No one can accuse “Two and a Half Men” of resting on its laurels as it heads toward its finish.
The CBS sitcom staple makes a big, “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry”-type change to its premise in its 12th and final season, which begins Thursday, Oct. 30. Suddenly worried about his mortality, Walden (Ashton Kutcher, who recently became a first-time father) wants to adopt a child … and believing he stands a better chance of doing so as half of a couple, he asks housemate Alan (Jon Cryer) to pose as his gay partner.
“It’s just a little bit out of left field,” admits the amiable Cryer to Zap2it, a two-time Emmy winner for the series, “but the writers have managed to create a story where it makes sense. I first thought, ‘Wow, that’s a dumb idea,’ but I mean it was a dumb idea for these two guys to have. I think we’ve established that they’re idiots in many respects — so the more I thought about it, the more I said, ‘Sure.'”
Noting the plot gives the show’s creative team “great fodder,” Cryer adds part of that is a major adjustment to frequent dater Alan’s social life.
“It’s a tightrope walk,” the actor confirms. “He wants to honor the parental relationship he’s creating with Walden, but he still has the same wants he’s always had. We have an episode where Lyndsey (Courtney Thorne-Smith) wants to come back into his life, and he has to make that decision.”
Maggie Lawson (“Psych”) is joining “Two and a Half Men” for its home stretch in the recurring role of a social worker linked to the adoption scenario, and Cryer is happy to have her on board. “She’s got a lovely arc that’s been fun to play,” he says.
Since everyone involved knows the end is near, Cryer — who also stars in the new movie “Hit by Lightning” — describes the atmosphere on the “Two and a Half Men” set as “jovial, tinted with a slight amount of bittersweet. Everybody has had so much fun, and it’s been such a crazy ride, we’re grateful for every moment. That’s really fun, but we’re going to miss it. It’s a mix of feelings.”