12 December 2005

My Name is Earl

Continuing with the list of recommended television programmes currently up to episode 10 of the first season, having already mentioned Surface and Supernatural, is My Name is Earl.

It's a comedy about a guy who moments after winning $100,000 on a scratchcard, gets hit by a car, resulting in the ticket being lost. In hospital he has an ephiphany and realises it's all to do with karma and plans to right the many bad things he's done in his life; which he lists on a piece of paper. His karma theory is then given credence by the fact it results in him getting his scratchcard back.

So each episode regards righting a wrong from this large list, with the scratchcard winnings allowing him to fund this massive venture.

What makes this comedy come alive is the people who populate it. Jason Lee who plays Earl Hickey is now chubbier, hairier, and generally more manly than you've seen him in the past, and Ethan Suplee (aka the guy in Mall Rats who kept staring at the magic-eye picture), who plays his brother Randy, is now thinner and more dishevelled.

Particularly excellent is Jaime Pressly, a relatively unknown as far as I know, who plays Earl's ex-wife, Joy. She has the whole white trash bit down perfectly. In fact the realness, or exaggeration of realness because it's comedy, is what makes this stand apart from many US comedies.

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