The talking-ad insert NBC put in my Entertainment Weekly last week, in which Jason Lee yelled, "I'm talkin' about karma!" every time you opened the magazine, nearly turned me off of the show (especially after my husband hid it under my pillow one night). But I'm glad I disregarded all that. And I could just about ignore this whole plot conceit about Earl righting his past wrongs by hunting people down and forcefully becoming their Roma Downey for the day. What gets me about Earl are the little things these ignorant, lying, cheating, lazy, small-town characters and the details of their pitiful lives and simple pleasures: the "We're gonna do the monkey" song at the opening; perfect white-trash temptress Joy (Jaime Pressly); Earl and Sonny's ongoing game of beer-can tag; Earl and Randy's childhood habit of calling "dibs" on girls; Patty the daytime hooker; Randy's bliss every time someone presses B-7, "It Takes Two," on the jukebox; Kenny James' parents' bird-figurine collection; Earl sending Randy to buy cheeseburgers from the vending machine and the way Randy skips off like a little kid to do it. I adore Lee, and don't even mind that every time he gives a speech, he sounds just like he gave one of his Kevin Smith characters a Southern accent. That must be why I'm able to swallow the preposterous notion that someone who's done these 258 bad things can instantly become the sweet-natured guy who takes the kid he picked on in elementary school to a gay bar. I'm kind of worried about Earl, though, because he seems kind of naive. The same fool who married a woman six months pregnant with someone else's baby, and stayed with her after the second kid popped out looking suspiciously like Darnell the Crab Man, now has $100,000 in cash in his glove compartment. If he's not interested in a bank account, he'd better rack up that good karma right quick.
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