'My Name is Earl': We've got spirit, yes we do!

Ethansuplee_mynameisearl_240 I like it when Randy unveils any sort of hidden talent or desire (and the two do not always go hand-in-hand) on My Name is Earl. There's definitely more to the big lug than we get to see on a weekly basis. I'm not sure there's much more, but there's more. Tonight, we got another little glimpse into the wonderful world of Randy, but it didn't look like the episode was headed in that direction initially.

Sitting in the Crab Shack one night, some cheerleaders made their way onto the TV and when the inevitable male cheerleader appeared everyone did exactly what you would expect of the fine folks of Camden -- they mocked the guy. When Earl is in the background for such an event, we all know what's coming and sure enough, it didn't take Earl more than a second or two to start to recount his own mocking of Kenny, who wanted to be a cheerleader many a year ago.

So, it was back to Kenny's place to right another wrong, or at least to make it as right as Earl ever makes anything right. It all seemed so perfectly logical to Earl that a gay man would want to be a male cheerleader, yet unfortunately for Earl it wasn't the case. It was actually Randy who wanted to be a male cheerleader, not Kenny. Back in the day, Randy had put a cheerleader tryout flyer in Kenny's bag in order to hide it from Earl and avoid Earl's ridicule. When the truth came out, Randy was truly humiliated.

As I think we all know, Randy has an incredible amount of (sometimes misplaced) devotion towards his brother, and had hidden his desire to be a cheerleader all these years. If I were Randy, I would have done the same, I might not even have admitted the truth when pressed. Randy was headed down just that path, but Earl (with some advice from Kenny) outfoxed him. Earl lied to Randy, telling his brother that he, Earl, always wanted to be a cheerleader, too. Earl even agreed to attend the cheerleader academy he had found for Kenny with Randy instead.

Thus it came to pass that Earl Hickey went to the Kimmi Himler Cheerleading Academy.

The first day at the camp was peppy and over-the-top and just too disgustingly giddy for words... right up until we met Kimmi Himler. Kimmi's face had been horribly disfigured as a high school cheerleader when her school replaced their badger mascot with a real badger (she would have been fine except that it was her time of the month and the badger apparently had issues with that). Naturally, Earl and Randy couldn't hide their horror and were instantly on her bad side.

I think Kimmi, given the chance, would have punished the boys instantaneously and mercilessly, but, as it happened, she didn't need to. The first thing the folks at the academy had to do was to divide into teams based on where they lived and create a pyramid. Earl and Randy were stuck with the other Camdenites, who were all perfect Camden stereotypes. To help illustrate that, Randy even gave them handy-dandy nicknames: "Preggers," "Chunk," "Headgear," and "Black girl."

They were, again, pretty much as expected -- an absolute disaster and outcasts at first, but under Randy's tutelage they quickly became incredibly popular. Kimmi's daughter was on a different team though, and Kimmi couldn't possibly allow Camden's team to be better than her own daughter's. Consequently, she found (read: created) a rule that stated that grown men couldn't participate in the camp (Earl had previously made sure that no such rule existed).

What could Earl do? Here was this lonely disfigured woman who, Earl learned, wanted nothing more than a man. In order to keep Randy's dream alive, he had to knock boots with her. Repeatedly. And, worse than that, she was a cheerleader and thus totally flexible. While that might be a dream for some, Kimmi's grossly disfigured face didn't work for Earl, but her flexibility meant that they could always be face to face no matter the position. Still, Earl apparently performed well enough that they were allowed to stay at the academy.

By the end of the week, the Camden squad had put together a routine and Randy had invited Joy and Darnell to come see it. Joy, in turn, had invited everyone else Earl and Randy knew so that the guys could be mercilessly mocked and when they all showed up, Earl almost backed out of the performance.

I think we knew all along that Earl would go ahead and do the routine, but it took Earl a minute or so of hearing Randy get made fun of before Earl knew it. Eventually, Earl figured it out, and while he may have looked foolish, he didn't look any worse than the rest of the team.

Thoughts and questions:

  • I thought they could have done a lot more with Joy's story tonight. It dealt with Dodge declaring Catalina (not Joy) to be beautiful. Great premise, it just didn't go very far. I'm still taking the quote of the week from that subplot though, it's Joy trying to explain away her son's liking Catalina - "You just like her because she's the same color as pancakes."
  • What do you think? What will we learn about Randy next? Is it possible that he's actually a member of MENSA?

The TV and Film Guy's Reviews - We have a talent, but we like to keep it hidden.

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