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.