My Name Is Earl: Season 4 (2008)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
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Overall Rating 78%
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Ranked #1,610
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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
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Review by Chad
Added: June 25, 2012
It's finally time for season four of My Name is Earl, which also happens to be the final season (the series was unexpectedly canceled after this one). This was rather unfortunate, as this season turned things around after the awful previous season, and it was doubly unfortunate since this one ended on a cliffhanger that was supposed to be resolved in season five. Whoops. Now, there have been rumors of a movie or a new season to put some closure to the show, but honestly, I don't expect it - it's been three years now, and I don't think it had the fanbase to warrant it after all this time. So, I believe that it's safe to say that this is the last time we'll be seeing Earl and the gang, and thankfully, the show went out on a high note.

This season attempts to return to its roots, namely, the list and Earl's attempts at scoring some good karma. Most of the episodes aren't connected, as each one centers around a list item and Earl attempting to make up to the person that he wronged. You know the drill by now if you've been watching the previous seasons, and if you haven't, you might want to check them out first. There is one plot device that lasts for a handful of episodes, that being Darnell's involvement with the witness protection program. That had been hinted at throughout the series, and we finally find out why after he is forced to once again change his identity and start a new life with Joy. This piece of the story lasts for five episodes, and all of the other episodes are one-off stories.

After all but hating the previous season, I really wasn't expecting much from this one. I knew that the show had been canceled, and after enduring the last batch of episodes, I figured that this one was going to be even worse. That would certainly warrant a cancellation in my mind, but surprisingly, the writers seemed to be shifting the focus back to the roots of the series and the quality was moving back up. Granted, it wasn't as good as the first two seasons, but it definitely showed promise and I wouldn't mind another season after seeing this one.

I think the only real problem with this season was that all of the really good ideas had already been used in the previous seasons. The stuff that we get here is pretty good, but with a handful of exceptions, that's the extent of it: "pretty good." There aren't many classic episodes, there aren't as many great laughs per episode, and it just seemed like a small step down from those two great seasons. It was a huge step up from the previous season, but that's not saying much.

The cast was great, as usual, and unlike the previous season, everybody involved actually stays involved with the show from episode to episode - no comas this time! There's not much in the way of character development, but if you enjoyed the gang in the previous seasons, you'll love them just as much this time around. Also, the guest appearances pick back up this season, with cameos by Seth Green, Jerry Van Dyke, David Arquette, Jason Priestley, Erik Estrada, Danny Glover, Betty White, and Geraldo Rivera.

Overall, I'm glad I gave the show another chance after the abysmal third season and I think that it would be awesome to see another season, now that the writers have had time to regroup and come up with some new material. Even though it wasn't quite as good as the first two seasons, it was definitely entertaining and things seemed to be moving in a positive direction. To quote The Dixie Chicks: "Goodbye Earl"... and thanks for the laughs. 7/10.
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