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November 23, 2014

My Name Is Earl: Very Bad Things (season premiere)

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Sep 22nd 2006 11:16AM

Earl and Randy try to help Joy out of a jam(S02E01) After a summer of anticipation, I was thrilled My Name Is Earl was back on the air beginning last night. I really enjoyed last season and am chomping at the bit to see how Earl Hickey continues to go about righting his past wrongs and crossing them off his list.

As I mentioned in my first look post the other day, it appears the writers and producers will seek to expand episode storylines and not necessarily have Earl cross something off his list every single week. This is a good thing because it will allow for more "complex" plots and character development (besides Earl).

The story premise here was that Earl never took Joy's side in any dispute when they were married, so he thought it would be nice to finally stand up for her. How did he know that he would get mixed up in a situation where stealing and kidnapping were part of the bargain? Why couldn't she understand that you just can't return a waterlogged TV to the store you got it from?

My question is how did Joy get the $3,000 to even buy the disappearing TV in the first place? She doesn't seem to have a steady job, and I can't imagine Crabman making a boatload of cash from his gig. It was pretty obvious that they wouldn't have been able to fit the TV in their trailer, though I did like them setting up their living room outside and the bikers riding through it. The line about Brittany Spears and Kevin Federline being "American Royalty" was the funniest one of the episode.

Of course, Earl does his best to get Joy out of the bad situation but, despite his best efforts, the guy in the stolen truck gets away and she may end up doing time. It looks like Earl will really need to go to the wall for Joy. Again, with Joy getting arrested and booked, Earl wasn't able to cross number 183 off his list, so this plays right into the thought of expanded storylines.

I still have issues with Randy being so weird (though him picking up the chip with his toes was worthy of praise). I complained at times last season that his non-sequitors were kind of off-putting, but overall he is a very good character and essential to the show.

In addition, My Name Is Earl makes great use of music throughout its stories. I loved the inclusion of Steve Miller's "Take The Money And Run" when Joy hopped aboard the truck and drove it away. When Earl was walking down the road to get gas for the truck and "Midnight Rider" was playing, it was actually rather poignant.

Next week should see the story get more interesting when Burt Reynolds makes a guest appearance. Hopefully we'll get to see Catalina as well.

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MS

One of the funniest parts that nobody has mentioned is the fact that when she returned the waterloged tv it was sitting on old fashioned roller skates. Maybe you have to have HD to see that detail.

October 04 2006 at 3:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
erroneous_nick

I hate reading this article since I have yet to watch the episode, but I have to say Randy is probably my favorite character. I suppose I'm brain-damaged in some way but I always "got" him and his mannerisms. Jaime Pressly should get an award for playing "The Best TV Redneck of All Time", and before the show I thought she was all looks and no talent. Glad I was wrong.

I'm still jealous, Michael...

September 22 2006 at 4:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John

"Like when Rosa Parks stole that bus" was the best line of the night. Come ON!!!

September 22 2006 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
michael

The $3000 Joy used to purchase the TV came from her selling knock-offs of the "Juicy" couture line of clothing. Remember when the narrarator was talking about Joy's wanting the TV and needing to find the money for it, and then she starts laying cheap sweatpants over the couch with "juicy" ironed on the butt of the sweatpants.

September 22 2006 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
R-Bro

I thought last night's episode was one of the best yet. Jaime Pressley is *hilarious* (and smokin' hot, too). I loved all the freeze-frames with goofy expressions on her face.

September 22 2006 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marty

I loved the show all last season and was eagerly waiting for last night's premiere, but I was a bit disappointed. I really don't have any specific reasons why, but, just felt that the episode wasn't as good as any one of the shows from last season.

I think may be the whole storyline being centered around a TV that couldn't be returned which led to the theft of the truck. I don't know... just seemed weak.

I do have to say that I do enjoy their "friend" that sells the stolen goods and his mailorder bride. Always funny when they make an appearance.

September 22 2006 at 1:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

Randy had the best lines last night. First when he invoked the "Holy Trinity" of Batman, Robin Hood, and Jesus.

And then when he expanded on the options needed to keep the guy in the truck from talking - from cutting out his tongue to stabbing him in the eyes.

I'm surprised they didn't work Catalina into the story in some way. Was the actress filming something else at the time?

September 22 2006 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
debra fink

Randy is funny. He put the guy back in the truck like Earl told him to do. Instead in the back of the van. Randy put him back inside the truck. And the driver drove away.

September 22 2006 at 12:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gig

I'll be Joy is out of jail eithe next week or the following week.

September 22 2006 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Zach

I agree with your comments about randy, at first i was a little put off by the radnom weird/stupid quips, after a few season one episodes when you could understand his character better i began to really "get him". I lost it when he did the lollopop guild song and dance and was than told the balloons weren't helium.

September 22 2006 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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