After getting off to a very strong start with its first season, Charlie Sheen’s latest vehicle Anger Management was renewed for an optimistic 90 episodes. Unfortunately for the show its rating dropped massively when it returned for a second season and more recently Selma Blair was dismissed from the show allegedly for complaining about how difficult Sheen was to work with. Regardless the show has maintained a low but loyal fanbase and the first 22 episodes of the second season have been released as Anger Management: Volume Two.
Anger Management: Volume Two sees Sheen return as Charlie Goodson, the leader of an anger management group, who is trying to juggle his work life with his ex-wife Jen (Shawnee Smith), his daughter Sam (Daniela Bobadilla) and his on/off lover and therapist Kate (Selma Blair). Whilst the first season was launched off the back of Sheen’s bizarre public behaviour following his dismissal from Two and a Half Men, the second season doesn’t have quite the same launching platform. The first 22 episodes from the season actually see the show settling down into more of a routine with better storylines, some great guest stars and tighter comedy elements.
Over the course of the 22 episodes we see the balance between Charlie’s anger management group and home life. Charlie’s patients remain one of the best things about the show with spoilt rich girl Lacey (Noureen DeWulf) and sarcastic gay Patrick (Michael Arden) our favourites. Lacey in particular gets more to do throughout these epsiodes giving DeWulf plenty of opportunity to showcase her comedic talents. In terms of Charlie’s homelife he’s juggling his on/off relationship with Kate whilst trying to keep it secret from ex-wife Jen. Of course Charlie has a string of other women throughout the episodes including Lori (Denise Richards) and his daughter’s teacher (Danielle Bisutti).
The best episode here is Charlie Gets Lindsay Lohan in Trouble where the troubled starlet appears and takes the mickey out of herself. In the episode Lohan hires Charlie to be her anger management therapist and quickly falls into bed with him. We must give credit to Lohan for poking a lot of fun at her public image and legal troubles. Other highlights include Charlie’s Dad Starts to Lose It where Martin (Michael Sheen) fakes a serious illness to get Charlie’s attention, Charlie & Catholicism where Martin and Charlie butt heads over Sam being baptised, and Charlie Breaks Up With Kate where Brian Austin Green reprises his role as Jen’s boyfriend Sean and clashes, of course, with Charlie.
One slightly odd thing about this release is that the running order of the episodes is slightly different to when it was actually transmitted. Whilst it doesn’t cause any problems in terms of continuity it’s just a bit annoying for the more anal among us. The two episodes that were aired on FOX in the US to boost the show’s ratings are missing too. We like our TV DVD releases to be in the same order as they were shown in the first place. There are no extras on the DVD release either which is a bit disappointing as we’d expect a lot of gag reel footage and deleted scenes.
Anger Management: Volume Two is actually much better than the show’s first season. The show has found its feet and the comedy is much more consistent. Regardless of Charlie Sheen’s behaviour in real-life he makes a good sitcom star and Anger Management uses his talents well. It’s going to be interesting to see how much longer the show goes on for but we’re going to enjoy it whilst it lasts. We have to say though we are going to miss Selma Blair and it’s a real shame that her fallout with Sheen resulted in her being quickly written out of the show.