'My Name Is Earl - Season Two'
(Jason Lee, Jamie Pressly, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / (2006) 2007 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: After cooking up a winning formula for the first season, NBC's karmic comedy could afford to shake things up. In Earl's equally successful second, there's an episode incorporating clay animation ("Robbed a Stoner Blind" with Christian Slater), an homage to Cops ("Our 'Cops' Is On!" with Kathy Kinney), a two-parter set in Latin America ("South of the Border" with John Leguizamo), and a Tarantino-style whodunit with narration split between Earl, Randy, Joy, and Crab Man ("Buried Treasure").
DVD Verdict: Season 2 of 'My Name is Earl' is now here and lovingly in our hands ... and overall this was a good season ... although I'm not convinced it was as strong as the first. Most of what makes the show stand out is its offbeat humor and non-sequitur comedy. I see it as sort of a live action version of Family Guy.
But during this season, we saw more of a story arc and more episodes that dealt with backstory and not necessarily with items on Earl's list. And while I'm usually a fan of character development, sometimes I just want to see some well written humor. Fortunately there's plenty of that packed into this four-disc set too. Most of the special features are saved for the fourth disc, which includes just two episodes but a behind the scenes look at the claymation episode, a blooper reel and some "web videos" produced by each of the show's major characters.
Each of the other discs includes a handful of deleted scenes and commentary tracks for selected episodes. I always have high hopes for deleted scenes, but I'm not really sure why. They're never very interesting. For the most part these are no different. The episode commentaries, on the other hand are often pretty funny and occasionally informative.
On various episodes, you wind up hearing from actors including Jason Lee, Ethan Supplee, Giovanni Ribisi, Nadine Vasquez, Eddie Steeples, Jaime Pressly, Amy Sedaris and Beau Bridges. A whole slew of writers, directors, and show creator Greg Garcia are also present. Here are a few of the things we learn:
Ethan Supplee really does hate cats. I think. It's hard to tell when they're being serious
Beau Bridges was bitten by a gerbil on the set
Marlee Matlin was a big fan of the show and had asked to be a part of it during the first season.
Paul the sleepwalking guy is played by an assistant director
Giovanni Ribisi may or may not have decided on his own to wear boots and speedos. Or Greg Garcia likes ribbing him. I can't really tell for sure!
Beau Bridges and Greg Garcia are neighbors in real life
The blooper reel was generally filled with scenes that were probably funnier to the actors and producers than the audience. Actors having a tough time saying lines and cracking up a lot. But I have to say, there's something sweet about watching Jason Lee and Ethan Supplee in bed cracking up as time after time as they try to say their lines! Oh yeah, and there's a mock trailer for a telenovela version of the show titled Las Passiones De Catalina. I don't speak Spanish, but I have to say, I'd watch it! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
All 22 Season Two Episodes
Audio Commentary on Selected Episodes
The Stoner Files
The Web Cam