“My Name Is Earl” is a sitcom about a hoodlum who ends up changing his ways after winning the lottery, getting hit by car, and then having the winning ticket somehow make it back to him after the fact. With his brother in-tow Earl sets out to correct all of the wrongs he has done by making a list of everyone he has screwed over and crossing them off only when he has done right by them.
I recently just got into this show. I wasn’t able to watch this show when it first aired to its cancellation, but I can take a few stabs as to why it was cancelled, although I feel that it would be speculation on my part.
The show is pretty much the predecessor for “Raising Hope”, even though the latter show began airing in the middle of portion of “My Name Is Earl” run. Like “Hope” I like this show for pretty much the same reasons. Puns, malapropisms, and various moments that make you laugh so hard it hurts. Although the end of some of the episodes reminds me a bit like “Vicar Of Dibley”, not so much the jokes but how they end are slightly similar.
I don’t know which I find funnier, the moments where Earl awkwardly attempts to help those he has wronged that doesn’t start out as he expects, or the flashbacks that show the circumstances that started it all. I like that no matter what he is going to finish his list even while adding those who were caught in the wake of some of the situations he is trying to correct with those he is currently trying to help by doing right by.
Randy is Earl’s brother as well as accomplice when he was performing all of the horrible things he used to do. Randy is basically Earl’s Lennie (from “Of Mice and Men”). Doesn’t have a lot of common sense, but what he currently lacks (I say currently because of him being on the same path that Earl is walking with the list) he makes up for by having a pretty big heart. Although it is the moments he tends to throw common sense out the window that I find pretty funny. The one moment that caused me to yell “FUCK!” in frustration was when he didn’t hook up with Catalina. I chalk that up to typical Hollywood bullshit that is ever prevalent. It is really hard to pick a favorite moment with Randy as there are so many funny ones to choose from.
Catalina is a refugee who escaped from south of the border (they have kept her place of origin very vague, but it definitely isn’t Mexico) via being put in a shipping crate after killing her mother out of self-defense. She also works as a hotel maid/housekeeper and as a dancer/stripper. She is definitely my favorite character the show, especially her attitude. I love a lot of her comebacks when Earl’s ex-wife insults her a lot of the time. Although what I said above about her and Randy hooking and then having it get screwed over frustrates me, it would have been an awesome middle-finger to the status-quo.
If there was ever a female to completely hate it is definitely Joy (it means the actress who portrays her is doing a good job). Earl’s ex-wife, partner-in-crime, who feels she is owed everything and will pretty much screw over anyone to get what she wants when she wants. She is kind of like an evil version of Virginia from “Raising Hope”, she also has tendencies of malapropisms. There are moments when her bitchdom does work in her favor; like when the husband of the couple who decided to park their double-wide RV next to her mobile home, while she was on meds, and throw a beer can at one of her kids in which she decided to go over and politely notify them that she is going to stop taking her meds. I keep waiting for Catalina to kick her ass every time she puts her down and the fact that Catalina works as a maid. Because serious! I’ve known girls like Catalina, not one of them would’ve been above kicking Joy’s ass. Favorite moment was when Earl went to prison and she agreed to help his brother Randy, when she told Randy “Now, if we can just get you stop walking around with that shirt like a big-headed, hillbilly Linus”.
Whoever created that alignment chart definitely had Joy correctly pegged as Neutral Evil.
Darnell (AKA “Crab Man”) is the guy Joy cheated on Earl with and ended up marrying when he decided to take responsibility for the child he and Joy had. I think in some respects he feels bad for screwing over Earl, and is usually willing to help offer actually input that helps. I think it is funny that Darnell has to actually keep his true identity secret, he plays things like he is an idiot but is genius smart. He had the option to not have his fingerprints removed from his hand but federal agents didn’t explain that until after he had went through with it. I like the moments when he explains things correctly, but no one really listens to what he says at times.
It is too bad “My Name Is Earl” was cancelled. It is definitely a damn funny show. As for whether or not will ever complete his list or whatever actually happens we’ll never know.