My Name is Earl: Get a Real Job
This episode was also the very special "laugh n sniff" episode. If you shelled out a couple of bucks for this week's TV Guide, you could pick up a card with 6 different odors. Rub the numbered odor when a number pops up during the episode, and you'll get a bit of extra-sensory Earl. Turns out all the odors smelled a bit like paper and a bit like something else, be it junk food or cologne.
I don't think the olfactory gimmick added much to the episode, but it didn't really detract from it either. Other than the cologne, there didn't seem to be too many "smell me" moments thrown into the episode just for the hell of it.
As for Earl's ongoing efforts to become a real man, we were treated to an examination of class warfare as Earl learns that the stockroom workers do not mix with the show floor employees. He may have his GED, he's told, but the sales staff went to junior college.
The explanation of the differences between the Dockers and the Dickeys may have been one of the funniest things I've heard on Earl or any other show for quiet some time. "In a perfect world, we'd switch pants, but Dockers doesn't make a coverall."
Sean Astin didn't get nearly as much airtime as I would have expected in this episode. If he's going to play a jerk, it would have been nice to see him play even more of a jerk. But most of the action happens in the back room, where we see Earl struggle with his choice to move up in the world, and Randy's desire to just fit in.
Meanwhile, Joy prepares for the possibility of going to jail by selling most of the items she and Darnell own and buying a blow-up doll so that her husband doesn't get lonely. None of it makes any sense, "but hey," I said to myself, "since when has Joy ever made any sense?" That said, I was taken completely off guard when the plan finally did make sense, and it turned out that all along her goal had been to flee the country.
Hopefully her flight to Mexico means we'll get to see Catalina's family again. If there's one thing that the producers love, it seems to be recurring characters.
And as for character backstory, we find out how Earl decided he wanted to live his life with a mustache: the first time he drank chocolate milk. The irony that voice-over Earl says this line in all seriousness while fulfilling the second part of his three-part quest to be an adult is delicious. Almost as delicious as chocolate milk.
On a scale of 1 to 7, I'm going to give this episode a 6.