Sooner or later, every TV show ends up doing a musical episode. I guess that’s just a fact of tube life, and this week is Earl’s turn. It all starts when Earl takes a creative writing class in prison. The assignment? “Write something about yourself,” says his teacher, a woman who looks like she should be marking up bingo cards at the church hall.

But Earl is seriously blanking on this whole story-telling thing. So he tries taking the advice of his bunk-mate: “Just close your eyes and look inside your brain, like when you’re driving on meth.”

Ok, so Earl doesn’t have much experience with that, but he gives it a shot anyway. But when he closes his eyes, all he sees is a white room with a weird, snarky gymnast in it. Somehow, I’m not surprised. What I AM surprised about is that all of his buddies actually DO have a story.

Randy’s involves a real-live version of H.R. Pufnstuf, an orangutan driving a muscle car, a puppet sniper, x-ray vision, and Earl and Catalina being held hostage at the Crab Shack. While freeing his friends, Randy gets to kick some ninja warrior ass – namely, Joy’s.

But the best part? Randy draws a poster of his story, just in case they want to make it into a movie. Earl is impressed. “The doctor always said you’re borderline artistic!” Ok, I get it.

Catalina’s story revolves around her job as a lounge dancer – so she can pay the ransom for her kidnapped brother. But her boyfriend doesn’t like it, so drug lords Earl and Randy with their weird Cheech-and-Chong accents have to intervene. It’s “Catalina: Woman of a Thousand Tears.”

Anyway, my favorite story of the night is Darnell’s “Please Respect the Meat” -- a full-out MTV-type video with Randy singing back-up and Earl as a rapper. It’s an eco-song about the energy crisis and murdered crabs. And Darnell kicks butt as an R&B singer. Check it out here.

I’m happy to report that after a mediocre start to season three, Earl is back on track. And that’s good karma.

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