Saturday, October 15, 2005

My Name Is Earl (NBC - Tuesdays at 9)

This show is hilarious -- a quick shout out to my brother for telling me to check it out.

Premise is that a guy named Earl (Jason Lee) believes that he needs to live a more karmic life to make his life suck less. Carson Daly mentioned karma on TV while Earl was drugged up in the hospital after being hit by a car. This inspired Earl to makes a long list of all of the people he has wronged in his life and things he's done wrong, with the intention to correct all of them. After correcting one of these on the list in the pilot episode, he wins the lottery, which reinforces his belief in karma.

This show is getting funnier with every episode. The most recent was one where Earl needed to correct a lie he had his brother Randy tell to a woman he was once dating: that Earl had died. This was Earl's easy way out of a painful relationship (the woman speaks in baby-speak) without hurting her feelings.

Like other new comedies (Arrested Development, Malcolm in the Middle), Earl goes against the traditional three-cameras-on-a-stage format that sitcoms used for 50 years. It is instead shot with a single camera with a lot of location shooting -- making it more expensive to produce. They keep their locations to a minimum in this show, so I'm hoping the show doesn't have the fate of Arrested Development. If you've seen AD this year, they unfortunately have had to cut their budget way back. All of the characters end up being in the same room a lot, and the scenes just aren't as funny as they were for the last couple seasons. Earl doesn't suffer from this as much because Earl is the star of the show, and mostly we follow him around.

Jason Lee is awesome in this show, but the other characters are amazing as well. Randy, Earl's brother, is played brilliantly by Ethan Suplee. Jaime Pressly, who I never thought of as a major acting force in our world, does a great job in the show as Earl's ex. My favorite auxilary character is "Crabman" (played by Eddie Steeples) who's stuck in the middle between Earl and his ex.

This is a Good/Good show, highly recommended if you're looking for some hilarious entertainment.

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