Spoiler Alert: Those of you who are on the edge of your seat following each and every plot progression as it unfolds onscreen on Two and a Half Men should look away. Everyone else, please join me in talking about an upcoming spoiler which might actually make you want to tune into Two and a Half Men.
When I heard Two and a Half Men was going to write a lesbian relationship for one of its main characters into the plot, I automatically got my Panties of Righteous Indignation into a bunch. A lesbian relationship on a show that stands practically diametrically opposed to all the progressive feminist ideals I hold dear? Get the organically harvested pitchfork handles and fair trade torch fluid ready! We’ve got some angry mobbing to do!
But then I stopped to read past the headline and I put down my handy pitchfork and torch and reconsidered.
Because the character about to enter a same-sex relationship on the show is none other than the onscreen mom/grandmom of one and a half of the men, Evelyn, played by the inimitable Holland Taylor. She hits it off with the sweet, widowed mother of Alan’s girlfriend. Evelyn’s new lady friend, Jean, will be played by Mary Tyler Moore alum Georgia Engel.
Taylor told TV Guide, “(Series executive producer Chuck Lorre) wants to show Evelyn experiencing real affection for the very first time.” Series star Jon Cryer, who plays Alan, went on to tell TV Guide his character “becomes concerned with how to break this news to (his son) Jake once the ladies decide to get matching tattoos.”
So, now I am of two minds about this news. On the one hand, goodness this sounds like a rating stunt. Older lady lesbians! Matching tattoos! Did we mention lesbians? On the other hand, God, do I love Taylor Holland and heavens do I want to see her play a lesbian. In fact, I would have watched an entire The L Word spin-off about Peggy Peabody alone. I mean, she was a lesbian in 1974. So that totally counts.
Ultimately, whether my indignation or delight about this news wins out depends entirely on how the plot is handled. If it’s just a salacious plot point to boost up the show’s ratings, which have slid from a record-setting 28.7 million viewers to start its goodbye Charlie, hello Ashton era to just 11.9 million viewers last week, then I will pick back up my pitchfork and torch. We certainly don’t need any more stereotypical, exploitative representations of same-sex relationships on TV.
But, if the show instead gives us a fun, sweet look at late-in-life lesbianism then I say go for it. I’ve never been a fan of the show, but I do like many of the people it has employed including Taylor, Jane Lynch and Melanie Lynskey. And while it probably won’t win any GLAAD awards for its past portrayals of lesbianism, they haven’t been so patently offensive that I’ve had to stock up on torches in bulk.
So, does this news make you willing to sit through that damn “Men, men, men, men” theme song and tune in? Do you love the idea of sassy