In his now-infamous YouTube video, Angus T. Jones said he didn’t want to be on CBS’ Two and a Half Men anymore because the religiously-minded actor thinks the show is “filth” — and he may yet get his wish.
Though The Hollywood Reporter is citing sources saying Jones plans to finish out his contract and remain with the show to the end of the season, it’s possible producers could fire him for his disparaging behavior, much like they did Charlie Sheen two years ago.
Jones may not miss the show: His girlfriend, the Hollywood hanger-on known as “Stalker Sarah,” told Celebuzz that the 19-year-old had been itching to quit anyway in order to go to college and that the show is expected to end after the current tenth season anyway. But if the producers do decide to fire him early, they’ll face the dilemma of how to write Jones’ Jake Harper off the show.
Here are some possible scenarios.
1. Kill Him. That’s how they got rid of Sheen’s character, so you can’t put it past the Men team to do the same with Jake. It wouldn’t be hard; he is, after all, a recent Army enlistee. Then again, Charlie Harper was an aging reprobate with a history of bad behavior, so there was some karmic appropriateness to his demise. Jake is just a stupid kid. Killing him may be too cruel — or too real — even for this show.
2. Replace Him. Not with another actor (the Bewitched/Roseanne gambit doesn’t really work anymore) but with a similar character. Again, that’s sort of what they did when they replaced Sheen with Ashton Kutcher. Of course, it’s rare for a show to get away with that move twice, though Cheers did it twice, M*A*S*H did it three times, and ER (not a sitcom, of course) did it many times. It’s far from clear that Men fans have such an emotional attachment to any of the characters that they would be outraged to see them replaced.
3. Send Him Away. Jake has shown talent as a chef and a propensity for Jackass-like extreme stunts. Give him a career in either of those fields, and he can always be too busy traveling to appear on the show. Or have him date Rose’s (Melanie Lynskey) niece; maybe she’s a stalker just like her aunt (who hounded Charlie Harper to his death and sank her clutches into Kutcher’s naive Walden this season). And given that Jones is currently dating a teen known as Stalker Sarah, there’d be a shiver of the art-imitates-life meta-ness that the show has always thrived on.
4. End the Show. Not likely, since Men remains the third highest-rated comedy on TV (after The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family). Still, it’s an expensive show to produce (given its three top-earning stars), it’s generally assumed to be past its creative peak (no surprise, after 10 seasons), and it could be more headache than it’s worth.
5. Do nothing. Jake’s hardly on the show now anyway. His interaction with the other characters usually amounts to little more than one scene a week of Jake calling in from the Army base via Skype. (Yep, Jones is literally phoning in his performance.) It wouldn’t be hard for Jake to become just an unheard voice on the other end of the phone, someone often referred to but never seen, like Vera on Cheers, Maris on Frasier, or Stan on Will & Grace. If everyone involved in Men, both in front of and behind the camera, wants to save face, this might be the way to do it.
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