Let me start “Today in Sheen” with a personal note that I, and I suspect no one else at Variety, has any desire to cover the Charlie Sheen saga or give him exposure any more than needed. To the extent that new developments in the fate of TV’s most-watched sitcom and the role its highest-paid actor plays emerge, we’ll be tracking them. But if the only news becomes examination of “the goddesses” (the focus of Sheen interviews that the ABC and NBC morning shows aired today), we’ll truly, madly, happily to leave that to others. We all dream of giving Sheen a rest today.
Just to wrap up the mostly relevant events of Monday …
In his only public comment since Sheen’s feud with him went radioactive last week, Chuck Lorre posted a vanity card following Monday’s episode of Mike & Molly. Not that it was off topic per se, but it went on its own train of thought to say the least.
I understand that I’m under a lot of pressure to respond to certain statements made about me recently. The following are my uncensored thoughts. I hope this will put an end to any further speculation.
I believe that consciousness creates the illusion of individuation, the false feeling of being separate. In other words, I am aware, ergo I am alone. I further believe that this existential misunderstanding is the prime motivating force for the neurotic compulsion to blot out consciousness. This explains the paradox of our culture, which celebrates the ego while simultaneously promoting its evisceration with drugs and alcohol. It also clarifies our deep-seated fear of monolithic, one-minded systems like communism, religious fundamentalism, zombies and invaders from Mars. Each one is a dark echo of an oceanic state of unifying transcendence from which consciousness must, by nature, flee. The Fall from Grace is, in fact, a Sprint from Grace. Or perhaps more accurately, “Screw Grace, I am so outta here!”
Well, yes, actually.
Meanwhile, just about the time that everyone reached their Sheen quota, Piers Morgan grabbed him for an hourlong interview on CNN on his evening show Monday. Morgan then joined that line of previous interviewers who have made no effort to hide their outright sympathy for Sheen. Put another way, it’s not exactly a good sign when an interviewer begins his session with his controversial subject by saying, “I owed you one.”
Anyway, here are some highlights from that interview, in which Morgan arguably tried to match Sheen, zany for zany:
1) Seconds after Morgan said “I want to get away from the craziness,” Sheen told him that “it’s been a media tsunami and I’ve been riding a mercury surfboard.”
2) Morgan made the point that if Sheen were in a rock band, his behavior would be tolerated – nay, encouraged.
3) Morgan asked Sheen if he felt CBS had a “subliminal plot” to get him off the show. Sheen took a commercial break to think about it, then seemed to think that was even a bit of a reach.
4) Sheen, who has been on the air more than Jerry Lewis at Labor Day, said he thinks people should stop having opinions about him.
5) Sheen said that Mel Gibson called to offer “a friendly voice.”
6) Morgan to Sheen, “You sound alarmingly normal.” OK, here’s my point. It’s fine to say that Sheen might have some points, or that the other side perhaps could have handled things better. When you say that Sheen sounds not only normal but alarmingly so, you’re putting your own credibility on the line.
My final thought for the early morning: I hope the parties settle their dispute, and I think CBS and Warner Bros. should bring in a new actor (or, dare I say, actress) and continue the show. The ratings would diminish, but there’s a pretty big cushion to play with.
My idle thought: Cast Lindsay Lohan in the role of “Charlie,” like a second Darrin from “Bewitched,” and let the good times roll …