Is “Two and a Half Men” coming unglued? That question, based on the storyline for this week’s episode of the CBS sitcom, earns this star-crossed series the top position in this week’s Top Five.
1) The new odd couple: Walden and Evelyn. Look, we’re well-aware that “Two and a Half Men” is a comedy series that does anything but take itself seriously. So it was most likely with comedy in mind that the show’s producers and writers conjured this situation for this week’s episode: Walden (Ashton Kutcher) sleeping with Evelyn (Holland Taylor). In case you didn’t know, she happens to be the mother of Alan (Jon Cryer) and the late Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen). Clearly, this Walden-Evelyn qualifies as “situation comedy,” but it might also qualify as “situation icky.” We invite you to judge this one for yourself.
2) The prodigal son returns: We have a soft spot around here for Conan O’Brien because he was such a big part of the TV scene here in New York for so many years. So when he left for California a few years ago, we felt the void. That’s why we loved seeing him back in town this week, up at the Beacon Theatre in the neighborhood where he once lived, for a week’s worth of shows for TBS. As in years past, when he hosted NBC’s “Late Night,” we liked best the bits he produced on the city’s streets, such as the bit where he found out what it’s like to deliver Chinese food. It was also poignant to see him on Monday’s show hosting guest Jimmy Fallon, the man who took over Conan’s old show and is now ascending the late-night ranks, while Conan is . . . well, we’re not sure where he stands in the late-night pecking order these days. In any case, we look forward to his next visit.
3) The nimble mind of Eddie Murphy: It’s been interesting to see Eddie Murphy making the late-night rounds lately because he’s not a celebrity who turns up all that often on the talk shows. The purpose for this new round of appearances is his new movie, “Tower Heist,” with Ben Stiller (it opens Friday). We enjoyed Eddie’s appearance earlier this week with Jay Leno a bit more than his appearance last week with David Letterman. It wasn’t Letterman’s fault; we just thought the one-time “Saturday Night Live” star seemed a little un-animated that evening. By the time he appeared with Leno, though, he seemed to have recharged his batteries.
4) Speaking of “SNL”: Darrell Hammond has also been making the TV rounds, for interviews about his new memoir titled “God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F****d.” And he has some pretty revealing stories to tell, particularly of his behavior while starring on “SNL” – including the time he had to be taken out of the NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters bound in a straitjacket. He talked to Matt Lauer this week on NBC’s “Today” show about the straitjacket incident and other topics.
5) Fun with Kim and Kris: We leave you this week with the biggest news story of the year. We speak, of course, of the end of Kim Kardashian’s marriage after 72 days. To mark the split – which stunned the world when it was revealed this past Monday (on Halloween of all days!) – we invite you to look back at her wedding to Kris Humphries, an event that thrilled more than 10 million viewers who tuned into E! last month for the two-part “Kim’s Fairytale Wedding” special. But were there signs of trouble even as far back as, um, a month? Look no farther than this clip titled “Bickering Bride and Groom,” in which the two disagree about Kris’ mustache on the eve of the big event!