After his well-publicised troubles and eventual eviction from Two and a Half Men, Charlie Sheen returned to TV comedy in the sharply written and undisputedly funny Anger Management.
Sheen plays anger management therapist Charlie who splits his life between two groups of patients – one a paying collection of misfits, the other a group of inmates at the local jail – his ex-wife and teenage daughter.
The series aired in the UK last year on Comedy Central and this DVD release features the complete 10 episode first series.
Anger Management marks a real return to form for Sheen who handles his lines with the same exquisite timing and skill that first made Two and a Half Men such entertaining viewing and helped him keep Spin City alive for two season after Michael J Fox left the show.
Overall this is smart and well executed comedy which largely avoids the cardinal sins of being obvious or cheap, though it does occasionally succumb to dishing up some overtly knowing gags.
The first episode opens with a monologue in which Sheen rails against an off-screen sacking and a later episode featuring his real-life father Martin Sheen includes the inevitable allusion to his West Wing role of President Bartlet.
Like all the best sitcoms, the best jokes are evenly spread between the characters ensuring this is far from a one man show.
Their very different world views and life experiences provide plenty of comedic opportunity but, to quote a very British comedy legend, it’s all in the best possible taste and there’s nothing for anyone to take offence at.
Somewhere in TV land’s pile of unmade shows, there’s a spin-off just gagging for this pair.
Some shows take time to bed in and when re-watched the early episodes lack the sharpness which the series is later famed for, others start off great before hitting a downward trajectory. Anger Management is that rare show which starts exceptionally good and maintains its quality throughout its debut series.
Its success with US audiences has the show renewed for a further 90 episodes, it’ll be interesting to see of the writers can live up to the standard they set with the initial run.
Released by Lions Gate Home Entertainment, Anger Management series one is available now on DVD from Amazon.co.uk