28 June 2012 8:00 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

This is a joke, right? A fake-out? A setup for a sucker punch? Can this really be all there is to Anger Management? These thoughts buzzed in my brain as I watched the first two episodes of Charlie Sheen’s return to television, a faux-edgy sitcom so unimaginative and dull that it makes Two and a Half Men look like a beacon of artistic integrity. That Anger Management would air in the same two-hour block as FX’s innovative Louie — which I’ll praise in a moment — seems downright perverse, like hanging a Degas next to a Dumpster. It’s a shame, really. Sheen has sunk so low in the public’s estimation that he could have taken serious artistic risks, failed miserably, and still have won points for trying.The venue is FX, which built its brand on shows about working-class alpha males flaming out (Rescue Me, Sons of Anarchy, »

- Matt Zoller Seitz

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