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One Delicious Thursday Night

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So, what did television have to offer us last night? Well, if you're like me, you watched two episodes of Kitchen Nightmares, two episodes of My Name is Earl, and then washed it all down with a deliciously long hour of The Office. If you are really me you also ate your last Cadbury Creme Egg until the day after Easter 2009. Really, they go on sale the day after Easter and I stock up with enough to last me months on end. In 2007, when I moved across the country, I packed some so that when my furniture finally I arrived I could celebrate properly.

Okay, you may think all of that irrelevant, but it's not. Capping the night with the premiere of The Office was kind of like capping my move with a Cadbury Creme Egg. The shelf life is just incredible. So many of Michael's references are hugely dated, so watching the show years from now they'll seem equally dated. The Pam and Jim love story is a classic, as is the delicious mix of milk chocolate and liquidy pretend egg. And, just like Dwight Schrute, a Cadbury Creme Egg is… well never mind, enough foolishness.

Seriously though, The Office seemed like it was on last night, and it really did give me some hope for the year as a whole. I think that it was smart of them to break the hour long episode into discrete week-by-week segments that followed the Scranton branch's summer doings. Some of the hour-long episodes last year lagged, and I didn't feel that about last night.

The fact that The Office and Earl both went for an hour, just like they did last year, did cause me to fear for NBC's schedule. It feels like they're riding the series that they do have a little too hard, what with Heroes doing two episodes when it premiered also. But, I guess that if the choice is more stuff like Knight Rider, they may not have made the wrong decision.

Did you watch that show on Wednesday? Even I felt embarrassed for everyone involved. From the opening taking place at "Foreign Consulate, USA" to a Michael-seeking missile to the genius idea of stripping naked so as to remain cool when KITT was on fire to umpteen other ridiculous moments, I was shocked by the show. Literally shocked. I'm all for goofy fun, and this seems to be attempting to go into the goofy fun mold, but it kind of failed on both the goofy and the fun.

As for Earl? I liked to seeing him back to trying to fix mistakes over the course of a single episode as opposed to last season's horrific prison followed by coma followed by marriage multi-episode story arcs. Why anyone thought those were a good idea I can't fathom and I was really pleased that they don't seem to be going that direction this year.

Instead, last night featured some good storytelling, some interesting mistakes and truly Earl-like ways of fixing them. It was back to the show's bread and butter, and definitely a good thing.

If you watched you know that the highlight of the night was Randy. In the first episode, he showed that he, Randy, can act (and did a really good Buffalo Bill from The Silence of The Lambs). It could be a new thing for Randy to do this season and I'd love for Randy to actually do something he's good at. He has a tendency to be just a little too dumb to be believed, so if the show can give him a talent, it'll help ease the dumb stuff. In the second episode Randy had a swell doll named Milo who insisted on always telling the truth, it was kind of like Randy's conscience. Sure, it got decapitated and then burned, but that doesn't mean it wasn't like Randy's conscience. So, there you have it, My Name is Earl is just like a Cadbury Creme Egg – ooey, gooey and just a little bit odd.

And, it wasn't even a bad night of television.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.