Although it took time to except, the old Two and a half men we knew of the Charlie era is officially over, but is this really a bad thing?
Suddenly Charlie is wiped off the show completely and the worst possible time and Walden Schmidt is written in. Of course as a long term fan I am hesitant to this 'new guy' and want to hate him. But I have to say Aston Kutcher does a pretty damn good job and he is almost impossible not to like. After the first episode I am satisfied Two and a Half Men is as good as it was. Unfortunately a few episodes in a start to not enjoy it so much, the characters are there, the jokes are there but there is just no spark. Charlie's character was a great screen presence because he was not nice, but very loveable; he was sleazy, but let's be honest it's a pretty sleazy show.
Now we have Walden Schmidt, an incredibly nice, warm, likeable character, and these new characters that come with him. By the end of the series he's established a family of which the mum and the daughter are very likeable characters. But watching the second to last episode I realised something terrible had happened, slowly and subtly throughout the season, Alan had become the new Charlie. And I don't mean that episode where he goes insane and they lock him up I mean Alan had become the bad guy after so many years of being the good brother.
The joke was Alan was going to stay with Charlie forever, much to Charlie's annoyance but all the while secretly knowing he can't live without him. But this worked, he could be a sponge to his brother, but now he's just the sponge to some guy. He has almost lost all of his likeability due to his cheapness and selfishness that the only time we could ever see the good in him was when he was being a father to the less and less prominent and more and more stoned Jake. It was that 'good father' aspect of the character that gave him meaning for all his cheap, sponginess (a credit to Jon Cryer's excellent ability to play the realistic struggling single parent). But now Jake's joined the army, sad but necessary, and you take away the kid, what is he now? What is the point of Alan Harper?
So it is still funny, it does still have its jokes and is still likeable. But it's too likeable, the sleaze is long gone and the characters that came with the sleaze are slowly fading. But, Alan's still gripping on to that guest room by his fingertips; he won't go without a fight.