Advertisement

Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Karma Returns to Thursday Nights

My Name is Earl” kicked off its anticipated second season by pairing two of the show’s most distinctive characters–the eponymous amends-seeking hero, played by Jason Lee and his moustache, and his insufferably white-trash bitch of a wife, played by Jaime Pressly and her six-pack abs. The task: #183 on Earl’s list, “I never took Joy’s side.” Earl decides to support the next decision Joy makes–which, unfortunately, is inspired by an episode of Britney and Kevin’s reality show.

Joy sees that Britney and Kevin have a giant, disappearing TV, and she wants–no, she deserves–one too. So she manages to save up the $3000 and buys one, but it’s too big for her trailer home. She tries to return it, but because the item number on the receipt was ruined, the clerk won’t accept the return. She swears she’s going to get her money back, no matter what she has to do. On her way out of the store, she encounters a delivery truck with the keys in the ignition and steals it with the intent to sell it for her $3000. It falls to Earl to help her sell the truck, which unbeknownst to our flawed protagonists, has a man in the back, effectively making the pair kidnappers as well. Throughout, Joy is unyielding in her beliefs: She is owed her money back, and if she can’t t get it back from the store, the universe/life owes it to her.

Advertisement

In a show already steeped with lessons about the circular nature of karma, this episode additionally highlights the subjective morality of circumstance. If life owes us, to what lengths may we go to attain what should be ours? Is a crime of principle–“like when Rosa Parks stole that bus,” Joy points out–justified if it achieves what is “right?”

Joy also appeals to her ex’s devotion to his list of atonement items, claiming that since he never supported her in the past, he needs to do so now. As the escapade escalates, Earl finally has to admit that he’s supported her as far as he could, and that he is going to opt out of continuing to be an accessory to Joy’s single-minded pursuit of what she considers justice. In her mind, Joy thinks she’s no different from that “Robin Hood, Batman, Jesus stuff.” Earl says he doesn’t know about Jesus and Batman, but that stealing from the rich to help the poor did sound like it was up Robin Hood’s alley.

Advertisement

“Why do bad things always happen to good people?” Joy wonders after the inadvertent hostage runs into a tree, which adds assault to the mounting list of charges against her. But Joy is not a creature of depth and nuance. She is a simpleton, but doesn’t seem to understand that society has rules that she must adhere to.

But when we consider that Joy got into this whole mess because she thought Britney and Kevin were like royalty and the Federlinean lifestyle was worth emulating, we also have to ask ourselves who our role models are and why. The image of having a TV larger than your means and circumstances allow is a salient metaphor for the undue emphasis that we put on place on celebrities and television in general, and provokes us to think about what entertainment makes us think about, while we’re enjoying that very same entertainment. It’s very meta.

Previous Posts

Dr. Ted Baehr Ranked Among the Top 50 Christian Leaders in America
Newsmax just released their annual list of the top 100 Christian leaders in America who make a real impact on modern lives. Included in their list is Dr. Ted Baehr, founder and publisher of the family-friendly Movieguide. His position ranks ...

posted 9:53:33am Apr. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Super Soul Sunday: Ageless Living with Oprah and Dr. Christiane Northrup
Oprah talks to Dr. Christiane Northrup, New York Times bestselling author and pioneer in the field of women’s health and wellness, for a conversation about empowering everyone to trust their inner wisdom, following your heart’s desire and ...

posted 10:14:42am Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

The New ‘Jurassic World’ Trailer is Here, And It Doesn’t Disappoint
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJJrkyHas78[/youtube] Jurassic Park fans: this may just be the sequel you've been waiting for. The new Jurassic World trailer, released this week is jam-packed with action and full of surprises ...

posted 9:09:39am Apr. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Meet Vera, a main character in the upcoming show “The Messengers.”
Meet Vera, a main character in the upcoming show “The Messengers.” In The CW’s new drama “The Messengers,” Shantel Van Santen plays Vera, radio-astronomer whose son was kidnapped seven years ago. Vera has struggled since losing her ...

posted 12:24:16pm Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

‘Little Boy’ is a Story for Everyone
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_BdzqsIX6A The question this father and son always have for each other during their adventures is "Do you believe we can do this?"  The answer is always "Yes, partner." If you’re a big fan of a movie ...

posted 5:01:43pm Apr. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.