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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Name is Earl

My Name is Earl.

I have to admit, and I’m ashamed to admit it, that my new guilty pleasure is “My Name is Earl.”

This show, I know, has been on for several seasons, and the fact it is just now appearing on my radar screen is a fair indicator of my general cluelessness about pop culture.  The story line – if you haven’t seen an episode up to now – varies but little; Earl, a skinny dude in with a moustache that looks glued on, feeling that his life has been misspent, is on a personal quest to make amends to everyone he’s ever wronged. His list, a long and thorough catalogue of misdeed on a piece of yellow legal paper, provides the impetus for the show. Each episode he finds one person he has wronged, and in the peculiar universe of the sitcom, finds a way to atone for his action, bring a measure of peace to his former victim, and restore the karmic balance of the universe all in thirty minutes.

Be it said, that Earl and company are the lowest trailer park types, and the humor of the sitcom is of the type that would appeal to the lowest trailer park types.  But, well, I love it.

Those who know me won’t be surprised that I’m a sucker for the world’s corniest humor, but there is at the bottom of My Name is Earl an underlying sweetness and affirmation. The characters are stupid and their lives hemmed by ignorance and lack, but the message is that the willingness to do good results in good and that the desire to be a better person will, ultimately, make you a better person.

And in a nutshell that’s the TV show, over and over.

There are worse things to watch.

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