My Name Is Earl: Season 1

DVD Reviews | Sep 28th, 2006

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Starring Jason Lee, Jamie Pressly, Nadine Velazquez, Ethan Suplee, Eddie Steeples
Written By: Greg Garcia, Zack Friedman
Directed By: Victor Nelli Jr.
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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White trash people have never been this funny! Ok, scratch that, they will always be the most funniest on COPS. I actually haven’t seen this show all that much until it arrived on DVD. I heard it was really good so I was interested in checking this one out. It’s hard finding time to watch all these TV shows so I always pick & choose what to watch during the TV season. Maybe I’ll have to include this TV show as well? My Name is Earl is definitely something to watch because it’s an original, unique comedy that will make you laugh and make you think about your own life as well.

The show is about Earl Hickey, some dim witted white trash redneck who steals and isn’t a very nice guy. One day he buys a winning lottery ticket, cheers in the middle of the street only to get hit by a truck. He ends up in the hospital and has a life awaken message from the one…yes, that’s right..Carson Daly! Daly spouts some nonsense about karma and how if you do good things, the good things will come back to you. So Earl decides to take that approach on life and make a list. The list contains everything bad thing he has done and plans on making things right with anybody he ever harmed, screwed over, hurt, stole from, etc etc. He gets help from the attractive Latino hotel maid Catalina and his very stupid brother Randy. His brother is like a big lazy oaf who wants to drink all night and sleep in all day. He also has the mind of a child and wants to do a lot of stupid but fun things. After Earl starts to do good things, fate brings him back his lottery ticket and ends having a lot of money now. While Earl was in the hospital, his wife Joy, leaves him for “Crabman,” someone she was cheating on Earl with and also has a child with. In the beginning Joy goes after Earl and finds ways to get his cash, and even tries to kill Earl. Obviously that doesn’t work out and he has no choice but to make things right with Joy and the rest of his family. Each episode you see what Earl did to get that thing on the list, and then the rest of the episode deals with him making amends with the people that he screwed over. At first you think Earl is gonna have an easy time making amends, but situations become complicated and are not as easy as he thought. But in the end, everything gets sorted out and Earl stays free of bad karma. This season, Earl manages to help out a gay guy, make his brother score a touchdown at a high school football game, help get a Golfer’s life back in order, have his Dad win an election, returns some stolen items, pay back the government, give Joy the perfect wedding, and lots more. There are a lot of things to mark off the list and there’s always stuff to add on the list as well.

I only saw one episode of My Name is Earl, so I wasn’t sure what to expect while watching this series. I was surprised I liked My Name Is Earl so much and ended up watching the whole show in one weekend. It reminds me of Scrubs and Arrested Development. It’s just a great comedy series that doesn’t need a laugh track, and it has some brilliant writing & actors as well. The show uses a lot of flashbacks, and great narration by Jason Lee to push the story along. Some of the storylines are quite silly and that’s what makes the show so fun. I also like the show because the characters are so redneck and trashy. This was the role Jamie Pressly was born to play because she’s the perfect redneck princess. She may be good looking but man if she was like that in real life, I wouldn’t put up with that shit at all. But the reason to really watch this show is because of Jason Lee, who makes this redneck character so likable and funny that it makes you want to watch week after week. The chemistry between Jason Lee and Ethan Suplee is great, and you can tell that they have acting together before (i.e. Kevin Smith movies). What I also like is seeing new characters each week, and they are usually played by a lot of great guest stars like Giovanni Ribisi, Beau Bridges, Jon Favreau, Timothy Stack, Christine Taylor, Harland Williams, Adam Goldberg and Juliette Lewis.

Besides the series looking nice on DVD, there are plenty of extras to watch as well. But before we get into the extras, I’d like to say the only negative thing I didn’t like on this DVD was not having a skip to next scene for the opening. If you watch the episodes back to back, you have to fast forward to get to the beginning of the episode. It’s kind of annoying and I know I’m a lazy shit but hey, it’s more convenient to have that for the second season. But back to the bonus material, there are decent extras. You have some audio commentaries on selected episode, deleted scenes, blooper reel and a few featurettes. The blooper reel stretched out for about 20 minutes and there was a lot of screw-ups by the actors! Plus there’s a lot of goofing off, and actors kept trying their lines over & over again and still screwed up their lines. The Behind the scenes featurette was really good and was at a decent length too. The creator/executive producer drives around in “the Bandit” mobile and discusses how he came up with the idea for the show. It’s pretty much about his own life concerning his step-dad and other people in his life. Which is kind of scary when you think about it but I guess he can look back and laugh at it now. There’s a lot of good stuff to watch in these extras so once you see all the episodes, make your way over to the special features!

My Name Is Earl is a fantastic and original comedy series that many will like; others will probably scratch their heads asking themselves, “Why is this funny?” But those people are probably idiots that need a sitcom to tell them what’s funny and what’s not. If you want to watch a new comedy series that isn’t like other shows, than check out My Name is Earl!

Audio Commentary on Selected Episodes
All-New DVD Exclusive Earl Misadventure: Bad Karma
Deleted Scenes
Karma is a Fun Thing Blooper Reel
Making Things Right: Behind the Scenes of My Name is Earl Featurette

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Mono CC
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Mono

Widescreen 1.78:1 Color (Anamorphic)

Spanish, French

Favorite Scenes: Randy’s Touchdown, Faked My Own Death, Stolen Beer From Golfer, Joy’s Wedding, O Karma Where Art Thou, The Professor
Rating: NR
Running Time: 526 minutes
Extras Rating:
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