Monday, May 22, 2006

Early Early Funny

American television produces a right load of crap on a regular basis -- even the most entertaining and successful shows out there are devoid of anything that resembles goodness or kindness. In fact, the main attraction of American television is an unrelenting meanspiritedness that is only diminished by a pervasive selfishness. Show after show exalts these two less-than-commendable qualities in characters that are often amongst the most popular on the show. Think Scrubs with Dr Cox, Will and Grace with Karen, or Desperate Housewives with, well, any one of the main characters, really.

And then, out of nowhere, NBC has proferred what appears to me to be the very first successful tv show not only starring a goodnatured character but with its main theme as being good to other people. It's shocking and I didn't believe it first, but My Name Is Earl is not only honking-out-loud hilarious, but truly feelgood television. The whole show is about how Earl wins $100,000 in the lottery and decides to make right with karma by rectifying a long list of all the terrible things he's done in his life. Jason Lee has a provocatively expressive face, not to mention a cool approach to acting that totally embodies what anyone would expect of a guy called 'Earl.' His co-star Ethan Suplee (remember that huge guy from Mallrats that spent the whole film trying to identify the picture in the computer-generated poster?) is the perfect sidekick for a show about hicks who rise above us all.