Beloit, Wis., ‘winning’ on new Charlie Sheen series ‘Anger Management’

By Brandon Reid
Assistant Editor

Beloit, Wis., has a little “tiger blood” running through it following the June 28 premiere of Charlie Sheen’s new sitcom, Anger Management, on FX.

In the second episode, run as part two of a two-part premiere, Sheen’s character, anger management therapist Dr. Charlie Goodson, is visited by a homely woman he had a one-night stand with while he was a minor league baseball player.

The homely woman, Mel, played by Kerri Kenney, arrived at Goodson’s anger management group to discuss anger stemming from a one-night stand with a visiting minor league baseball player in Beloit, Wis., years earlier. Turns out the ballplayer was Goodson.

The encounter, which supposedly began at a Beloit, Wis., diner after Goodson spotted Mel in a pie-eating contest, originally inspired Mel, who was supposedly quite unattractive at the time. However, the inspiration quickly wore off and turned to anger when Mel discovered she had been used by Goodson as a “slumpbuster” — a one-night stand with an ugly woman meant to break a hitting slump on the field.

Anger Management is based on the 2003 movie of the same name with Sheen in the role played by Jack Nicholson. However, Sheen’s Goodson lacks the zaniness brought by Nicholson’s Dr. Buddy Rydell. Instead, Goodson is typical Sheen — a divorced, womanizing father with a problem, which, in this case, is anger.

The series co-stars Selma Blair as Goodson’s therapist and love interest, Dr. Kate Wales; Shawnee Smith as Goodson’s ex-wife, Jennifer Goodson; and Daniela Bobadilla as Goodson’s teen-age daughter, Sam Goodson.

Brett Butler, best known for playing the title role in the comedy series Grace Under Fire; Michael Boatman, Sheen’s former co-star on Spin City; and Barry Corbin have recurring roles on the series.

Denise Richards, Kerri Kenney-Silver and Brian Austin Green are all slated as guest stars.

The first two episodes of the series drew the night’s largest cable crowds — 2.3 million adults ages 18-49 tuned in for the second part of the premiere, while 2.1 million tuned in for the first part.

The Wall Street Journal’s Nancy DeWolf Smith said the series was “usually funny, often clever.” She added, “The accomplishment here is that tight writing and editing, a solid cast with good timing and Mr. Sheen’s chops as the ne plus ultra of sitcom performers, make the whole thing feel, if not entirely fresh — then crisp.”

Anger Management airs Thursdays on FX (check local listings). The network offers Sheen’s Two and a Half Men reruns prior to the show, and Anger Management leads in to FX’s Wilfred, starring Elijah Wood, followed by Louie and Brand X with Russell Brand.

From the July 4-10, 2012, issue

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