My Name Is Xenu!
Is everyone else excited about Jason Lee’s new NBC sitcom “My Name Is Earl”? (I know Will at b.la is.) In case you have been living under a rock, this is the first foray into sitcoms for Jason Lee, skateboarder-turned-Scientologist- turned-movie-actor-turned-TV- actor . The script was so good that he put his white-hot movie career ON HOLD for this. I heard he literally had to like call up all the top film directors and say, “Guys, guys–please stop sending me your feature scripts. I’m doing television now. My name is Earl.”
So to help explain what it’s all about, I handily pulled the “ABOUT” treatment from the NBC corporate website. But I could not curb my enthusiasm and had to interject throughout. Consider their synopsis the ham and my asides the cloves. Mmmm, hammm.
Earl (Jason Lee, “Almost Famous,” “Chasing Amy”) has taken one too many wrong turns on the highway of life.
And we’re off… Can I just say what a relatable premise to kick things off. I think it’s safe to say we’ve ALL taken one too many wrong turns on the highway of life. (I have the tattoos to prove this.) And I love “Almost Famous” and “Chasing Amy”! Who doesn’t? It’s safe to say those are like 2 of my top 3 greatest American movies of all time, right after “Forrest Gump.” I have all the DVDs. Theatrical and director’s cuts for both of them.
However, a twist of fate turns his life into a tailspin of life-renewing events. Earl wins a small lottery, and, after an epiphany, he is determined to transform his good fortune into a life-changing event as he sets out to right all the wrongs from his past.
OK, I like this. I see where we’re going with this. Twist of fate, tailspin, life-renewing, epiphany, right all the wrongs, yada yada. I like it. I like it. Hold on a sec, will ya. WHERE THE FUCK IS MY DIET COKE, SHEILA? Sorry about that. You were saying, again? Tailspin…
Before Earl can begin his journey, his inevitable attraction to misfortune surfaces once again. Seconds after winning the lottery, he is hit by a car and while unconscious; the winning lottery ticket blows away. While in the hospital, Earl watches “Last Call with Carson Daly” where Carson says that his success is a direct result of doing good things for other people. It is at that moment Earl discovers karma- and in hope of a better life, he sets out to correct every bad thing he’s ever done starting with a grade school geek, Kenny (guest star, Gregg Binkley), who Earl used to pick on.
Whoa! Didn’t see that one coming! So he loses the ticket and then gets all karmic. I like it. Hmmm. I like it. Hospital-bedside-epiphanies are hot this season. And can you say network tie-in? Brilliant. More impressions for Carson. And Gregg Binkley, hello? That guy’s a comedic genius. He played Don Knotts on that Three’s Company unauthorized MOW.
Joining Earl along his quest to cleanse his karma are a few dim-witted friends: hapless brother Randy (Ethan Suplee, “Cold Mountain”) and the very sexy Catalina Nadine Velazquez, “The Bold and the Beautiful”). Even Darnell (Eddie Steeples, “Torque”), the owner of the Crab Shack where Earl drinks beer, offers his support. But it’s Earl’s ex-wife Joy (Jamie Pressly, “Not Another Teen Movie”) who won’t lift a finger to help unless there’s something in it for her.
Now you’re talking! I was just wondering, “Who’s the piece of ass in this thing?” And you tell me there’s two of them to boot! I like it. Classic Three’s Company configuration. This Catalina is like the dark Latina muy caliente oversexed spitfire and Jamie Presley is the hot blonde ditz with a nice rack who won’t lift a finger unless there’s something in it for her. Look out for this one! And again, with Jamie you’re getting a big time movie star who puts the silver screen on hold to do a great sitcom. That speaks volumes about the quality of the material. And the dudes, the dimwit biological brother and ethnic brutha, these guys are going to be a riot. I close my eyes and can see the hijinx now. Holy shit, hilarity will reign supreme this Fall on NBC!
Despite his seemingly limited intelligence, Earl is oddly effective — and the comedy series, like Earl himself, has a voice and style all its own. Created and written by Greg Garcia (“Yes, Dear), “My Name is Earl” is executive produced by Garcia and Marc Buckland (“Medical Investigation,” “Ed”). The series is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television.
This is what I’m talking about: Earl is an EVERYMAN–limited intelligence yet oddly effective. So you just feel good after watching this. So good, you want to go out and buy some stuff that might be suggested during the broadcast at eight minute intervals. And you see how they tied the voice of the show back to the voice of the main character? That is a particularly sweet touch. The suits must have ate up the pitch. And the pedigree of the creators–“Yes, Dear!” “Ed” and “Medical Investigation”–speaks for itself.
Damn, this show is going to be sweet. Just remember, if this show gets ratings, then Jason gets paid, then he kicks up to the Church of Scientology, who then gives special treatment to the vicitims of Hurricane Katrina. So it’s safe to say that by watching this show, you are doing your part in the relief effort. Tune in Thursdays at 9 pm!