In keeping with the short cycle of nostalgia that sees us rebooting franchises every couple of years, America is once again in the grips of a retro “Charlie Sheen meltdown” fad, in the wake of news that he had Selma Blair fired from his FX series Anger Management. Early indicators that we were reliving the heady, anything-goes days of 2011 began popping up late last week, after Sheen called Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham a “desperate guzzler of stagnant douche agua.” But such familiarly jazzy verse was just a tease for the full-blown Sheen revival currently sweeping the nation, in which Sheen antagonizes his coworkers and puts the future of a TV show you don’t watch in jeopardy, while bobby-soxers twist the night away and ask themselves why no one saw this coming.
Naturally, TMZ was first to report on the growing throwback trend, noting that Sheen had demanded the show fire Blair, after she complained to network executives about his terrible behavior and “shoddy work ethic.” Adding to the winking irony of it all, Sheen promptly got upset and refused to work. Deadline reports Sheen then “fired” Blair in one of several “abusive, expletives-filled texts”—calling her a “cunt,” among other, surely more poetic things—while at the same time allegedly threatening to walk away from the series entirely.
With Anger Management only halfway through the 90-episode season order mandated by a contract that FX management signed while saying, “What could go wrong?” before a sudden flash of lightning illuminated their sickly faces, the show’s producers at Lionsgate were understandably forced to issue an official statement saying, “We are confirming that Selma Blair will not be returning to Anger Management and we wish her the very best.” (As the banjo and vintage suspenders are to the folk revival, so bland network diplomacy is to the Charlie Sheen meltdown revival.)
And so the world now dives deep into Charlie Sheen kitsch—pulling their “Tiger Blood” T-shirts out of storage, ironically listening to Alex Jones, practicing cool 2011 slang like, “Who the fuck cares about this guy?” —while Anger Management attempts to keep this fad going by hiring another actress for Sheen to have problems with. According to TMZ, Sheen plans to offer Mila Kunis $10 million to do a 10-episode arc, which is just the kind of absurd Charlie Sheen pomposity that once so captivated a nation, and now promises to do so until the next retro 2011 fad, like killing Osama Bin Laden again.