My Name Is Earl: Season 2 (2006)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
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Overall Rating 71%
Overall Rating
Ranked #1,487
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Connections: My Name Is Earl

Earl is a low-life who buys a winning lottery ticket, only to get hit by a car, losing the ticket in the process. He then realizes in the hospital that his bad luck is the result of karma in which fate punishes him for all the rotten things he's ever done in his life; therefore, he then decides to dedicate his life to making amends to all the people he has hurt in his life. --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: June 09, 2012
So, here I am, just twenty-four hours removed from reviewing the first season of My Name is Earl, writing a review for the second season. Granted, there was a bit of time in between me wrapping up the first season and getting the review posted, but I still think that you might be able to tell how much I enjoyed the show based on how fast these reviews are coming out. I had an absolute blast with the first season and couldn't wait to dive into season two, so here we are... and will this season live up to the high standards set by the first?

I'm not going to rehash the synopsis for the show, as you can simply go back to my review for the first season if you need to figure out what the show is about. Not much has changed here in terms of the overall plot device, but there are a few little things that have changed. The main one is that Joy decided to steal a truck full of electronics from a local store, and unbeknownst to her, there was a driver in the back of the truck when she stole it. She was caught, and she is now facing charges of grand theft auto, kidnapping, and assault. Oh, and since this is her third strike, she's facing life in prison if convicted. This piece of the story develops throughout the entire season with varying degrees of importance: it's not mentioned at all in some episodes, while some episodes are devoted solely to progressing it. There are also a few other minor changes thrown in, such as Earl wanting to grow up and get a real job, and we also learn a little about Darnell's history. At the end of the day though, the show still focuses on that list and Earl's attempts at setting things right.

While I will readily admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this season, I also have to say that I could see it starting to go downhill a bit. It was nothing dramatic, don't get me wrong, but the charm was definitely starting to wear a little thin. One thing that bugged me was the fact that it seemed like all of the best material had been used in the first season. There, we had tons of hilarious moments, usually a couple of genuine laugh-out-loud moments per episode. In this season, that has slowed down a bit. Again, I'm not saying that it's horrible or that there are no laughs to be found, but I do have to admit that the great jokes are not as regular as they once were.

I also noticed that the list - you know, the thing that was once the backbone of the entire show - has also started to take a backseat in order to provide more of a "normal" sitcom. There are a few episodes where it's not even mentioned, and a few other episodes where it is penciled in almost as an afterthought. For example, one episode features a bunch of flashbacks, and it all builds up to one character telling Earl to "write this on the list so that you can cross it off." That's not why I fell in love with the show, and it does drag it down. The season finale leads me to believe that the list will be forgotten even more in the next season. Let's hope not.

Still, with all of these negatives, I did enjoy the hell out of the season. There's still plenty of laughs to be had, the characters are still as enjoyable as ever, and the acting was still - for the most part - spot on. I can see that the show may be going downhill, but as far as this season goes, it's only on a gentle slope. There are also a large number of guest appearances once again to brighten things even more, with names such as Burt Reynolds, Roseanne Barr, Jenny McCarthy. Christian Slater, John Leguizamo, John Waters, and Norm Macdonald appearing.

So, am I still as in love with the show as I was at the end of season one? Nah... the infatuation is starting to wear off a bit. However, it's still a lot of fun even though it was a tiny step down in quality, and I'm still looking forward to season three. Let's hope that the downward trend doesn't continue there, and let's also hope that the list makes a triumphant return (even though I have my doubts). I'm giving this one a thumbs up, but it's not quite as enthusiastic as it was for the first season. 8/10.
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