With this winner, they’ve struck ‘Earl’

With this winner, they've struck 'Earl' 1Now this is the ultimate TV DVD. “My Name Is Earl” series creator Greg Garcia even provides a cool new alternate-universe episode of his good-hearted NBC hoot!

Emmy-winning director Marc Buckland shot three days’ fresh footage to craft a DVD-exclusive “lost” pilot, in which Jason Lee’s local loser/lottery winner gets an opposite inspiration while watching hospital TV in his accident-induced fog. Forget Carson Daly’s do-right concept of karma. Earl now hears the voice of “Family Guy” plotter tot Stewie Griffin exhorting “sweet, sweet vengeance.”

And does he follow through. Lee merrily goes malicious as Earl cuts a spiteful swath through town. The climax comes when gay guy Kenny (Gregg Binkley) gets a whole ‘nother kind of visit from Lee, who’s playing what we can only tease as a saucily costumed double role (sans mustache!). It’s all gleefully gamy and outrageously adult.

This would be treat enough, but the DVD also boasts one of the cleverest series documentaries we’ve seen. This 40-minute backstager from director Bryan Johnson evokes an indie-film feel as it goes on-set for in-recliner interviews with cast/crew (and in-TransAm byplay from Garcia). Its feel-good blend of clips and comments beautifully extends the show’s relaxed charm.