You may be of the opinion that Two and a Half Men will sink without Charlie Sheen. Or, perhaps you believe the series will improve or at the very least maintain its entertainment value with Sheen out and Kutcher in. Regardless, the show is going on and there are some rumors about the season premiere that appear to be more or less confirmed.
Deadline describes the ninth season premiere of CBS’ Two and a Half Men as “shrouded-in-secrecy,” but either they’re being sarcastic or the shroud is pretty flimsy because the site goes on to post details about the premiere, including confirming the rumor that Charlie Sheen’s character Charlie Harper will be killed off, or rather, that he’ll be dead when Season 9 picks up this September.
According to the site, Charlie Harper’s funeral will be featured in the premiere, with past girlfriends returning for the occasion. Prospective buyers will show up at some point in the hopes of buying the house. Not unlike what The Office did in bringing in big-name actors as possible candidates to replace Michael Scott (Steve Carell), the potential home buyers will be played by celebrities, some of which are from Lorre's other series. Deadline doesn’t specify which ones, however Lorre’s recent TV credits include Mike & Molly and The Big Bang Theory. If they’re digging deeper into the well, this could also include cast members from Grace Under Fire, and Cybill. Going even more old-school, Lorre’s also written for My Two Dads, Charles in Charge and Roseanne. Ashton Kutcher will be among the people hoping to buy the house.
I’m of the mindset that it’s the writers’/creator’s prerogative as far as what’s done with the characters and the story in their show. They’re certainly not creatively obligated to make decisions based on what fans want. Obviously, pleasing the fans is likely to be a goal, but in the end, this is their work. If I thought that Lorre envisioned Charlie Harper being killed at some point in the series as part of the over-all plot of the show, I’d probably be intrigued rather than skeptical here. However, if this were a show I watched and invested the time to stick with for eight seasons, I think I’d feel cheated to have the lead character killed as the result of off-screen controversy.
This isn’t the first time a show’s direction has been adjusted or changed drastically due to behind-the-scenes drama and it won’t be the last. (See: Grey’s Anatomy for numerous examples of cast-members being killed/written off the show due to alleged off-screen issues). Sheen is gone and that’s something fans will have to accept, but I hope for their sake, this season premiere, which may be set up as a two-parter, gives Charlie Harper’s story some decent, funny closure as opposed to just being an excuse to bash the character (and by proxy the actor) in an attempt to get the last laugh. Either way, as I'm much more of a spectator in this whole ordeal than I am the actual show, I'm interested to know how fans will react to the season premiere if Deadline's information about Harper's death is correct.