Earl Power

My Name Is Earl a

The Meaning Of Life

One of the best sitcom imports of recent years has quietly sneaked back onto the schedules of Channel 4 after what seems like far too long.  The second series of My Name Is Earl is easily still on a par with the first one and, just five episodes in and we’ve already enjoyed seeing the eponymous hero making amends for stealing a cat, throwing an old guy out of their band and making fun of a girl with a moustache, they’ve even had time along the way for cameo appearances from Burt Reynolds and Giovanni Ribisi.  The watchability of the show comes from some very snappy dialogue intertwined with the sheer ridiculousness of the storylines.  Probably the best example was in the episode “Sticks and Stones” where the moustached girl from Earl’s schooldays has grown up to be a bearded lady in a carnival, but she lives in an isolated community with the other “circus freaks”.  As Earl decides he wants to get to know the whole community to help him to stop judging people on their appearances, Randy says, “If you make friends with anybody, make friends with the tall guy. I know where there’s a frisbee stuck in a tree.” There are five or six throwaway lines like that in each episode that are delivered with such nonchalance you find yourself breaking into a grin in the next scene what was said finally sinks in.  The other nice thing about the show is that it is not, in any way, aspirational, a fact that is a blessed relief given some of the recent latte-fuelled sitcoms that have come out of the US.  Setting the show amongst America’s smalltown, redneck community is a masterstroke in itself.  If you haven’t tuned in yet, I encourage you to give it a go.

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