Origins of ‘Anger Management’ : Analyzing Charlie Sheen’s Many Onscreen Charlies

Charlie SheenEver since Charlie Sheen was ousted from the cast of Two and a Half Men, his inexorably devoted fans have been awaiting the return of their manic spirit animal to the small screen. With Anger Management finally here — airing tonight at 9 PM ET/PT on FX — the whim of whatever dark Martian deity that Sheen fanatics pray to has taken way. 

On the new sitcom, Sheen takes up the role of an anger management therapist who, despite being portrayed as a gifted doctor and a devoted father, is recognizably Sheen. He chases young women, fawns over fancy cars, and, of course, is named Charlie. It’s not a grand leap from what anyone might say about the man behind the character, but it’s also a pretty accurate description of many of Sheen’s roles of past. Here’s a quick breakdown of all of Sheen’s onscreen Charlies, with all of the necessary details to determine each character’s Sheenity.

Anger Management

Name: Charlie Goodson

Occupation: Anger management therapist

His “Tiger Blood” Side: He cheated on his ex-wife a whole bunch, dates exceptionally young women, and has a “sex only” relationship with his best friend and colleague (Selma Blair).

His Inner Emilio: Goodson has reformed since his younger days as a rage-aholic baseball player, has obtained a degree in psychology, and dedicates himself to helping people overcome their emotional issues. And he’s not too bad at it, either. Plus, he’s a kind and caring father to his anxiety-stricken teenage daughter.

Sheen Rating: Goodson, much like his portrayer, is a post-“winning” Sheen. He had a wild life, sure… and maybe that seeps back into his mind every once in a while. But he’s back on his feet and is willing to make a better go of it this time. 

Two and a Half Men

Name: Charlie Harper

Occupation: Commercial jingle writer

His “Tiger Blood” Side: The degree of his onscreen playboy antics were so vast that they actually transcended to real life Sheen, prompting him to get fired, thus relinquishing himself from the character in question, and resulting, eventually, in a leavening of his own spirit. That’s one hell of a paradox.

His Inner Emilio: He has come through for his fate-be-damned brother Alan and nephew Jake on more than one occasion.

Sheen Rating: Harper is a hedonist, a narcissist, and enjoys your episodic delusion of grandeur. In short, he’s 2011 Sheen, but watered down for network audiences. Perhaps, the Sheeniest Sheen of all.

Spin City

Name: Charlie Crawford

Occupation: Deputy Mayor

His “Tiger Blood” Side: If you really behaved like that in a government job, you’d be unemployed and potentially behind bars for sexual harassment. But then again, it’s kind of par for the course in the Spin City office.

His Inner Emilio: He does actually become pretty capable at his job. Not quite Michael J. Fox capable, but capable nonetheless.

Sheen Rating: Long before he went bananas, Sheen still had a reputation of being kind of a loose cannon. Crawford had some of the edge of early millennium Sheen, but mixed in with a touch of Bill Lawrence’s patented brand of twee. In short, he isn’t really imbued with a particularly dominant Shene (that’s a portmanteau for Sheen gene… was that not clear?).

All Dogs Go to Heaven 2

Name: Charlie B. Barkin

Occupation: Dog

His “Tiger Blood” Side: It’s a children’s cartoon, so luckily, this category is pretty vacant.

His Inner Emilio: He goes to lengthy efforts to help his friends, be they human or canine, alive or dead.

Sheen Rating: What can we say? The guy is, quite literally, an angel. No human can live up to the caliber of even the mangiest of mutts. So no, Charlie B. Barkin does not have an ounce of Sheen in him, but that’s through no fault of the actor’s. Dogs are just better than us.


‘Two and a Half Men’ Marathon: Charlie Sheen’s 24 Favorite Episodes

Charlie Sheen Is Going to Be President

‘Anger Management’ Teaser: Charlie Sheen Is a (Figurative) Train Wreck

Charlie Sheen