'MY NAME IS EARL: SEASON ONE'
The first season DVD from NBC's "My Name Is Earl" ($49.98, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment) has all the usual extras -- deleted scenes, audio commentary, a 37-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, 20 minutes of the actors having giggle fits in a blooper reel -- but the best extra is the "lost pilot," "Bad Karma: An Earl Misadventure."
In this 13-minute episode, Earl (Jason Lee) switches channels from Carson Daly's advice about karma to Stewie's love of "sweet, sweet vengeance" on "Family Guy." Earl takes up that as his mantra, making a list of everyone who's done him wrong and sets out to get revenge. It's a sly mirror universe take on the pilot, featuring even some of the same guest stars.
If nothing else, "Bad Karma" (found on disc four) makes the "Earl" boxed set worth a rental.
-- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV editor
'A SALUTE TO HEE HAW'
You may be a redneck if you know all the words to that comically morose "gloom, despair and agony on me" song from the old "Hee Haw" TV series. Six months after the death of co-host Buck Owens, Time-Life (price) offers the latest "Hee Haw" collection, a five-disc "Collector's Edition" ($119.95) tribute to the 23-year-running variety show that mixed the music of top country stars with eye-rolling, corn pone comedy.
Recent interviews with former "Hee Haw" stars shed light on the tightly knit community of entertainers and what happened when the cameras weren't rolling. Musical highlights include 40 songs by classic artists Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Ray Charles, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Tanya Tucker, Conway Twitty, Owens and his Buckaroos and some great electric guitar picking by co-host Roy Clark. Advance to the next track to jump from song to song, skipping the dumb jokes.
But if dumb jokes are what you're after, this set includes literally hundreds of quick rural one-liners, bloopers, silly skits and tongue-in-cheek songs by Grandpa Jones, George "Goober" Lindsey, Minnie Pearl, Lulu Roman, Junior Samples, Stringbean and the whole "Hee Haw" gang.
-- John Hayes, Post-Gazette staff writer