Most of the episodes of TAAHM this season (that I've bothered to watch) have been pretty light on laughs. That's nothing new. But tonight was an especially joyless, awkward, miserable half hour of television that might well have set out to take a giant crap on every character's legacy. Alan's behavior was just disgusting, milking his heart condition to keep getting the royal treatment. Faking heart attacks. Not to mention the way he played Walden. Alan's always been the typical lovable loser, but season 9 has turned him into a disgraceful human being. A borderline villain. Jon Cryer deserves better.
Speaking of Walden, I haven't written a review for this show since way early in the season, and I just have to say - the Walden/Alan dynamic just takes me out of every single episode. They've known each other for how long and Walden just puts up with Alan's leeching and lets him live in the house free and clear? And for what reason again? Could've sworn I remember Alan being on the board of Walden's company and having his deed on the house too. Ha. No, not buying it, Chuck Lorre. Back to tonight... several aspects of this episode just made me cringe. Berta genuinely caring for Alan. Judith being sweet and making amends. Character assassinations. Never imagined I'd be rooting for Zoey. Too bad there wasn't much of a payoff at the end of the episode, and I doubt there will be.
The .5 is for Jason Alexander, who provided the lone smile of the evening. He reminded me of Dr Hartman from Family Guy. I'll watch the season finale just out of principle, but why the hell is this crap getting a season 10...
EDIT: I should also mention that, despite my distaste for the new era, Ashton Kutcher is NOT the problem. He's doing a fine job, especially given what he has to work with. But there's the problem; Walden Schmidt has to be one of the most ill-conceived characters in scripted television history. I didn't understand it at the time, and I sure as hell don't understand now what they ever intended to accomplish with this character. Sure, making Kutcher a long-lost son of Charlie's would've been cliche and a little cheesy, but it would have kept the series going respectfully and not rendered half the cast obsolete. Would also provide a valid, somewhat realistic reason for Alan to be sponging off him.