Monday, March 14, 2011

Hot Topic: Meltdown

A defense of Charlie Sheen is getting easier by the minute.  Who doesn’t wish that the calendar could roll back to those Happy Days—not starring Ron Howard and Henry Winkler—when a meltdown meant a star going viral?  When a star going viral begat no explosions besides a shaking head and a middle-part hair style that made viewers forget Farah Fawcett’s 70s and 80s masterpiece?   

Viewers hadn’t seen a middle-part masterpiece since Vidal Sasson carved hair into wings and turned American girls into British birds.  Ah, the past!  Once upon a time, men didn’t go bald for fun, either.  Charlie never did that, did he?  Go, Charlie!  Now, even astronauts go bald; even teenagers go bald, and not one of them looks like Yul Brynner or could hold his own with Deborah Kerr in The King and I.

Now, it would even be fashionable to say, “The King and Me.”  But does anyone hear Charlie murdering grammar that way?  What an old-fashioned guy!  He even talks about Adonis.  What star but Charlie Sheen has done a plug for the Greek classics recently?  Wherever he got his inspiration, he got Adonis right!  That guy went around with two goddesses, too!

The best part of Charlie Sheen’s star act, though, comes down to Hamlet.  What other actor has done his own father-son royalty drama as improv?  To be Hamlet meant to be King Hamlet, of course.  To be a Sheen, likewise, Sonny Sheen’s gotta outdo Daddy Sheen, whose TV sheen still awes the lower stratospheres of Hollywood’s faithful. 

Just like Hamlet, too, Charlie Sheen as Charlie Harper got in his digs at society’s cougars, without once mentioning You-Know-Whom.  Ah, what taste!  What savoir-faire!  And that gentleman fought with his best friend, and he drove the women mad, thinking he was crazy.  And, if he hadn’t gone crazy, would we even remember some Danish prince named Hammy? 

So, what was America watching in those wonderful days of yore—a great long try-out for another off-Broadway classic?  Or does Charlie Sheen yet expect to bring Hammy TO Broadway?  He’s got the hair.  He’s got the athletic grace.  And he’s got the mad scene down by memory, calling the lords names and picking fights with people behind curtains. 

In fact, he’s so good at convincing people he’s nuts that he’s made us forget all about Brando, who wouldn’t even pick up an Oscar, because he was conducting his own little demonstration.  And he’s wiped Tiger right off the front page of every media sensation.  Charlie hasn’t had an auto run-in yet, has he?  Cheers for saving everyone on auto insurance, too!

Now, he’s chosen his own format, and his own one-man show, just like a rock-star.  He’s giving concerts which sell out faster than Americans can learn to pronounce locations going crazy because they don’t have Sheen on hand to keep human focus where it belongs:  on one man with enough talent so no show can hold him to a straight-jacket contract—because, just like Elvis, wherever he goes, Charlie’s a star.    

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