Reports that the Saturday opening of Charlie Sheen's tour in Detroit was an utter disaster should hardly come as a surprise. But with each new bizarre interlude, the former "Two and a Half Men" stars makes the studio and producer he's been trashing -- Warner Bros. TV and Chuck Lorre -- look awfully good in hindsight.
Given the erratic nature of Sheen's behavior, it's hard not to keep thinking, "And they got eight-plus profitable seasons out of this guy? That's seriously impressive."
After all, Sheen's train-wreck of a life hasn't exactly been a secret. Helping him hold together enough to continue to perform on the show must have required an enormous amount of delicate care and feeding.
Granted, I've heard part of it is that Sheen was OK when he was working, and tended to get into mischief during the down time, which probably explains why he's such a mess now.
Even so, listening to Sheen rant incoherently, the fact that his support system -- the studio, the network, the cast and crew, whatever -- could get him through so many episodes might be the TV accomplishment of the young century.
As for the Los Angeles Times story today about Sheen's unorthodox approach to the PR crisis, I think the characterization by Allan Mayer of 42 West captured the situation perfectly -- and could be true, sadly, sooner than later. When that happens, I suspect a lot of people in the media who have served as Sheen enablers will have a lot to answer for. Here's the Mayer quote:
"Slipping on a banana peel and then saying, 'I meant to do that,' is not a strategy. You'd do a lot better not to step on the banana peel in the first place. When this one does turn sour, we will be amazed that we ever found it amusing."