While it comes as no surprise that CBS has halted the taping of “Two and a Half Men” sitcom starring Charlie Sheen for the remainder of its eighth season, why they have made the decision temporary is disturbing.
It is incomprehensible to think that the agents are currently shopping Sheen for another multimillion-dollar payday, should this hiatus prove to be a cancelation, yet that is the rumor.
For three decades Charlie Sheen’s family and friends have rushed to his side whenever he shifts into self-destruct, only to see him relapse, again and again. They have all been valiant but it is time to let him go.
It is difficult to recall anyone who has received more chances in Hollywood, unless it would be Robert Downey Jr. We have seen Charlie go from brat packer to A-list star to Hollywood bad boy, from born-again Christian to Truther and finally one of the highest paid stars in television.
During all of that time he has been sporadically dry but never truly sober and it is hard to imagine that those closest to him have not known it. In a business that can be notoriously unforgiving of public indiscretions, his associates have gone to extraordinary lengths to keep him viable. Their help, whether well intentioned or self-serving, has only proved to keep him on his road to oblivion. Charlie is a classic alcoholic-addict and, as with all members of that increasingly common species, success has served only to insulate him from the help he so desperately needs.
To call this, Charlie’s latest triathletic escapade of self destruction, drug and alcohol induced would be, I believe, missing the truth by the proverbial mile; drugs and alcohol are mere props in Charlie Sheen’s spiral to the bottom. Had he not had them he would have use razor blades or arsenic or something else.
These episodes are the theater abusers stage to play out their destruction, until either the descent is arrested or the “ultimate bottom” is achieved. Addiction is a progressive disease; it picks up where it left off the last time. Like all addicts Charlie prearranged the mise en scène for this act, as he has all of the others. It would be banal to suggest that someone should have recognized the signs, because in a town where substance abuse is the norm rather than the exception, someone obviously did.
The man who wrote the novel, “Leaving Las Vegas,” which Mike Figgis went on to produce as a Hollywood blockbuster of the same name staring Nicholas Cage, was living the story as he pinned it. He did not survive to see the movie; his father called the book his suicide note.
We can only pray that what we are witnessing now is not Charlie Sheen’s suicide note, but it is time to let him go. Helping Charlie “get well,” so he can get back on the treadmill yet another time, will only serve to deprive him of the slim chance that remains. Whether Charlie survives is in his and God’s hands now, and they alone can decide his ultimate outcome.