Thursday, September 14, 2006

DVD Picks: My Name is Earl

I usually don't recommend buying sitcom DVDs. After all, how many times can you hear the same joke over and over?

But if you want to rent one, "My Name is Earl" was one of the two best freshman sitcoms from last season (the other being CBS' "How I Met Your Mother.")

Want a preview? NBC is re-running the pilot, followed by the season finale, tonight beginning at 8 p.m. The concept involves Earl (Jason Lee), a lifelong loser who suddenly buys a winning lotto ticket. But before he can claim the money, he is hit by a car and loses the ticket. While recovering, Earl watches Carson Daly on TV and learns about karma. He resolves to change his life by making up for past misdeeds, and suddenly regains the missing ticket.

Along with his dimwitted brother Randy (Ethan Suplee), Earl makes a list of all his past wrongs and resolves to fix them, one at a time. Sometimes he is aided, but more often opposed, by his scheming ex-wife Joy (Jaime Pressly, in a star-making role). Eddie Steeples and Nadine Velazquez round out a good cast.

Though the plotting of "Earl" can seem a little repetitve, and you wonder how much juice the writers can get out of the concept, the sheer charm of the actors makes "Earl" a worthwhile lead-in to TV's best sitcom, "The Office."

THURSDAY'S PICK: I admit, I haven't watched "Survivor" (8 p.m., CBS) since its second season, and I don't intend to watch it tonight. But the promise of setting race relations back a half-century in this country might make others tune it. This time around, the tribes are broken up into four different ethnic groups who compete against each other for the prize money.

Of all the clever ideas in the world, this isn't one of them.


Zodin2008 said...

"Earl" is a funny show that always offers a good laugh every week and will definitely stay (for now) in my rotation of series I watch. I definitely 2nd the notion of recommending their pilot tonight at 8 pm.

But it's nowhere close to the quality and humor offered by "The Office". Agree, that is the best comedy on Television.

As for "Survivor", I have never watched more then 5 minutes of the show in my entire life because of my uutter disgust and disdain for ALL Reality Television, and setting race relations back 50 years is even LESS appealing to me.

Shame on you CBS and shame on you, Mark Burnett.

ryang said...

Coming soon ... Survivor: Battle of the Genes. Split 'em up by height and hair color. My money's on the tall, blonde team. The short, red-headed team sure is plucky, though.

Seriously, I can't stand Survivor. I watched the first episode, never got me again. The reruns they show on OLN these days aren't catching my eye, either.

Pure schlock.

Phillip Ramati said...

How about battle of the religions? Christians, Jews, Muslims and Atheists battle it out to see if there is a God, and who He supports.

So far, the ratings indicate America may not be too keen on a race war. Maybe there is hope yet.

ryang said...

Battle of the religions ... hmmmm. I think we can pretty much watch that anytime the news is on.

Ratings are down for Survivor, and there is a slew of new, well-written, high-production-value dramas and comedies on the major networks?

At last, the tide has turned.