In doing yesterday's grab-bag post, I forgot that I had seen both of this season's new episodes of "My Name Is Earl." I forgot in part because I watched them both about a week ago on a review screener, but also because neither was strong enough to stand out in my memory after a day or two. Still, some brief thoughts coming up just as soon as I shove a squid in someone's face...
Greg Garcia has talked about how he wanted to bring the show back to its roots after last year's Prison Earl and Coma Earl experiments. The thing is, while the coma episodes were awful, the earlier prison arc featured some of the sharper outings the show had done in a while. It was a nice combination of the predictable List elements and some format-breaking surprises.
The two episodes opening this season were very much in the vein of the early days of "Earl," but I don't know that this is something to aspire to. Basic stories of "Earl" crossing items off his list have never done a lot for me, in part because they squander Jason Lee's talents by asking him to do nothing but act genial and confused. There are going to be funny moments here and there (in this case, I laughed at Randy's reaction to the prop squid, and at Earl and his dad getting beat up by David Paymer's wife in the stretch pants), but not enough to make it a must-watch, especially now that there isn't a show I care about airing immediately after it. (I haven't watched "Kath & Kim" yet, and could wind up liking it, but the clips and what I've heard from other critics isn't filling me with confidence.)
What did everybody else think? You glad for the back-to-basics approach, or are you as fatigued with "Earl" as I am?