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"Two and a Half Men" Crossover

By admin Published: May 6, 2008

(It took me a few minutes to realize that's Jamie Rose of "Falcon Crest" fame with Charlie Sheen. She's looking well.)

I expected a better episode (with spoilers) ...

I had some fears about this "CSI"/"Two and a Half Men" writing crossover, simply because shows acquire their own style and it can be difficult to replicate. Also, because I still painfully remember that "St. Elsewhere" episode where the doctors ended up drinking in the "Cheers" bar. Did. Not. Work.

But as I was watching the "Men" written by "CSI" people, I remembered how funny "CSI" can be. Sometimes it's sneaked in, but there's a lot of humor there. Still, there's a difference between sliding in a joke here and there, and building an entire comic piece. You can't just pile jokes, which is what last night's episode did for the most part. You have to create whole structures. The Charlie Waffles infomercials are an example.

In addition, it surprised me that they would use the crossover to get rid of Robert Wagner as Teddy and Jenny McCarthy as Courtney. Not that I wanted to be rid of them at all. Well, McCarthy annoyed me. But Wagner was great fun, and I'm sorry he's gone. And while it felt last week that Courtney was scamming Charlie, the whole con-artist payoff wasn't clever enough by half. The regular writers could have done better.

Interesting, too, that Conchata Ferrell as Berta had a lot more to do than usual in this episode. Hey, if I was writing this show, I would write her lots of scenes. She's a terrific, long acclaimed actress. (Go and see what she does with just a scene in "Network.") But in the context of "Men," Berta works best as a stealth joker, moving in, making her remark and moving on. This episode overused her.

But I did like some lines. And using Jake for the "CSI"-like internal organs journeys was a good touch. But overall this was still a stunt, and stunts are risky business for TV shows. Now we'll have to see how the "Men" writers do with "CSI."

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