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September 3, 2015

My Name is Earl: Monkeys in Space

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Jan 27th 2006 9:30AM

my name is earl randyThis week we got to see Earl take a back seat to his brother Randy in the karmic quest to do good things for other people. Randy pretty much has sponged off of Earl his whole life, from Earl's days of petty theft right up until his older brother's lottery win. It seems the time is now for Randy to find his purpose in life and find a job and make something of himself.

Number 18 on Earl's list was his telling an extremely inappropriate story at his old friend and crime partner Hank's birthday party a while back where he drunkenly described some very wild behavior at Hank's bachelor party. Hank later on is arrested and is about to be put away in prison for a long stretch, so Earl visits him before he's put away for good. Hank requests that Earl give him one good day to make up for the bad day, and to do it before noon on the day he's going to be sent up the river. At the same time, Randy strikes up a hysterically meaningful conversation with another convict and decides to look for work.

Hank's requests include a visit from his grandmother, a copy of his hometown newspaper, and a box of donuts from Yummy's Donut Shop, where he encounters his old one-legged girlfriend from whom he stole a car off of years ago. It doesn't seem like it would be too hard to accomplish, but Earl struggles over the course of a few days to get things right, including picking up Hank's grandmother and struggling to put her prescription eyedrops in her eyes.

Meanwhile, Randy is not having much luck in his job search. His various positions as a door-to-door cleaning products salesman, a shaver for surgeons, and as a cosmetics tester are not met with much success. As Earl continues to be frustrated in meeting Hank's requests, he urges Randy to get a job as a busboy at the Crab Shack.

Every day Earl gets up earlier and earlier, but he still can't complete all the tasks by noon. Finally, he asks Randy to accompany him one morning beginning at 5 am, and things go smoothly. They get the newspaper from Hank's wheelchair-bound uncle, Randy gets the donuts, and they get Grandma over to the prison, all in plenty of time before Hank is sent away for good. Then, the brothers discover that Randy's purpose in life is to help Earl do good for other people. A shining light beams on Randy, and all is good in the world.

This episode had a slightly different twist than all of the others so far this season. We didn't see Earl cross of anything from his list, and he almost was a second fiddle to Randy this week. It was an interesting change, but it was good to see Randy actually have a meatier role than just spouting off non-sequitors every week. The music in this episode was great too, ranging from Joe Jackson, The Doors, Jet, and The Band.

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January 30 2006 at 10:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What music was played when Earl finally asks Randy to accompany him?

January 28 2006 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cocoa Hill

I think the episode was named "Monkeys in Space" because every episode so far has had some reference to monkeys, and this was the writers' way of continuing the trend.

January 28 2006 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Best Earl yet, Randy gets all the funniest lines.

January 28 2006 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James Kew

The main plot felt a little too close to Groundhog Day for my liking...

January 27 2006 at 10:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm going to have to go ahead and put a nice, big checkmark next to the Catalina dance as one of the hottest things I've seen on TV in a long time.

January 27 2006 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Happy Steve

I liked this episode, too. But why was it called "Monkeys in Space"?

January 27 2006 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That's why I love you guys, always teaching me something new! And the pool cue dance was hot as hell!

January 27 2006 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You missed the best part of the episode - Earl asks Catalina, "Did you make good money at the Chubby Club?" Catalina then does a very convincing pole dance (using a pool cue), and Earl says, "I'll take that as a yes."

January 27 2006 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

>But I also couldn't help but think of all of the problems with the release of TV shows on DVD and music clearance rights/fees.<

Most shows produced within the last couple of years have negotiated the music rights for an eventual DVD release up front (just in case the show proves popular enough to warrant a DVD release), so hopefully, this will not be a problem. But of course we won't actually know until if and when Earl comes to DVD. Most older shows never forsaw the popularity of home video, so music rights were only cleared for the initial broadcast and syndication.

January 27 2006 at 11:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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