I used to love Chuck Lorre shows.
I loved them back in the days of the first few seasons of Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory and even the beginning of Mike & Molly.
But now? Not so much. But let me break this down by series.
Two and a Half Men
Let me preface this by saying I don’t care what happens behind the curtains. I never did. Not with this show, not with others. What I care about is what happens on the screen.
TaaHM used to be funny. Back in the days when Jake was still a cute kid, back when Charlie wrote things like the Oshikuru theme song, back then when Alan had no success with women.
Long before Angus T. Jones grew up and pulled a sort-of Kirk Cameron, Jake was used less and less and had to endure the fate of many a sitcom character: His character traits were exaggerated until (in his case) he was basically too dumb to live. Does anyone remember that cool kid from the Pilot who out-bluffed grown men at the poker table?
Charlie (the on-screen character) didn’t change all that much over the season until he was killed off-screen.
And Alan? I found Alan never that funny to begin with but his ability too mooch and his inabilty to find a decent job (has he been working at all in the past two seasons?) have just stretched way beyond the breaking point.
All in all, I’m going to cancel TaaHM for myself at the end of the season.
The Big Bang Theory
I really loved TBBT in the beginning. Leonard’s social awareness that what they do most of the time looks awkward from the eyes of the “normal” people, Sheldon’s total lack of any kind of social awareness, Penny as the guide to the “real world”.
And it worked! The ditched Mars rover, the exploding space toilet, the DNA of Leonard Nimoy(!!!), Penny raising her shields.
Now? It’s basically turned into your average relationship show and they don’t know what to do with half of their characters.
Howard married Bernadette and they’ve turned into your regular married couple. Which is great for them, but it doesn’t really make for good and/or funny TV.
The character with which they don’t know what to do at all is Raj. Either he doesn’t really get involved in the other’s storylines or when he gets one of his own (which is rare) it’s not really good. They also can’t seem to decide whether he is gay or not. They can’t even decide to make him officially bi-curious. He’s just there, contributing little to the overall story and comedy.
But the character who has fared worst is Penny. Penny started out as a wannabe actress who temporarily worked as a waitress and always chose the bad boys as her boyfriends which naturally ended with her getting hurt.
Six years later she is basically a failed actress. In all this time we have seen her exactly one time on stage and while she was good, apparently no producer or casting director has ever noticed her. And she’s still working as a waitress.
Worse: She’s yet another Chuck Lorre character who can’t seem to get their hands off a glass with alcohol. Penny has basically become an alcoholic right in front of our eyes, except none of the other characters seem to care or worry.
And that’s my biggest beef with all CL shows. Everyone seems to constantly either drink or be drunk on his shows. And it’s annoying. They’re like some real-life people who think life can only be enjoyed when you’re not sober.
Just compare Penny to Rachel Green from Friends. Rachel had even less ambition than Penny at the beginning. She had no life goal except getting married. Then she started in the Central Perk café, started to work in fashion and made something out of her in the first six seasons of the show.
Mike & Molly
I knew none of the actors before this show started. I met Melissa McCarthy retroactively when I started to watch Gilmore Girls.
But I enjoyed the two main characters, the beginning of their relationship and the obstacles they had to overcome. I also like most of the supporting cast – at least on Mike’s side. His partner, the Diner guy, his mom – all good characters for a sitcom.
On Molly’s side? Her sister is a stoner with not much of a brain (or so she is portrayed) and her mom is also constantly holding a wine glass (which she drinks with the sister).
But for the first three seasons it was quite enjoyable. Then someone made the mistake of watching Melissa’s summer comedy movies (or so it would seem). And then they’ve decided to make Melissa’s physical comedy a major part of the fourth season.
The problem with that: Her character wasn’t originally designed for that and it also takes away a lot of the charm the show had. Now it’s just a run-of-the-mill slapstick show where the viewer is supposed to laugh because someone ran into an open door.
When are we, 1935?
I’ve dropped the show already during the current season.
A sober alcoholic grandmother, a sober alcoholic mother and a pregnant teenage daughter.
I really tried to give it a chance but it just wasn’t for me.
Also cancelled (for me).