This cracker of a TV series about a scumbag kleptomaniac turned karma do-gooder is, for the most part, based on creator Greg Garcia’s stepfather. Not that the news that real life informs the show should come as any sort of shock – what with the weight of guilt we all carry around on a daily basis.
My Name Is Earl is undoubtedly one of the best shows on TV at the moment, thanks to its redneck wit, loveable-yet-frustrating slob characters and a genius premise that sees Jason Lee’s Earl Hickey win $100,000 on the lottery, get run over, lose the ticket and realise that all the bad stuff that happens to him is a result of his own wrongdoings. What follows is 24 episodes of the superb Lee assuaging his misgivings over everything from bullying kids at school to faking his own death – all the while fending off the greedy advances of ex-wife Joy (Jaime Pressly).
The DVD comes with tons of scrapped moments, commentaries and a superb blooper reel (look out for the Timothy Olyphant boo-boo). Best of all is a warped “What if Earl went bad?” alternate pilot that ends on a darkly bum note.
BEST BIT When Earl is hit by the car at the outset and the karma fight-back begins.