"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My Name Is Earl: Harassed a Reporter

Ahh, is there anything as satisfying as a good quip from Crabman: "You can edit film to make people think all kinds of things. Like the moon landing. That was all done with puppets in my uncle's garage."

Earl is back from hiatus, and it's returned to form. Earl gets to cross two items off his list, and you get a little peek into what makes Earl and Randy tick.

When Earl wakes up at 4AM and sees a reporter talking to herself on the news, he recalls that she's on his list. Randy and Earl had made a reputation for themselves during their bad old days by doing ridiculous stunts in the background when reporter Nicole Moses was out on a story.

One interesting sidenote here is that we see Catalina laughing at their antics in a flashback. Does this mean she recognized them right away when she met them, or had she forgotten about the "Brazos Locos?"

In order to make up for ruining Nicole's career, Earl agrees to be in her feel-good story about someone who's reformed his ways. But for the umpteenth time in this series, it becomes clear that no matter how much time Randy spends helping Earl, it's Earl's list and nobody pays much attention to Randy.

Joy offers him some advice and tells him that he needs to strike out on his own in the world and get away from under Earl's shadow. And in his typical Randy way, he takes her advice literally. If he was bad when Earl was bad, and turned good when Earl did, then he needs to be the opposite of Earl. And that means getting a sombrero and writing a list of anyone he's ever been nice to and screwing with them.

Personally, I think this concept had promise. It would have been nice to see this carry over for a few episodes. But alas, Randy only does one bad thing in this episode -- and it's apparently enough to make karma notice him. Funny how that works out when you're a fictional character in a sitcom where the writers try to wrap things up in a half hour.

The last few episodes have been sorely missing the precious moments that Earl and Randy share in bed. This episode started out with a tender bed moment, as Earl worried whether Randy had died in his sleep, and ended with another, as Randy helped Earl out with a toothache.

All told, a pretty heartwarming story about two brothers. Much better than the one Nicole Moses made up out of thin air. Okay, not that thin. The truth is, Randy is a bit simple. As she points out, it's not like NASA was knocking on his door. But I don't think anyone who meets Randy would think he was disabled. They'd just think he still holds a childlike sense of wonder, which is generally a good thing.

This episode left me with one real question. Why does everybody in town seem to watch the evening news? And on the same channel?

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