My Name Is Earl

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

6
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 20, 2005 on NBC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (27)

9.2
out of 10
Average
683 votes
  • After a near death experience, Earl decides he must make things better with all the people he's done wrong. He's first crusade attempt, Kenny James, a poor boy he tortured in school.

    8.8
    The Pilot episode of My Name Is Earl sets the stage for what is going to be a great new comedy. The episode starts off by introducing Earl, played by Jason Lee. He looks like someone you would want to avoid and never met in a back alley. Dirty, poorly dress and scruffy.

    He is immediately shown as a stereotypical bum. Which is exactly what he is. He steals several CDs from a family's van and an American flag. After some more flashbacks, which show us Earl's past and all the horrible things he has done, we are introduced to his wife, Joy, played by Jamie Pressly. Right off the bat you can tell she cheats on him. This is clear after you see his second child, Dodge, who happens to be black.....

    Then we are introduced to Earl's brother who also happens to be a bum. Randy is his name, played by Ethan Suplee, and all he does is sleep on the couch in Earl's trailer. After all the characters are introduced, we see Earl at the store scratching off a Lottery ticket. After scratching off three $100,000s he runs screaming around, eventually staggering on to the road where is hit by an old woman in a car. The last thing he see before losing consciousness is his Lottery ticket blowing away.

    He wakes up in a hospital bed with casts and bandages all over. Joy enters the room and has him sign a piece of paper. He has no idea what it is, due to all the Morphine pumped in him. She tells him he just signed some divorce papers and the trailer over to her. Poor guy. He turns on the television to clear his mind. Carson Daily's talk show is on. Carson goes on to talk about the reason why he is so lucky and has it all. He treats people nicely and kindly, and in return he is treated the same. "Karma" he says.

    This hit's Earl like a ton of bricks. He now knows what he has to do. In order to make things better with everyone, he must change his ways and good things will come to him. Earl and his brother, Randy head off to an apartment for a while where Earl explains to Randy what he has to do. While staying at the apartment, Randy and Earl make friends with one of the maids, sexy Catalina, played by Nadine Velazquez. Earl tells them the first thing he is going to do on the list, stop littering. He starts cleaning the apartment parking lot. Randy tells him this is all dumb, until Earl's winner Lottery ticket is suddenly under his shoe.

    Next on the list for Earl is to make things better with one of the kids he went to school with, Kenny James. After having Randy get the information out of Kenny's parents as to where he lives, they head off to find him. Earl watches Kenny for a few days and sees he is a lonely guy. So he must get him laid. Earl and Randy head out to find Patty, played by Dale Dickey, the daytime hooker. She goes to Kenny's house only to come out a few minutes later. She tells them he didn't want to do it and she even showed him her "good" boob. Earl decides he is going to talk to Kenny.

    After Kenny gets pepper spray in his own eyes and runs into a wall trying to escape from Earl, he finds out Kenny is gay. Also, he hasn't told anyone about it. So Earl tells him they are going to a gay bar so Kenny can meet some other guys. At first Kenny is skeptical because of a recent attempt at entering a gay bar. He agrees to go along with Earl and Randy. While at the bar Kenny sees a guy he might be interested in. Earl tells Kenny is going to talk to him, but Kenny stops him, saying because you took me here I now have my confidence back. He thanks Earl and heads over to the other guy. Earl crosses Kenny James off his list.
  • About this episode

    10
    It had great written and directing.
  • Troubles that we all somehow have ?

    10
    When I watched the first episode I thought :\"What the heck\" ?
    But it grew on me ... it\'s one of the best written, funniest shows out there.
    In real life those guys probably would be real jerks, but here , just funky ...
    It show that you can change
    When I watched the first episode I thought :\"What the heck\" ?
    But it grew on me ... it\'s one of the best written, funniest shows out there.
    In real life those guys probably would be real jerks, but here , just funky.
    and then again and again and again
  • A brilliant start

    10
    This is one of the best pilots I’ve seen from any TV show, My Name Is Earl making my favourites list after only one episode and if you’ve seen it, you’ll definitely know why.

    The characters are introduced brilliantly in this episode, Earl being a terrific character that can be explored from many angles, from the first scene with him robbing the car to the best ten seconds of his life to him actually fulfilling one of his 259 objectives to achieve good karma.

    The first item being checked off is a very funny one and also a basic one to start off with since the introduction of the lottery ticket and unusual family is to hilarious to be left out, but of course is complicated when it turns out the kid he bullied has a secret.

    Overall, this pilot is very important and extremely funny.
  • A great way to start.

    10
    First, I love this show because it's has a amazing morel to it which is so great and it has great actor's and characters to boot. I hope this show ends with Earl finishing off his last deed and not end before than because that would suck alot. So heres to the start of something great.
  • The funniest show since Arrested Development.

    10
    To call this the best comedy since Arrested Development may not seem like it’s saying much since the latter show is only in its third season, but considering the latter is the funniest show ever, it’s saying something to even compare the two. In fact, this is probably the funniest pilot I’ve ever seen.

    The premise is clever—a trailer-trash cracker finds a winning lottery ticket, only to lose it (and wind up divorced and in traction) and chock it all up to karma. His solution is to right all the wrongs that he has committed in his life. With the aid of his brother and a gorgeous motel chambermaid, he begins with the victim of his childhood bullying.

    Jason Lee is perfect as the trashy yet affable Early P. Hickey. He has the air of a nice guy who does bad things. He’s definitely a cracker, but he’s so laid back that it’s hard not to like him. Yet even his quest to right things in the world is not without its selfishness. One gets the feeling (mostly because he stops just short of saying it) that he is only doing these good things to reap the benefits (“Do good things and good things will happen to you”). Even so, his doing the right things rings true. It’s not some silly sitcom plot where he tries to do the right thing, but does something completely wrong instead. He is actually using his brain to figure out what good things to do. Eventually.

    While this show may be about moral redemption, it’s actually about being extremely funny. Earl’s brother Randy has proven to be a fun character, what with his personality being dictated by the number of beers in his system and his liking of bubbles. His ex-wife is a wonderfully over-the-top bit of white trash and perpetually unfaithful. The motel maid Catalina has not brought much to the table, but it has only been one episode. Finally, the pilot promises countless guest appearances and those Earl has wronged must face his help.

    All in all, this program is extremely promising and the pilot is, in fact, very funny.
  • After winning the lottery and getting hit by a car seconds later, Earl Hickey is in the hospital when he discovers Karma. He decides to make a list of everything he's done wrong and tries to make up for it.

    9.5
    I loved this episode. I watched the pilot in July, and told all of my friends they HAD to watch this show! I was cracking up the whole time I watched it. I couldn't wait to see more. One of the lines "Peed in the back of a cop car-- I'm no longer proud of that", kept me chuckling for a week. I can't wait to see where this show goes in the future, but I'll be tuning in every Tuesday to find out. "Earl" is already on my Must-See-TV list, and the 2nd episode only just aired. It's refreshing to know that all hope may not be lost for sitcoms. Plus, it kind of reminded me of "Northern Exposure", which is one of the funniest shows ever.
  • Not drop-dead hilarious, but well-written and fun to watch

    9.3
    I don't think I really burst out laughing while watching the pilot, but I enjoyed it thoroughly nonetheless. This show has a degree of wit about it that is rarely found in lesser quality, gut buster, laugh-a-minute comedies. There is a definitely a human touch to My Name is Earl. He is a character many of us can identify with and is surrpunded by lovable versions of the poor white trash that many of us find living in the house next door.

    I hope the show can maintain this heartfelt ambience and that it won't succumb to the silliness that is rampant in many of today's comedies.


    All in all, a great show!
  • Finally…a comedy I can get behind! And here I thought the laughter ended the day Seinfeld was put to pasture. Fortunately, we now have Jason Lee (late of the Kevin Smith “Jersey” films) playing a hard-luck hillbilly who is impossible not to like.

    8.1
    Let’s face it. Rednecks, through no fault of their own, are FUNNY! The enticing hallmark of being a redneck stems from the fact that they don’t realize that the way they behave is outside of the social norm. Here however, we have Earl – the hick with a heart. Inspired by (of all people) Carson Daley, Earl Hickey is on the path to good Karma. He now wants to make restitution for all of the bad things he’s done in his life. But he isn’t doing so because it’s the right thing to do. He performs his windmill-tipping endeavors in the hopes that his own life will improve. Altruism is re-defined yet again in a surprisingly fresh, and caustic new series.
  • After winning the lottery and being hit by a car, a little crook named Earl decides to change his life: "do good things and good things will happen to you". He decides to make a list of all the bad stuff he's done in his life and right them.

    10
    It's hard to find a good pilot episode, even for a great TV serie... I usually find the pilot a bit foggy, not very clear, but in my opinion this is an awesome start! The story is very well introduced, and the plot is funny and intriguing. The dialogues are enjoyable and well written. The short flashbacks make the story funnier, more fluent and original. All characters are well picted, and especially Earl’s character seems interesting; I expect great things from him! I also think that Jason Lee fits perfectly in the role. I really can’t wait to see the next episodes and how the story will evolve!
  • refreshing

    10
    i somehow missed the pilot but caught it on bravo sunday night. this will be a sitcom that will go down in history if the writers keep up the pace to fit the great characters. by the way, i may be the only person who felt this-but what drew me to the show were the similarities between the series and the movie raising arizona. you know-the best movie nicholas cage ever made,but also the one he seems to forget he made and so does everyone who ever interviewed him. the characters are right on the money and the writers will have to work really hard to not be one step behind them. move over seinfeld-oh thats right you already did. good thing because you would have had a competition.
  • Begining of a clasic.

    9.8
    All around great episode. Earl has a great chance to be one of NBC's few good shows now and it has. Basicly this episode was about Earl starting his list. Also earl got a new friend Kenny, who I call "The Gay Guy". This episode proved why Earl is one of the best shows ever.
  • The begining

    9.6
    This episode is the begining of a very very awsome and funny show. Earl makes his list and goes on his first quest to seek better karma. Randy, Catalina, Joy and Darnell and introduced along with many other charcters that make alot of appearences in the show. Earl's first mission is to help out the kid he picked on in elementry school.
  • Great show to begin with

    9.5
    I hope that the show will stay around a lot
    Longer thanks to the charm of movie star Jason Lee
    And the writing and acting of the supporting group as Earl
    Is hit in the head and wants to now do the many, many, many, things that he did wrong in the past and make up for them even if it is to the chargin of people that he has offended!
  • Earl is a small time crook who, after having an almost fatal accident, decides to do good things to make up for all the bad ones. That's the bare bones gist of it.

    9.5
    A great beginning for a great show. It should go down as an American classic like, \"Cheers,\" \"Everybody Loves Raymond\" and \"Seinfeld.\" Speaking of \"Cheers,\" anyone remember the spin-off \"The Tortelli\'s?\" It featured Carla\'s sleazy ex-husband trying to go straight after a near death experience. Kind of the same idea, but I think Earl got the premise right. Earl is being proactive in trying to straighten out his life, with his list and trying to get something crossed off everyday. Like those other shows I mentioned, may Earl have a long and fruitful run and finish out on top. Hooray for Greg Garcia, this is a great show!
  • This is a really great show. The humor, the style of the filmmaking, the characters the ending, here everything fits.

    9.5
    I look forward to the rest of the episodes. Jason Lee is great. I like the setting of the american suburb. Help yourself, life sucks and everything is possible. Well not everything as earl is about to discover. But that is the humor of it. His Brother is such a looser but highly likeable.
  • A compelling plot to drive Jason Lee through the series is set forth. Can this series be the classic it strives to be?

    9.5
    Hilarious! With high production values and excellent editing, timing and jokes, "My Name Is Earl" has the potential to be right up there with the best comedies currently on TV. Jason Lee is fantastic as Earl Hickey, a man who discovers the benefits of karma through the "prophet" Carson Daly.

    I certainly hope that the people producing and writing this show can keep up the level of awesome shown by the pilot episode. Come on, NBC, prove me wrong when I say that you ran out of ideas after Seinfeld was retired! I know you have it in you.
  • What a great show, I haven't laughed this hard at a pilot in quite some time.

    9.5
    What a great premise, a man who's done nothing good with his life suddenly learns about the notion of karma, and attempts to turn his life around. The episode flowed very well, it had the possibility of feeling chopped up, but such wasn't the case.

    Ethan Suplee does a great job as Earl's brother Randy. And the amount of beer's needed for certain tasks is a great character quirk. I also enjoyed that they just picked up the maid along the way to join in the karmic escapades.

    As for the plot of this episode, it couldn't be executed any better. It took the long held stereotypes such as "I'd never met a gay before" and managed to charmingly turn it around and have Earl accept Kenny and even take him out to a gay bar, which had to be the highlight of the episode. That and Randy's 15 beers-later dance-fest at the club.
  • LOL!

    9.2
    Earl J. Hickey is a small-time thief with a messed-up life. His "scratch and win" lottery ticket proves to be worth $100,000, but he is immediately hit by a car and watches the ticket blow away. In the hospital recovering, Earl's wife divorces him, and Earl is introduced to the concept of karma while watching an interview with singer Trace Adkins on Last Call with Carson Daly. He decides to try to make up for all the bad things he has done and makes a written list of 259 items. After leaving the hospital he starts on his list and right away he finds his lost $100,000 scratcher. Figuring karma works pretty well, he resolves to continue making up for items on the list.
  • The episode when aerl first deciededs to strart with his list.

    9.2
    In my opnion this is a graet episode although i found they tried alittle harder making it funny the other episodes.But the episode does do an excellent job on amking you want to continue to watch the series,i know i have.Also i like how this pilot does a great job of intorducing all the charactors without being the slight bit boring,when i first bought this dvd i never seen a episode i just bought it because it was cheap on a boxing day sale,when i got home i couldnt stop watching and ended u watching the whole season 1 day lol.
  • B-7

    9.2
    I can't believe that NBC finally got it right.

    Cheers, Seinfeld and then a whole lot of nothing. Now with the Office (which started off seson 2 pretty weak) they have a collection of characters we want to watch. Earl J. Hickey rocks.

    From the narrative to the flashbacks, there's nothing I can say bad about this episode (though I can say it bad-ly). You want Earl to turn things around. You don't like Joy and you wait with baited breath everytime music is played as you hope that it's B-7 just one more time!

    This one had better last for a while. With luck, they'll move it to another night and not try to challenge House
  • Karma all the way!

    9.0
    I only recently started getting into and believing in karma, and i guess watching this show is really some kind of motive and something i can relate to:) The pilot was really well written and i guess that if this show wasn't really about karma and earl doing good things I don't think i wouldv'e conitnued watching it. I really excited they have finally come up with such a show about karma which is funny at the same time. I really hope every episode is always about earl doing something good and fixing what he has done bad in the past.
  • Well this seems promising!...

    9.0
    As a fan of Jason Lee, from Mallrats to the recent Incredibles, I have to say I was quite looking forward to this. Which, of course, meant that I was also worried it was going to be awful... it isn't! From such a simple premise of "Man discovers karma and tries to live by it", this show is very funny! Lots of digs at southern yokels, lots of fun poked at men in general... I'll have to wait and see whether this is one is worth coming back to every week, but it looks very promising. So expect it to be cancelled this time next week... yes it is THAT good!!!
  • This show was unexpected in a carmatic-hick way. Earl is destined for great things.

    9.0
    Earl was bad his whole life. He never did good things. But after getting a 100,000 winning lotto ticket and losing it a second later being hit by a car, he realizes a message from Carson Daily. His cheating wife just divorced him and he has too much morphine to think. Carson Daily is on TRL and is asked how he has such a great life. He says if you do good things you are paid in return. A whole carma thing.

    Earl thinks it over and realizes he's never done anything good before in his life. To get good things to happen to him, he realizes he has to make up for the bad things. He writes a list of 260 things. In the episode he makes up two. At this rate, they have a good 130 episodes of making his life better.

    Shortly after starting to make things up, he finds his lost lotto ticket and claims his money. His brother meets a nice cleaning lady. He starts his second task, helping making a kid he used to pick on feel good. He decides to get him a girl.

    However the guy turns out to be gay and to make things right, Earl has to give him back the confidence he originally stole. When he tries to give-up, his ex comes over and raids the place and demands the lotto money. He gets rid of her and finally helps the other guy.

  • I'm optimistic about this show.

    8.0
    Having seen Earl's face plastered all over my computer screen for the last few months, courtesy of tv.com, and plastered all over my local billboards in the last few weeks, I was apprehensive at best to what this show would be like. Surely yet another stereotypical 'dumb' humour of the type my younger brother enjoys? Having seen the pilot now, I am genuinely surprised and optimistic about the series.

    I felt that the humour was often very gentle, a little subtle in places, but nicely-placed all together. The show wasn't perfect, of course not, but it was certainly enjoyable and a pleasant friday night viewing.

    So really, I'm looking forward to episode no. 2 to see if the so far high standards are maintained.
  • Earl has an epiphany after being hit by a car adn goes out to help a kid he used to tease.

    7.0
    I wasn't expecting much out of this show. Only reason I was interested is because of his being in most of Kevin Smith's movies, and I LOVE Kevin Smith. If I'm not mistaken, Earl's fat brother, Kenny, was in Mallrats. Any way, I did enjoy it. I thought it was just hilarious... and I will continue to watch it.
  • Pretty Much What I'd Expected

    7.0
    NBC did a lot of promotion for this show - they even showed previews for it in movie theatres before the feature started!

    Anyways, it was nothing spectacular but it wasn't bad, either. Jason Lee is likable as 'Earl,' and Jaime Pressly is good also as 'Joy,' his white-trash ex-wife. It's too bad that Jaime gets typecast in these roles so often - people who view her as the blonde bimbo should've seen her work as 'Audrey' on The WB's "Jack & Jill," or her guest turn as the secretary on the NBC comedy "Happy Family." She's gorgeous and talented - if "My Name Is Earl" does good in the ratings, I hope the writers give Jaime more to do in upcoming episodes.
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