Sunday, March 6, 2011

Charlie Sheen is crazy, but Hollywood is crazier!

Even though Charlie Sheen is obviously going through a major crisis, and he's been expressing some pretty ugly thoughts, there's no denying that he's got a unique and memorable way with words. It's quite impressive in a weird way. It's as if this ordeal has allowed him to tap into his real talent. I think that if he managed to hone and develop it he could be a far better writer than he's ever been as an actor. Really, he should pen a screenplay with Quentin Tarantino!

That makes this whole saga seem even more ridiculous than it is already. The big story has been how his drug habit and crazy impulsiveness have resulted in his hit sitcom Two and a Half Men being shut down. But it's a mediocre show, and he seems to phone in his performances, even though he's paid over a million bucks per episode. You really wonder how he even got the gig in the first place ...

It also seems odd that the producers would want to keep the show going. Surely his meltdown and drug troubles have completely overshadowed it? How could anyone watch it in the same way again? (Although in the end I suppose it's not so much how people watch it; just how many do. And all publicity is good publicity, as they say.)

It just shows how crazy Hollywood is. It's really is all about money, power, marketing and image - not to mention addiction and ego.

UPDATE: It appears that in Australia at least all this bad publicity may have had a deleterious affect on the sitcom's ratings after all:

First-run episodes of Two and a Half Men on Nine are down around half a million viewers compared with a year ago. The show has also collapsed in the 7pm repeat timeslot.

But it's a different story in the US where his bizarre rants have seen ratings rise.

Of course correlation doesn't always imply causation, but it seems likely the ratings drop had something to do with Sheen's meltdown. It is a pretty big plunge.

It also makes sense that it hasn't impacted viewership in the USA - or may have even lifted it. Americans seem to be much more at ease with celebrity culture and are probably so inured to such bizarre behaviour that they just take it in their stride.

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