It’s often said that if F. Scott Fitzgerald were around today, he’d be forced to admit being wrong about there being no second acts in American lives. Here’s news that says: If F. Scott Fitzgerald were around today, he would probably kill himself again. Charlie Sheen is returning to television.
Variety reported today that Lionsgate has placed Mr. Sheen in a serialized version of the 2003 Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson comedy Anger Management.
The report takes time to note that Mr. Sheen may have trouble finding networks (like TBS, who already went publicly anti-Sheen) or a staff (specifically: a showrunner) to support his endeavor, since he loudly derided Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre after walking off the set of the show, leaving the entire cast hanging.
One showrunner—who, they note, requested anonymity—assessed Mr. Sheen’s chances of working with another seasoned showrunner thusly:
“You couldn’t pay me enough money to touch him with a sterilized 10-foot pole.”
Yet, even with his troubles, Hollywood smells something on Mr. Sheen other than weeks-old fluids, be they bodily or flammable: a hit. And nothing will stand in their way, not even Mr. Sheen’s thorough history of drug use and now, battering a production out of work:
Sheen, of course, is the question mark at the center of “Anger.” His camp has given his new partners assurances that he is physically and mentally ready to return to the rigors of series production but there’s no guarantee he could stay that way in the long term even if he was currently clean. While that could be problematic in terms of insuring Sheen, sources indicate there are alternatives that would allow the actor to sidestep such a hurdle.
Any show that has to find alternatives to their star passing a drug test to insure the entire production is either going to be a spectacular success or a miserable failure, and like Mr. Sheen’s recent exploits off the screen, watchable momentarily before it becomes another entry into the Insane Clown Posseisation of pop culture, wherein creations fetishized for the extent to which they are insipid become legitimately popular and sincerely enjoyed, for which we only have ourselves to blame for pretending to enjoy it in the first place.
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