‘Anger Management’ review: Charlie Sheen’s new competition

In watching Thursday night’s new episode of “Anger Management” a day after having the opportunity to check out Matthew Perry’s new show on NBC in “Go On,” we’re admittedly in a little bit of a different position as a viewer. As both show to extent are made up a great deal with “group therapy sessions” featuring a crazy batch of characters, it’s only fair that they be compared a little a little bit — even if there are some major differences such as that while Charlie Sheen plays the therapist here, Perry is actually one of the patients.

“Go On” – In watching this show about a man trying to find happiness following a painful heartbreak, we really found ourselves touched by some of what Perry’s character was talking about when it came to the death of his wife, and how he felt cynical and disconnected from the world. There was a happy ending at the end, but most importantly there was a solid stream of laughs throughout.

“Anger Management” – There’s no real question here that in terms of quality, Perry’s show has it over Sheen’s. We felt something while watching “Go On,” but here it is more cheap laughs and awkward paused. This is not to completely bash Sheen’s show, though — we’ve watched it all season long, and it is pretty funny. It’s just a different sort of funny. “Anger Management” is the perfect show for when you are sitting in bed at night and you don’t really want to turn on your brain much and think. “Go On,” meanwhile, is a comedy for the sofa after dinner — it’s worth more of a conversation afterwards. We know this probably sounds pretentious, but it’s really not — we couldn’t see ourselves being able to go to bed after “Go On” thanks to us still feeling a bit too pensive and sad.

What we did enjoy he best about Sheen’s show this week is that yet again, we saw a character that we thought we knew rather well deconstructed a little. Is Nolan still a pretty wimpy gut? Sure, but we saw that he can have ¬†backbone if pushed hart enough, and he does genuinely want to find love for the right reason.

At the end of the day, it’s possible that there can be multiple shows about therapy on at the same time — and really, what we are trying to point here is just that despite having a similar premise, these two comedies are still distinct and different based on how they make you laugh. We may prefer one at the end of the day, but why not watch both?

Have you seen both of these shows — and if so, which one do you prefer? If you want to check out our full “Go On” premiere review, be sure to follow the link here.

Photo: FX

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