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

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Name Is Earl - Earl & Joy's Anniversary

The plot of this particular episode revolved around Earl remembering the first anniversary of his marriage to Joy. That day was special because Earl's cousin Blake showed up and made Earl feel jealous and inferior as he bragged about sleeping with Joy. A swarm of killer bees trapped Earl, Randy, Joy, Blake and others inside the Crab Shack while Darnell, Catalina, Kenny and Patty the daytime hooker hid inside a phone booth. The day was also memorable because it was the day Earl and Joy finally decided their sham marriage was over and that they didn't really love each other. He may not have loved Joy as his wife, but Earl did care enough to protect her from a renegade killer bee, stabbing it with a corn dog stick just in the nick of time. You'd think an outlandish plot device like killer bees would inspire some killer jokes. Not really.

Jason Priestly was an odd choice for the role of Blake because he's not known as a comedic actor. Unfortunately, I still don't know if he can do comedy because he wasn't given anything to work with in a thankless role as a male model. Perhaps a sitcom veteran or sketch comedian could've done more with the part, but that seems like a stretch. Unlike Seth Green, Jenna Elfman, and David Arquette earlier this season, Priestley's stunt casting went to waste.

In the midst of forgettable jokes and a mediocre plot, there was one scene that worked really well – Randy had secretly taped Earl and Joy over the past year and took the footage to a wedding videographer to create an anniversary gift. The result was a funny montage of scenes showing Earl and Joy's complete disharmony, accompanied by cheesy video effects and the perfect soundtrack, "You're the Inspiration" by Chicago. Why couldn't the rest of the episode been equally as funny?

My Name is Earl has just become forgettable, which in terms of entertainment, is almost worse than being terrible. With a bland sitcom that was once great, there's not much to do except hope it gets better and long for the past.

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