From film to small screen Part 2: Charlie Sheen’s new series incorporates the best moments from ‘Anger Management’
“Temper is not something you can get rid of by losing it.” That superb line of dialogue was spoken by Academy Award winner Jack Nicholson in the 2003 comedy “Anger Management.”
Nine years later, the quote still rings true today as part of Charlie Sheen’s latest sitcom, “Anger Management.” Sheen takes over from Nicholson as new therapist Dr. Charlie Goodson. But the twist is not only will Sheen play the role of a crazy doctor, but he will discover he still has anger issues of his own (like Adam Sandler’s character in the film) and will head back into therapy himself.
We at CTV.ca have analyzed both the movie and the show, and came up with the top five ways we think the series will revisit the film’s strongest themes (and antics!).
1. Group Therapy
FILM: Remember Nicholson’s therapy group that Sandler is forced to join in order to get out of jail time? The group gathered a gentleman who blacked out his violent rages, a racist who hated other racists and lesbian porn stars who never learned to share (played by a pre-“Mad Men” January Jones and former “Days Of Our Lives” actress Krista Allen).
SERIES: The new series adds two therapy groups for Sheen’s character to monitor. One features a group of random patients (an angry female, a gay man, and a man whose main issue is he has no anger) while the other is a group of inmates who treat Charlie’s methods a bit differently (they just want to escape or get laid).
2. Love Interest in Demand
FILM: The only way Nicholson finally got Sandler to snap out of his rut and let loose with his anger (and therefore control it) was to make Sandler believe his lady love (played by Marisa Tomei) was moving on with two different suitors.
SERIES: The show features the exact same problem but in a different context. Charlie has already lost his lady love (his ex-wife is played by “Saw” actress Shawnee Smith) but finally lets loose (and almost bashes some guy’s head in with a lamp) when he finally sees her move on with another man.
3. Guest Stars Galore
FILM: The film definitely didn’t skimp out on the guest stars. On top of having comedic actor Sandler and Oscar winner Nicholson in the lead roles, the film also featured cameos by Heather Graham as a pretty girl with weight problems, Woody Harrelson as a German transvestite, the aforementioned Jones and Allen, plus actor John C. Reilly and a slew of athletes including Derek Jeter and Roger Clemons.
SERIES: With a first season consisting of ten episodes, the show has already followed suit with the movie and featured some amazing guest stars. The show has confirmed Martin Sheen (Sheen’s father), Denise Richards (Sheen’s ex-wife), Brian Austin Green (formerly of “Beverly Hills, 90210” fame) and Kerri Kenney-Silver (from “Reno911!”) will all be dropping by..
4. The Anger Trigger
FILM: The main star of the movie, Sandler, was “pantsed” in front of his entire neighbourhood just as he was about to receive his first kiss. The lasting effect of that moment was a repressed rage syndrome and a fear of public displays of affection.
SERIES: The show modernized the act that causes Charlie’s anger issues. Charlie was a former professional baseball player who, after disagreeing with a call during a game, gave into a tantrum and injured his knee. Since he could no longer play baseball, he decided to become a therapist. However, one of the ways he helps his patients is to replay his own humiliating baseball ordeal over and over again. So Charlie may not be as “past” that experience as he lets on.
5. The Patient is His Own Worst Enemy
FILM: This was the very essence of the film, and the series continues to evoke this message on the small screen. Sandler continued to deny he had an anger problem, even though we knew it, Nicholson knew it, and pretty much the rest of the cast knew it.
SERIES: Sheen’s character is partially in denial about his own anger issues, and that’s a theme that will recur as the episodes go on. He knows he’s angry about his wife’s new boyfriend, but he doesn’t think he has a problem just yet. Even though he almost bashed said boyfriend’s face in with a lamp, he’s only mildly considering returning to therapy as a patient. The only problem is, he’s sleeping with the one therapist he trusts (played by Selma Blair) to diagnose him!
Don't miss new episodes of "Anger Management" Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV