My Name Is Earl As A Telenovela
If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, Earl must be getting pretty hot! Join Earl once again on his bumpy stride down the path of redemption in the uproarious comedy My Name Is Earl Season Two, arriving on DVD September 25 from Fox Home Entertainment. Garnering two Golden Globe® nominations for his outstanding performance, Jason Lee (Chasing Amy, Vanilla Sky, Clerks II) stars as Earl, a ne'er-do-well simpleton whose continued attempts to correct his wrong-doin' past - all thanks to a twist of fate involving a lost lottery ticket and a car accident - thrusts his life into a comical tailspin of life-renewing events. Sharing its good karma, the My Name Is Earl Season Two DVD Collection includes all 23 half-hour episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes, deleted scenes, a blooper reel and more.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
My Name Is Earl's second season premiered on NBC on September 21, 2006. The second season continued to air
on Thursdays at 8PM ET/PT. It finished in 58th place with a 8.9 rating, down a bit from the first season but
still a solid success. The show received six Emmy® Award nominations. Jaime Pressly won for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series." Beau Bridges and Giovanni Ribisi were nominated for "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series." The show was also nominated in the "Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series" and "Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation" categories.
Memorable episodes included "Van Hickey," in which Earl tries to make amends with Tom (number 50), the older man they let be the lead
singer in his band but then kicked out before their first performance. Catalina helps Earl cross off No. 75 on his list “Used a mailbox as a trash can”
in "Mailbox." In the middle of a heat wave, Earl decides to cross number 26 off his list in "Robbed A Stoner Blind," so they must live an environmentally
conscious life in the commune with Woody the stoner for a week. Earl and Randy face problems in their quest to take Catalina off Earl's list and bring her home after she was deported because of Earl in "South of the Border." It's a trip down memory lane for Earl, Randy, Joy, Darnell and the Crab Shack regulars when they remember their fifteen minutes of fame watching a 2003 repeat of the TV show "Cops", which was filmed in Camden County in "Our 'Cops' Is On."
In classic whodunit fashion, Earl must determine who took his stolen "treasure" so he can cross it off his list in "Buried Treasure."
When Earl decides to get his first real job at an appliance store, he experiences 'growing pains' in "Get a Real Job."
Things are finally looking up for Earl with a G.E.D., a job, a new apartment and love interest in "The Trial."
After the sucess of season one, they were able to continue to attract guest stars that were fans
of the show or friends of the cast and crew. Judy Greer guest starred as Maggie Lester in
"Sticks & Stones." Marlee Matlin appeared as Ruby in "Sticks & Stones," "Born a Gamblin Man" and
"The Trial." Amy Sedaris
played Judy in "Larceny Of A Kitty Kat." Nancy Lenehan continued her recurring part as Earl's and Randy's mom, Kay Hickey,
in "Van Hickey," "The Birthday Party" and "Guess Who's Coming Out of Joy." Giovanni Ribisi returned as Ralph Mariano in "Van Hickey" and "The Trial." Roseanne guest starred as Millie Banks in "Made A Lady Think I Was God." Jenny McCarthy appeared as Wendy in "Mailbox." Christian Slater played Woody the stoner in "Robbed A Stoner Blind."
William Schallert was Dr. Rudin and John Leguizamo played Diego in "Sotuh of the Border."
Mike O'Malley guest starred as Officer Stuart Daniels and Kathy Kinney was Officer Bobbi Bowman
in "Our 'Cops' Is On." John Waters appeared as Walter in "Kept A Guy Locked In A Truck."
Beau Bridges returns as Earl's and Randy's father, Carl Hickey, in "The Birthday Party" and "Guess Who's Coming
Out of Joy." Burt Reynolds guest starred as Richard Chubby and Norm MacDonald was Little Chubby
in "Two Balls, Two Strikes." Charles S. Dutton was Reggie, Sean Astin was Rick, Chelcie Ross
was Mr. Waadts and Mackenzie Astin played one of the salesmen in "Get a Real Job."
Duane "Dog" Chapman appeared as himself in "The Trial."
Unfortunately, I haven't received the final product and packaging for this set. I have only
screener discs for review. The cover art features a nice color cast photo (or drawing?). Earl is sitting in a chair
in front of the trailer. It looks like Earl's eyes are partially closed, but it would be much
funnier if he had eyes completely closed like he has in photos taken on the show. The slogan
"Karma is a funny thing" is below the My Name Is Earl logo. If the set is like the first season set and other recent 20th Century Fox releases, it will come in a cardboard box that holds two slim cases.
I'll update this section when I receive the final product.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus look very similar to those used on the season one set. They
are very attractive and easy to navigate. The main menu has a lottery
ticket. As the 3 boxes are scratched off, clips from the episodes are shown in each of them.
An extended version of the instrumental theme runs in the background for around
3 minutes and then loops. There are options for Play All Episodes, Episode Selections, Special Features
and Language Selections. There are 2 red dollar signs next to the option that you highlight
that turn white upon your selection. When you choose Episode Selections,
it takes you to a separate sub-menu that features a different photo on each disc.
The episode titles are listed horizontally in white in 3 rows. Red and blue
stars separate the episodes. The episode you highlight is in a brighter white. It's a bit difficult to see which episode you highlight, so I think they should have made it a different color like yellow. When you choose
an episode, the episode changes to yellow text. Disc 1's Episode Index menu has a photo of Earl.
Disc 2 has Randy and Earl. Disc 3 features Earl and Randy. Disc 4 has Randy, Joy
and Earl. The Language Selection sub-menu gives you the option of English 5.1 or the the commentaries.
Subtitles are available in English, Spanish, and French. Each disc has a different photo:
Randy on Disc 1, Crab Man on Disc 2 and Catalina on Discs 3 & 4.
Finally, there is the special features menu. There is a different photo
on each sub-menu: Joy on Disc 1, Earl on Disc 2, Crab Man and Joy on Disc 3, and Randy and
Crab Man on Disc 4. Chapter stops are available within the episodes,
but there are no separate menus for scene selections.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio quality appears to be about the same as the season one set.
The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen.
I don't have a high definition TV, but the episodes on the DVDs look slightly better
than what I've seen broadcast on NBC. Each episode is shot like a mini-movie. There
are many outdoor and on-location scenes. The lighting and camera work is
excellent. Colors look bright and the sharpness and detail is fantastic.
The running times are mostly in the 21 1/2 to 22 minute range. They are spread out well, with
no more than 7 episodes per disc. The first episode
is only 20:32, so that one probably just ran shorter originally. "South of the Border" originally
aired as one-hour episode and it is presented that way here. There were several "super-sized" episodes
at the end of the season that ran 24:36 and 29:19, respectively.
Look for the "Amigos de Garcia" production company cards in the closing credits. They feature a
different friend of Creator/Executive Producer
Greg Garcia every week.
The audio is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The volume is at a good level,
and the dialogue is easy to understand. Music is an intergral part of
the show. The music is pumped up a bit with the surround audio.
Although there was no mention of it on the season one packaging, there were
some songs replaced on that set with generic background music due to music licensing issues. I don't have the final packaging, so I don't know if they mentioned any music substitutions this time around. While listening to the commentaries, they did
mention a couple of Cyndi Lauper and Supertramp songs that were included. They seemed to use
fewer songs in season 2, so if they had to replace any this time around, it should be
less of an issue. Any music subsitutions are unfortunate, but I guess there is not much you can do about it. Save
the episodes you record off NBC. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes. Subtitles are available
in English, Spanish and French.
Here is the breakdown by disc, including the original airdates and running times:
1. Very Bad Things (09/21/06) (20:32)
2. Jump For Joy (09/28/06) (21:30)
3. Sticks & Stones (10/05/06) (21:33)
4. Larceny Of A Kitty Kat (10/12/06) (21:23)
5. Van Hickey (10/19/06) (21:42)
6. Made A Lady Think I Was God (11/02/06) (21:38)
7. Mailbox (11/09/06) (21:27)
8. Robbed A Stoner Blind (11/16/06) (24:44)
9. Born a Ramblin Man (11/30/06) (21:41)
10. South of the Border (12/07/07) (42:59)
11. Our 'Cops' Is On (01/04/07) (21:10)
12. Buried Treasure (01/11/07) (21:10)
13. Kept A Guy Locked In A Truck (01/18/07) (21:02)
14. Foreign Exchange Student (02/01/07) (22:04)
15. B.L.O.W. (02/08/07) (21:32)
16. The Birthday Party (02/15/07) (21:37)
17. Guess Who's Coming Out of Joy (02/22/07) (21:35)
18. Harrassed A Reporter (04/12/07) (21:34)
19. Two Balls, Two Strikes (04/19/07) (21:36)
20. G.E.D. (04/26/07) (21:37)
21. Get a Real Job (05/03/07) (24:36)
22. The Trial (05/10/07) (29:19)
After an impressive amount and variety of special features were included on the season one set,
that trend is continued here. There are 8 commentaries by the cast, crew, and even a couple
of fans from TelevisionWithoutPity.com . Creator/Executive Producer Greg Garcia provides commentary on 7 of them. All of
main cast members did at least one of them. Guest stars like Giovanni Ribisi, Amy Sedaris
and Beau Bridges also participate. There's a nice mix here like the season one set.
They provide some nice trivia and observations about the episodes. Everybody sounded like they
were having fun. It would be great if they could also include some trivia tracks like the "Seinfeld" sets on future releases.
There are 15 deleted scenes from 10 different episodes. The combined running time is around
9 minutes. The bulk of the special features are found on the fourth disc. There is a 9 1/2
minute blooper reel, 38 minute behind the scenes look at "Robbed A Stoner Blind," 6 web cam clips,
and a short promo of the show as a telenovela.
Here is the breakdown by disc:
Disc 1 - Deleted Scenes (5:40)
You have the option to play an audio intro by Creator/Executive Producer on each disc where he basically
says that the scenes were cut for time. There is no scene-specific commentary for the deleted scenes,
as the original press releases state.
Very Bad Things (:34 - 1 scene), Van Hickey (1:03 - 2 scenes), Made A Lady Think I Was God (1:21 - 1 scene),
Mailbox (2:41 - 4 scenes)
Disc 1 - "Sticks & Stones" Commentary by Creator/Executive Producer Greg Garcia, Writer/Producer Danielle
Sanchez-Witzel, Actor/Producer Jason Lee, Actors Ethan Suplee and Giovanni Ribisi (not in the episode)
Disc 1 - "Larceny Of A Kitty Cat" Commentary by Creator/Executive Producer Greg Garcia,
Writer/Executive Story Editor Hilary Winson, Actors Ethan Suplee and Amy Sedaris
Disc 1 - "Van Hickey" Commentary by Creator/Executive PRoducer Greg Garcia, Producer/Actor Jason
Lee, Actors Ethan Suplee and Giovanni Ribisi
Disc 2 - Deleted Scenes (2:12)
Born A Gamblin' Man (:56 - 1 scene), South of the Border (:22 - 1 scene), Kept A Guy Locked
In A Truck (:55 - 2 scenes)
Disc 2 - "Our 'Cops' Is On" Commentary by Creator/Executive Producer Greg Garcia, Writer/Consulting
Producer/Actor Tim Stack; Actors Ethan Suplee and Jaime Pressly
Disc 2 - "Kept A Guy Locked In A Truck" by Creator/Executive Producer Greg Garcia, Producer/Actor
Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, Fans Beth Perry and Alesia Lewis - This one has questions from the fans & answers
by the cast and crew.
Disc 3 - Deleted Scenes (1:00)
B.L.O.W. (:26 - 1 scene), The Birthday Party (:14 - 1 scene); Two Balls, Two Strikes (:21 - 1 scene)
Disc 3 - "Foreign Exchange Student" Commentary by Creator/Executive Producer Greg Garcia, Writer/Executive
Producer Bobby Bowman, Writer/Producer Mike Mariano and Actors Ethan Suplee and Nadine Velazquez - I don't
think Greg Garcia was on this one.
Disc 3 - "Guess Who's Coming Out of Joy" Commentary by Creator/Executive Producer Greg Garcia,
Actors Jaime Pressly, Eddie Steeples and Beau Bridges
Disc 4 - "The Trial" Commentary by Creator/Executive PRoducer Greg Garcia, Director Mike Fresco,
Editor Billy Marrinson, Producer/Actor Jason Lee and Actor Ethan Suplee
Disc 4 - Karma: Take 2 Blooper Reel (9:29) - Some funny bloopers and outtakes that feature the cast
and some of the guest stars. A lot of funny clips here. There is some bleeped-out profanity.
Disc 4 - The Stoner Files - Robbed A Stoner Blind: From Start To Finish (38:39) -
This featurette has interviews with Executive Producer/Director Marc Buckland, Creator/Executive Producer
Greg Garcia, Executive Producer/Writer Bobby Bowman, Writer/Producer Kat Likkel, Writer/Producer
John Hoberg, Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, Jaime Pressly, Nadine Valazquez, Eddie Steeples,
First Assistant Director Joan Cunningham, Producer/Unit Production Manager Henry Lange Jr.,
Production Designer Randy Ser, Christian Slater, Director of Photography/Director Eyal
Gordin, Animation Producer Sean Buck, Co-Prducer Kim Hamberg, Animation D.P. Jim Matlosz, and Animators Tennessee Reid Norton and Joe Melb. They discuss how they got the idea for the episode and how they wanted to do an ecology story,
how the writing is a collaborative effort, the table read, producting meeting, shooting schedule,
locations, sets, and how they did the puppets and stop motion animation for the claymation
scenes in the episode. This was a very interesting look at the production of a complete episode.
There are quite a few people involved and it looks to be a time-consuming effort.
Disc 4 - The Web Cam - These are exclusives from the
official site. They are tied into the "Kept A Deady Guy In A Truck" episode. There are 6 clips here: Earl (:49), Randy (3:17), Joy (:49), Catalina (1:03), Darnell (:57), Earl & Randy (:48). The highlight for me is Catalina addressing her fans.
Disc 4 - My Name Is Earl as A Telenovela (:59) - Another clip from the official site. This promo has a lot
of clips from the episodes and a narrator that presents the show like a telenovela. Funny stuff.
Many shows go through a sophomore slump in their second season. My Name Is Earl remained funny, fresh
and original to me. NBC didn't mess with the success of the first season with a lot of changes. While there were some longer character and story arcs this season, Earl and his list still remained the focus. Some of the highlights of the season to me were the "Cops" and "Rudy" parody episodes. I loved how they brought in Charles S. Dutton, Sean Astin
and Chelcie Ross and how they parodied scenes from the movie, which is one of my all-time favorites.
20th Century Fox has done another good job with this release. The commentaries are fun to hear
for some trivia and behind the scenes details. I would have loved to see a lot more deleted scenes.
I'm sure they shoot a lot more that they have to cut for time. It was interesting to see
the amount of work that is involved with shooting a single episode in the featurette. There
are probably some music replacements on this set like season one but nothing like the WKRP in
Cincinnati release. Season three should be another funny and outrageous season. Alyssa Milano will
appear as Earl's possible love interest. Michael Rapaport and Craig T. Nelson are also joining
the cast as recurring characters. Watch the one hour season three premiere on Thursday, September 27 at 8PM on NBC.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 4.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
Note: The overall score has been reduced due to the amount of songs replaced.
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 09/19/06
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