Saturday, February 22, 2014


The premise of My Name Is Earl, is that Earl hears Carson Daily discuss karma, and he begins to think about the consequences of his actions. Here is the premise:

You know the kind of guy who does nothing but bad things and then wonders why his life sucks? Well, that was me. Every time something good happened to me, something bad was always waiting round the corner: karma. That's when I realized that I had to change, so I made a list of everything bad I've ever done and one by one I'm gonna make up for all my mistakes. I'm just trying to be a better person. My name is Earl.

The show is like Enlightenment. It starts out making fun of the simple spiritual notions, but it also takes us into spirituality, where inevitably not everything is simple.

The humor is low brow, and silly. It's a combination of Shameless and any half hour ensemble sitcom. I'm almost embarrassed to say I like the show because it's a little too much of an adult Spongebob Squarepants.

There is an element of AA in the show because he wants to make amends. The first lesson is that you can't undo things. It's like the surprisingly good Madona children's book: Mr. Peabody's Apples. And yet the effort to make amends is a kind of kindness, that always wins over people who are wronged. At times, people take advantage of his desire to do right, but most often people are grateful of his efforts. In the end whether things go right or wrong, causality is complicated, and things are not simple. There are unintended consequences you can't see. Our efforts often can achieve the opposite results we're aiming for.

There's an absurdist quality that is reminiscent of Futurama and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It's absurdist humor without the intelligence of Monty Python. Again it's low brow.

It also has the humor of nihilism that I don't like, but mostly it's heavy on meaning.

I'm for any exploration of conditionality. Reminds me of the wheel of life.

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