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Roeper: Angus T. Jones just another child star past his prime

Angus T. Jones

Angus T. Jones

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Updated: December 29, 2012 6:21AM



Two words for Angus T. Jones:

Adam Rich.

Two more words for Angus T. Jones:

Jerry Mathers.

Two more words for Angus T. Jones:

Gary Coleman.

Like those former child stars and many others, Jones, now 19, grew up on television as the cute kid on a long-running show. And now, like Rich (“Eight is Enough”), Mathers (“Leave it to Beaver”), Coleman (“Diff’rent Strokes”) et al., Jones is at a crossroads.

He is no longer the cute, precocious kid doling out the one-liners. He got a lot taller, he lost the chubbiness, his voice changed — you know, the usual stuff that marks the transition from human teddy bear to gangly near adult. It’s been a long time since “Two and a Half Men” was an accurate description of the three leads on the CBS sitcom.

Most of these child stars never make the transition to a successful acting career as an adult. They get into trouble with drugs, they drop out of the business, they show up on reality TV freak shows. Some see the writing on the show-biz wall and make an early transition to writing, producing and directing. (See Howard, Ron.)

History tells us Jones’ acting career may have peaked around the time the kid was getting his driver’s license — but even if Spielberg and Soderbergh were jockeying for a key time slot on Jones’ Google Calendar, apparently the actor isn’t interested in continuing his career now that he’s found God.

I’m already not watching

Last week Jones recorded a video for the Christian website Forerunner Chronicles in which he called his sitcom “filth” and urged folks to tune out.

“If you watch ‘Two and a Half Men,’ please stop watching ‘Two and a Half Men,’ ” says Jones in the amateurishly shot video. Jones shares camera time with conspiracy-minded spiritual “guru” Christopher Hudson, who has a number of theories straight out of the University of Mars.

“I’m on ‘Two and a Half Men’ and I don’t want to be on it,” says Jones. “Please stop watching it and filling your head with filth. … I don’t want to be contributing to the enemy’s plan. … You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that.”

Jones makes $8.5 million per season on “Two and a Half Men.” If he ever finds another job in show business that pays him $8.5 million a year, it’ll be a major, major upset.

The Prophecy Seventh-day Adventist Church in Los Angeles, where Jones worships, said Tuesday it has no connection to Forerunner Chronicle or Hudson. But Jones talks about his quest for spiritual fulfillment on the video, explaining, “I was looking to go to a church with an all-black congregation. I guess you could say I was looking for a black gospel theme. I don’t know, I like black people. I’m not afraid to say it. … Black people rock.”

OK, first of all, finding a faith isn’t the same as planning a theme party. Also, how condescending is that whole statement?

As for Jones labeling “Two and a Half Men” as “filth,” well, yeah. That’s pretty much been the dominant characteristic of the show since it premiered in 2003. Charlie Sheen’s Charlie Harper was an alcoholic sex addict who slept with literally dozens of women.

A few random episode descriptions, via TV.com:

“Charlie is stunned to learn his ex-girlfriend is now a man who is dating his mom.”

“Alan isn’t thrilled when he learns of Lyndsey’s adult film.”

“Charlie double dates with Jake and fixes Alan up with a hooker.”

“Alan reveals a secret fetish.”

After Sheen melted down and parted ways with the show, the always-subtle Ashton Kutcher was cast in Season 10, which has featured episodes with titles such as, “I Scream When I Pee,” “You Know What the Lollipop is For” and “Something my Gynecologist Said.”

Far be it from me to criticize anyone’s quest for faith. If Jones believes God is speaking directly to him and is giving him guidance, well, God bless. If he’s come to some sort of revelation “Two and a Half Men” is salacious, leering garbage and it’ll rot your soul, then perhaps he should quit, contract or no contract, and let Jesus guide the way.

Even if Jones honors his contract, it sounds as if he’s either going to quit acting or perhaps go the Kirk Cameron route and do religious-themed work. Godspeed.

One thing though. If Angus T. Jones retires from show biz but then has a change of heart a few years down the road, he may well learn show biz has permanently retired from him.

Just ask Butch Patrick. Or Eve Plumb. Or Soleil Moon Frye. Or …



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