Not willing to quietly end its twelve-season chokehold on CBS, Two and a Half Men has devised a fake gay marriage plot line that will either be really dumb or have the serious potential for outrage. Or, you know, both.
CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler revealed at the Television Critics Association press tour that the show's final season will find Ashton Kutcher's character Walden marrying Jon Cryer's Alan in order to adopt a child as a gay couple. "He wants to find a way to add more meaning to his life, so he decides he wants to adopt a child and in doing so, he starts the process and realizes that it's very difficult to adopt a child as a single, straight man," she explained, per The Hollywood Reporter. "So once and for all he decides, 'I'm going to propose to Alan and we're going to get married and adopt a child as a gay couple." Yes, in 2014 some people still find the idea of two straight men marrying hilarious. TV writer Danielle Turchiano tweeted: "I'm offended already."
Tassler wasn't concerned about the LGBT community's reaction. She reportedly said that she thinks it's a "very positive statement that, you know what, I am going to adopt a child as [part of] a gay couple and the reality is, he can do that." GLAAD, for its part, told THR that they "hope the show will acknowledge not only the progress made in acceptance of gay and lesbian couples, but also the fact that — in many areas of the country — same-sex couples are often under greater scrutiny or still barred from adoption options that straight couples have."
Though this all sounds like it has the potential to be at the very least frustrating, Two and a Half Men has, perhaps surprisingly, received praise for the treatment of one of its LGBT story lines. Last season the show introduced Jenny, the lesbian daughter of Charlie Sheen's killed-off character Charlie Harper. Writing for Slate, June Thomas expressed amazement at the fact that Jenny "has become one of the most interesting lesbians on television. She’s clearly a serious alcoholic with major intimacy issues, but on a show that has always been crass, creepy, and frequently misogynistic, the fact that she has any finer feelings whatsoever means she’s halfway to sainthood."
Unfortunately, the fake gay marriage plot simply sounds like an antiquated gag that has already been done before.
TWO AND A HALF MEN won't even be the first dying sitcom to try and save itself with a sham gay marriage http://t.co/qoqMZOESuS— Jaime J. Weinman (@weinmanj) July 17, 2014