“The Gangs of Camden County”
If you’ve seen this episode, you’ll know that I immediately realised I had to mention it. Yes, it’s another gay episode of My Name is Earl.
Earl is given a week off his sentence for his services in the previous episode, and is offered a month off if he can calm down the “Ebony and Hispanic” tensions in the prison yard. Eventually, Earl realises that the two gang leaders have fallen in love with each other and instigate fights just so that they can spend a few seconds together. Meanwhile, Randy can’t get himself thrown in prison to join Earl, so he applies to become a prison guard.
I don’t know much about prison homosexuality, save for all of the lame “don’t drop the soap” perpetuations. What we have in My Name is Earl is a legitimate relationship between two men, albeit one littered with fellatio popsicles and kissed knuckles. This episode has nothing to do with karma and more to do with Earl cleaning up the messes of the thoroughly incompetent warden. It also involves the anachronism of someone being sent to work in 2001 for playing Guitar Hero in his underwear – a game that patently did not exist in 2001!
But that’s beside the point. The point is that this is interracial homosexual tenderness and a heckfire of a lot of kissing for the kind of show that Earl is. It surprised me, and tended to indicate that the series is going to steer clear of the sort of blind, easy to “write” prison humour. That and Joy is getting smarter simply because Randy needs to survive. I still miss Camden at large, but My Name is Earl continues to be grande.