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

Sunday, January 6, 2008

My Name Is Earl: Midnight Bun

The continuation episode was well worth the wait, pulling out all the stops in the laugh department. What better way to get the ball rolling than having that tongue-in-cheek, action-packed recap bring me back up to speed? It kind of reminded me of all those Internet movie trailer mash-ups that are so plentiful these days, but of course, with much better editing. What followed was one of the most rapid-fire Earl episodes I've seen in a while, hitting all the right nuances of the plot, cramming it with humor, and not wasting a second.

If I had an MVP award to hand out, it would undoubtedly go to Ethan Suplee. It's interesting that Randy, the simpleton of the bunch, somehow consistently emerges as the most multi-faceted character of the show. Last episode I saw his vindictive side, and this time he showed a sad, introspective side. I couldn't help finding the crying, I'm-not-good-at-anything scene quite touching (albeit in a funny, this-is-a-comedy-show kind of way). I'm glad that Earl didn't try to sugarcoat anything for him; rather, he largely let Randy figure out his own self-worth. And it's true that Earl wouldn't be where he is if it weren't for Randy (no, not prison - you know what I mean).

Oh, snap! Joy and Darnell were on top of their game as well. Especially during the hospital scenes, there were so many great one-liners it was actually a little hard to keep up. After enjoying her massage and "crudi-tray," it was fun to watch the ever-tough Joy with her flippant, let's-get-this-over attitude toward childbirth. She fits well with Darnell, who's calm and collected even after accidentally getting dosed up with oxytocin. Well, at first anyway.

Rounding things out nicely was the sideline story of Catalina babysitting Joy's kids. For a second there, I thought they were just going to harp on her dreadful childhood memories the whole time. However, it ended up with some of her funniest moments this season. While opting to not learn the children's names (calling them "white one" and "black one"), it was a hoot watching her beat them at children's games, rubbing it in their faces the entire time.

The future's looking good for Joy, now that she can resume causing mischief unfettered. But the big questions remain: how much longer will Earl be in the big house and what will he need to do to get out? For now, it looks like man does not remain free solely by the grace of good karma.

But now, on to some of those highlights:

In the faux-serious intro recap, Joy is described as someone "who'll stop at nothing to get her sister's surrogated, biracial baby out of her womb." Also, the intro hit its tension-filled climax with footage of an atomic blast.

Darnell: "Without illicit sex, shame is just shame."

Apparently, Joy's a Nancy Grace fan.

After the police dog runs off, Randy decides to try picking up Frank's scent on his own and becomes disgusted when smelling his dirty clothes.

Joy on giving birth: "All I need is gravity, a bucket, and a wet nap."

Having won musical chairs, Catalina yells, "Suck on that, white one!"

Darnell once performed a Cesarean on his cat, Miss Kitty. "I was nine; I did the best I could."

Randy asserts that not only did Frank not trip on the rock that always gets him, but he "walked right over it like the Fonz."

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