Ranch’ everybody! Sit tight!
‘Two and Half Men’ began airing in 2003 and, right away, it left a mark on American television. Some people criticized it, some people hailed it for being politically incorrect, unlike most of the sitcoms that Americans were being presented with. The sitcom followed the story of three titular characters – Charlie, Alan, and Alan’s son Jake – as they go about their daily lives, living together, affecting each other in many ways. With Charlie being the most charming and rich of them all, he bullies his younger brother Alan and his son and this is where most of the humour spills out. Charlie’s flamboyance, contrasting Alan’s awkwardness, is what forms the basic premise for the show’s writers to write their best jokes on. The show did enter some creepy and misogynistic jokes trajectories once or twice per episode, but the show’s ardent fans did not care and the sitcom became a massive success.
But what, somehow, worked in the show’s favour is Charlie Sheen, portraying Charlie Harper. He was the anchor that held the show’s success for many seasons, until season 8. When he left and Ashton Kutcher was introduced, playing a new character as Alan’s friend, it did not work. Ashton Kutcher, however, earned a chance in 2016 to have his own comedy to exhibit his skills with ‘The Ranch’.
‘The Ranch’ review
‘The Ranch’ premiered in 2016 and talked about the family of Bennetts, who owns a ranch in a fictional town of Colorado. The family has the father Beau Roosevelt Bennett, the sons Colt and Rooster Bennett, and the mother Maggie Bennett. The comedy-drama revolved around their lives as the sons help their father run the ranch while their estranged mother runs a bar. Colt, played by Ashton, happens to be our leading man here. He has just returned to the small town to help his injured father. He was a star footballer in college and wanted to pursue a football career. But, instead, he becomes the butt of jokes throughout the first few seasons.
Ashton’s boyish charm, that we had previously seen in ‘That ‘70s Show’ and ‘Two and a Half Men’, is the soul of the series. While the series also feeds on ‘That ‘70s Show’ nostalgia by adding a few cast-members to ‘The Ranch’, the comedy series does fall a little short of proving wholesome entertainment to the audience.
The core difference between the two comedy giants
What worked against ‘The Ranch’ as far as comedies are concerned is that it took itself way too seriously. While ‘Two and a Half Men’ was self-aware of being silly, ‘The Ranch’ becomes a heavy drama in the later seasons. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. There are all kinds of people looking for all sorts of contents to consume. If we have to use another sitcom-rivalry as an analogy, ‘The Ranch’ is ‘How I Met Your Mother’ while ‘Two and a Half Men’ is ‘Friends’. There, you have a final word!
It’s just a matter of individual taste though, really!
Write in the comments below which brand of humour do you relate the most to, and why?