May 14, 2006

Finale Report: My Name is Earl - "Number One"

This is the one you've been waiting for all season, maybe, I don't know. In any case, the final episode of My Name is Earl's inaugural season has come and gone. It was a fine capper to an exceptional debut season.

The show is based around the high concept of karma dealing the good and the bad fortunes upon us. Jason Lee is Earl, a loser and petty thief who, after getting hit by a car, wins a scratcher lottery card, and decides to turn his life around. He writes a list of all the bad things he's done, and sets about righting all the wrongs of his past. So, off he goes, with his brother, Randy, and a friendly cleaning lady, Catalina, from the hotel they call home.

"Number One" deals with, what else, the first thing that Earl has on his list. After allowing Randy to give him a swirly, in response to a similar instance years earlier, Darnell (aka Crabman) gave him the idea of rectifying the first thing on his list. The only problem with that is that number one is the guy Earl stole the money from that paid for his winning scratcher.

Earl and Randy head out to his former victim's place, much to the dismay of Randy who does not want to give up the money. This money is what has been funding their good deeds, as well as their hotel slumming lifestyle. After returning the money, Earl and Randy start suffering from the effects of hunger, and getting kicked out of their hotel room.

The duo set out to cross some things off that don't cost any money. They are able to do a couple of things, but they need to get money, quick. Randy is getting meaner by the minute, and Earl is just plain frustrated. They even sell the El Camino. Of course, they hop a bus to go and give the money to the original guy, as they had spent some of the scratcher money.

While on the bus, karma steps in once again, as the bus hits the guy with the money. At the hospital, the guy begs Earl to take back the money. This launches into an extension on the pilot episode where Earl got hit by the car. As it turns out, this guy got hit by the same car, after picking up Earl's dropped ticket. Karma did not intend the money to go to him, it was always meant for Earl to continue is do-gooding, and to feed Randy.

This series is one of the better sitcoms going right now. It has a unique high concept, a good cast, and has been consistently entertaining. Occasionally it falls into a rut, but nothing that seriously derails the series. That was my biggest fear going into the show, that it would just be the cross off of the week. They were able to switch it up a bit from time to time. They brought in some good guest stars like Adam Goldberg and Giovanni Ribisi to add a little flavor.

The main cast is great. I have alwasy enjoyed Jason Lee's work as one of Kevin Smith's actor mainstays. Jaime Pressley, as Earl's ex-wife Joy, is hilariously trashy, she takes a hold of the stereotypical trailer trash and has fun with it. Eddie Steeples is the Crabman, and Joy's new boyfriend, he is a sleepy voice of sanity for the show. In a similar role to Crabman is Nadine Velazquez as Catalina, she is always ready with supporting, and sane, words of encouragement and advice. That brings us to the slow witted Randy, played perfectly by Ethan Suplee, this guy captures the sweet and goofy core of the series.

This show was a revelation, and helped breathe some life into the sitcom realm. This finale was an excellent capper, keeping the formula, adding a few twists, and bringing us all the way back to where it started. I look forward to what will be offered in the second season of Earl's adventures.


Post a Comment