Going off-script: Angus Jones zaps ‘Two and a Half Men’

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First things first. I sincerely hope that you’ve never had the displeasure of watching the abominable show “Two and a Half Men.”

If I were to draft a list of the top 10 things that make me feel alienated from my fellow citizens, the fact that this was for many years the most watched show in America would be right up there at the top of the list. It’s so vile and unfunny. And I’ve never even come close to seeing an actual episode — just a few snippets here and there.

However, as millions and millions of Americans know, the “half” in the title refers to the kid on the sitcom and he went full Charlie Sheen recently and ripped on the show.

This not being standard operating procedure in Hollywood, his rant made headlines. What makes it interesting for our purposes is that the comments against the show were nothing but religious and were made in the context of a recorded testimony of his Christian faith. So my fave story has to be the one that focuses not on the content of the comments but, rather, the business side of things. Entertainment Weekly has a piece headlined “Angus T. Jones outburst: Has he breached his ‘Two and a Half Men’ contract?” The end of that piece says, by the way:

Jones gave his testimony to religious conspiracy theorist Chris “The Forerunner” Hudson, who no doubt hoped his surprising interview with the star would shine a larger spotlight on his end-of-days beliefs.

So I know nothing about Chris Hudson. I’m sorry, I know nothing about this whole “The Forerunner” thing. However, I prefer my journalists to show me how a person is a religious conspiracy theorist rather than merely to assert that he is. As it’s written, the reporter makes it seem like belief in “end-of-days” is the substantiation for the charge, which I assume was unintended. I tried to dig around for some more info and it looks like Hudson is involved with theories about The Illuminati.

I rather liked how the Los Angeles Times handled it:

Angus T. Jones doesn’t much like “Two and a Half Men,” and he wishes viewers wouldn’t watch the show.

So said the 19-year-old TV star in Christian testimony shot principally in his production trailer and posted Monday by the Forerunner Christian Church on YouTube.

“Jake from ‘Two and a Half Men’ means nothing. He is a nonexistent character … ,” Jones said, starting about halfway through the video above. “If you watch ‘Two and a Half Men,’ please stop watching ‘Two and a Half Men.’ I’m on ‘Two and a Half Men,’ and I don’t want to be on it.

“Please stop watching it; stop filling your head with filth. Please. People say it’s just entertainment. … Do some research on the effects of television and your brain, and I promise you you’ll have a decision to make when it comes to television, and especially with what you watch.” …

“A lot of people don’t like to think about how deceptive the enemy is. He’s been doing this for a lot longer than any of us have been around … ,” Jones said, presumably referring to Satan. “There’s no playing around when it comes to eternity.”

Just a simple set-up, a helpful amount of interpretation, and lots of quotes. The USA Today story on the matter was interesting because it never mentioned which religion influenced Jones. The most it ever says is here:

Two and a Half Men has a new critic — and he’s on the inside.

In a YouTube video, Angus T. Jones, who plays the teen Jake Harper on the CBS sitcom, tells viewers not to watch the series because it contains “filth.” His comments are part of a religious testimony given to The Forerunner Chronicles.

Particularly considering the obliqueness of the name of the outfit to which he gave his testimony, a bit more information sure would have been helpful. You think?

In other journalism news, The Hollywood Reporter handled this problem with a much more detailed report. The Associated Press and Variety each had short reports, too.