A couple years back, I swore off of network television. I decided that, once Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel ran their course, I’d never again watch any new network shows on a regular basis. There were a number of reasons: the piss poor quality of the shows, the endless commercials, annoying product placement, starting shows several minutes early to fuck up DVR users, there was no shortage of things influencing the decision. Since the endings of Buffy and Angel, I’ve stuck with it. Until now.
I got hooked last week on My Name Is Earl. I’ll admit that I’m a Jason Lee fan, I’ve almost always enjoyed his roles (most notably as Banky in Chasing Amy,) so I gave it a shot (The presence of Ethan Suplee and Jaime Pressly didn’t hurt either.) The story revolves around Earl (Jason Lee’s character) trying to right the karmic balance in his life. After having his wife (played to white trash perfection by Jaime Pressly) divorce him and throw him out of his house, then winning the lottery and getting hit by a car immediately after, losing the winning lottery ticket, he decides he needs to atone for all the shitty things he’s done in his life. He makes a list, and sets about making right his wrongs. It’s a good show, even though not a great one. Funny enough to make me want to come back each week, and original enough that I can’t see the plot coming from a mile away. So, I’m hooked. Damn it.
As a side note, I didn’t even recognize Ethan Suplee (who plays Earl’s loser brother) at first. The man has lost a lot of weight. I remember him most from Mallrats, where he played Willam, the fat man who couldn’t see the sailboat, from American History X as fat Nazi Seth, and The Butterfly Effect, as Ashton Kutcher’s fat college roommate. I won’t make a guess as to how much weight he’s lost, but it’s impressive. He looks much better, and hopefully he can continue to land roles without his weight as a gimmick of sorts. Kudos to Ethan.