Late last month Angus T. Jones, the child star who plays the character “Jake” on the CBS “hit” show “Two and a Half Men”, became embroiled in a controversy when a YouTube video of him calling the show “filth” went viral. A large part of the attraction of this story is that these comments are a direct result of Jones’ recent conversion to the Christian faith. Despite this story’s convergence with two of this blog’s topics- entertainment and Christianity- I have initially refrained from writing about it.
The show’s co-star Ashton Kutcher has now weighed in, saying he wants Jones fired immediately, and calling him a “spoiled brat”- a rather ironic epithet coming from Kutcher for sure. As more time has passed to let the story play out, and in light of this recent criticism from Kutcher being made public, I feel the desire to opine why Jones’ comments were unavoidable given his recent life change.
First, let’s get one point out of the way: Angus T. Jones could not have been more accurate in his description of the show. Two and a Half Men is unapologetically “filth”. While many TV shows enjoy pushing the limits of what’s appropriate in prime time, the one show that doesn’t even try to be coy about it’s crassness and trashiness is this one.
All of my opinion of this show in its current form is from seeing the commercial previews while trying to enjoy a Sunday CBS football game, or by simply reading the episode titles while browsing my on-screen TV guide. I have not watched it in many years. Back when I did watch it, before I had the conviction of the Holy Spirit working as a natural internal filter, I don’t feel it was as bad as it is now. But quite possibly the show has always been as raunchy as it is now, and I was merely ignorant to this fact. I honestly believe while the show has likely gotten worse, much more of the change was on my part. And it’s obvious to me this same change has taken root in Jones’ life as well.
However, this blog is not intended to be a Christian rant about what you should or should not watch on television. People that know me best realize that when I see or hear about anything seeming even remotely legalistic (so-called rules required to “be Christian”), I point out that the grace granted by faith alone in Jesus Christ is sufficient for salvation. But what I’ve found from personal experience is a natural by-product of true salvation, and evidence of a fully alive relationship with Jesus Christ, is when you turn on shows like “Two and Half Men” you feel absolutely no desire to continue to watch. In fact, you feel disgust and many times sorrow for the characters and acts depicted by these shows. But this isn’t a “holier than thou” attitude to look down on others. It’s an irresistible sanctification that occurs in the Christian believer, beginning with salvation and continuing until natural death.
Jones has been very apologetic to the show’s producers since his public comments of disapproval. I don’t see this as Jones being a moral coward for the sake of a paycheck. I see it as true humility in his attempt to show respect for those in leadership. In the end Jones will likely be written off the show. While this would result in he no longer receiving a hefty sum of money each week, I’m sure he will rest more easily each night (specifically from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday given his denomination of choice) because of it.
Finally, considering Jones’ recent revelation and the fact that he is now over 18 years of age, it is perhaps more appropriate to label the childish Kutcher the “half” in “Two and a Half Men”.
Here is a YouTube video of Jones’ comments in their entirety, with the “Two and a Half is filth” part starting around the 7 minute mark: