Friday, January 19, 2007

"It's somebody in the wide wide world of web": My Name Is Earl

Okay. I'm not posting pictures for all of these until I get access to the networks' publicity sites.

Spoilers herein, but the episode won't really be ruined if you know how it ends -- not that Earl is often a plot-heavy show.

A lot of the sentiment within My Name Is Earl feels forced on occasion. Earl's transformation from rapscallion to do-gooder has occasionally felt forced, especially as Jason Lee's performance often gives a hint of just how enjoyable Earl was as a bad guy. What's more, there's an attempt to tie everything together with a big bow in the voiceover that is often grating.

I felt that a lot of tonight's Earl was the same way -- roughly the first two-thirds were kind of draggy with too few laughs. It's hard to humanize a dead guy that we've never met before in a television format, and Earl really sort of tried too hard to do that. But, somehow, the last revelation (that the dead guy was really popular on the Internet) saved it all.

The Internet is usually portrayed as a bad thing on television -- a place where malcontents breed and meet to harm our children. Every crime procedural on CBS has done the cautionary "they met on the Internet -- IT ENDED IN DEATH" episode at least five times over. So it was nice to see a show acknowledge the many ways people use the Internet in social ways. Admittedly, it ended with the overdone "Then they all started to do more in their real lives" beat, but the way the dead guy used the Internet to meet people from all over the world and share his interests with them was genuinely sweet.

So what did you think?

1 comment:

raster said...

I agree it was good the way they portrayed the internet (a least as compared to other shows) and I too was a bit disappointed in the "Then they all started to do more in their real lives" bit at the end, though I think they tried to save it a bit by showing the poker players with their laptops.