Saturday, September 16, 2006

CBS Sitcom Pilot Review: The Class - Premieres September 17th; My Name Is Earl Soundtrack Review; Bob Newhart's Book Review

The Class

The Class - Mondays at 8:00PM ET/PT on CBS
Premieres September 18th at 8:00PM ET/PT

THE CLASS is a comedy about the lives of a group of 20-somethings inextricably bound together by sharing the same third grade class. Ethan Haas (Jason Ritter) is head-over-heels in love with his fiancé, for whom he has planned the ultimate surprise party -- a reunion with their third grade classmates to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the day they met. The classmates include Lina Warbler (Heather Goldenhersh), who wears her heart on her sleeve and remains optimistic about love although she was recently dumped; her cynical twin sister, Kat Warbler (Lizzy Kaplan), whose sarcastic tongue hides her kind heart; Duncan Carmello (Jon Bernthal), the well-liked boy in school who is in a band and still lives with his mother Tina (Julie Halston) with whom he constantly bickers; Kyle Lendo (Sean Maguire), who every girl had a crush on and is now happily in love with his live-in boyfriend; Richie Velch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), a happy kid whose life has gone downhill since third grade until the reunion invitation sparked his curiosity; Holly Ellenbogen (Lucy Punch), whose heart was broken when Kyle cheated on her at the high school prom and can't wait to show him what a successful news anchor she's become and how happily married she is now to Perry (Sam Harris); and pretty, popular Nicole Allen (Andrea Anders), who was once in love with Duncan (Jon Bernthal) and is now the unfulfilled trophy wife of legendary football star/BBQ-grill spokesman Yonk Allen (David Keith). Two decades later, a group of grade-schoolers' lives intersect once again, giving them the uncommon opportunity to learn how everyone turned out and to rebuild old friendships.

PRODUCED BY: craneklarik productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: David Crane, Jeffrey Klarik and James Burrows

Cast: Jason Ritter as Ethan Haas, Lizzy Caplan as Kat Warbler, Heather Goldenhersh as Lina Warbler, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Richie Velch, Jon Bernthal as Duncan Carmello, Sean Maguire as Kyle Lendo, Lucy Punch as Holly Ellenbogen, Andrea Anders as Nicole Allen

Read our review of the pilot and second episode here.

Discuss the show after you watch it on Monday on our message board.

Related Links:

  • Official Site
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • The Class Photo Gallery

    Related Stories:

  • Jason Ritter goes to head of 'Class'
  • STAGE TO SCREENS: Chats with "Class" Actors Halston, Ferguson, Goldenhersh and Harris
  • Sara Gilbert Takes The Class
  • The Class at

    My Name Is Earl - The Album

    My Name Is Earl - The Album (Shout! Factory, MSRP: $18.98)

    The soundtrack to the #1 NBC comedy features brand-new, never-before-released tracks from Matthew Sweet, Uncle Kracker, John Hiatt and rock newcomers Van Nuys, recorded exclusively for the soundtrack. In addition, the album includes some of Earl’s favorite songs used in episodes which aired during the premiere ’05-’06 season. The soundtrack also contains key sound bytes from the show, and an unheard vocal version of the “My Name Is Earl” theme song.

    Here is the track listing:

    1. I'm The Bandit (TV Dialogue) (:13)
    2. Jerry Reed - East Bound and Down (From the Movie "Smokey and the Bandit") (From "Stole Beer From a Golfer" Episode) (2:46)
    3. Uncle Kracker - The Weight (New Recording) (Original Version by The Band is in "Monkeys in Space" Episode) (4:58)
    4. Los Lobos - One Time One Night (From "Didn't Pay Taxes" Episode) (4:50)
    5. Young M.C. - Bust a Move (From "Ruined Joy's Wedding" Episode) (4:23)
    6. Matthew Sweet - Livin' Thing (New Recording) (Original Version by ELO is in "Quit Smoking" Episode) (3:39)
    7. Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock - It Takes two (From the series "Pilot" and "Bounty Hunter" Episodes) (5:00)
    8. Sammy Davis, Jr. - Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) (From "Quit Smoking" Episode) (3:03)
    9. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Gimme Three Steps (From "Ruined Joy's Wedding" Episode) (4:40)
    10. Harry Nilsson - Joy (From "Something To Live For" Episode) (3:43)
    11. Jerry Reed - Amos Moses (From "Teacher Earl" Episode) (2:26)
    12. John Hiatt - Instant Karma (New Recording) (Original Version by John Lennon - not used in any episode)
    13. Nescobar-a-lop-lop and the Camden County Band - What Goes Around Comes Around (My Name Is Earl theme song - vocal version) (3:09)
    14. Van Nuys - 99 Red Balloons (Original Version by Nena is in the "Pilot" Episode) (3:37)

    My Review: There is a ton of music used in every My Name Is Earl episode. Most episodes used 3-6 songs. By my own unofficial count going by various online music lists (hey NBC, please update your site - it only goes up to episode 9!), there were around 100 songs used in season 1. Breaking down the 14 tracks on the soundtrack: there are 8 songs that were originally in the episodes, 3 covers of songs that were in the episodes, 2 songs not featured in any episode, and 1 quote.
    I love My Name Earl and the music they select for the episodes, but this soundtrack was a bit of a letdown and could have been so much better. There is a little over 50 minutes worth of music here. I think they could have added a few additional songs. Some great classics would have been awesome on here: George Thorogood & The Destroyers - "Who Do You Love?" and "Bad to the Bone"; Ram Jam - "Black Betty"; The Chamber Brothers - "Time Has Come Today," Blue Oyster Cult - "Don't Fear the Reaper," Wilson Pickett - "Mustang Sally," and Bachman-Turner Overdrive - "Takin' Care of Business" and "Roll on Down the Highway." If they could include 2 Jerry Reed songs, why not Harry Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'"? I guess it all comes down to music licensing rights and what they are able to get. I would have loved to hear a few of the memorable score tracks by composers Danny Lux and Mark Leggett. My favorite songs on this compilation were the 2 Jerry Reed songs, Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Gimme Three Steps," and Harry Nilsson's "Joy." The cover songs and new recordings were ok. My favorite of the bunch was Uncle Kracker's "The Weight." The vocal version of the theme wasn't my taste. I'm glad they just use a simple instrumental theme for the opening credits. The quotes that they tacked on the end of most of the songs were funny and memorable, but I would have preferred them as separate tracks. The booklet includes some notes from Earl to his brother Randy and a number of photos of the cast. Recommended for die-hard Earl fans and for people who like the artists that have new recordings on this soundtrack.

    -- Reviewed by Todd
    (3/5 stars)

    To purchase the CD, click below and help support

    Don't forget My Name Is Earl - Season One will be available on DVD on September 19th. It has all 24 season episode episodes and is jam-packed with extras. Look for our detailed review in the next day or so on our main page, DVD Reviews archive page, or via our RSS feed.

    Related Links:

  • My Name Is Earl Official Site at
  • My Name Is Earl Fan Site
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • My Name Is Earl Message Board
  • My Name Is Earl Photo Gallery

    Bob Newhart "I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This! (And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny)(Hyperion, $23.95) brings the TV legend as an author! We reviewed his stand-up concert last week and now we will take a look at his book! On September 19, when you purchase The Bob Newhart Show Season 4 on DVD (see our main reviews page for a review), take a look around for his newly released book, I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This! (And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny). Bob Newhart brings his classic brand of wry humor to this 239 page book. Some would call it an autobiography, but I would say it's simply Newhart's way of making America laugh at what has occurred to him through the years.
    Bob Newhart's television shows include the hits The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart. He's guest-hosted for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 87 times and he's starred in numerous major motion pictures throughout the years and recently has made several guest apperances on some hit shows, such as Desperate Housewives and ER for which he even earned an Emmy nomination!
    In this book, Newhart gives his brilliant views on many topics, ranging from flying, family holidays, golf, his life as an accountant to his years as TV show star. He also tosses in some very funny stories fromm his life and career.
    Such is the life of Bob Newhart, America's favorite comedian, so make September 19 'Bob Newhart Day' and pick up his book, his television show and his newly released concert "Bob Newhart Button Down Concert."
    -- Reviewed by Shawn Eaton
    (5/5 stars)

    To purchase the book, click below and help support

    Related links:
    Bob's official website

  • Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Friday, March 16

    Stuck in the Middle - "Stuck with Horrible Helpers" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Harley's latest invention causes havoc in science class.

    Bizaardvark - "The BFF (Before Frankie Friend)" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    Paige's childhood best friend, Izzy, comes to town; Paige becomes envious of how well Frankie and Izzy hit it off and starts to feel like a third wheel.

    The Paynes - "Making Repairs" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    After Ella learns that Curtis is trying to make his own repairs at the laundromat, she makes plans to involve professionals; Kendrick visits Nyla to apologize; Nyla finally comes clean with Ella and has a heart-to-heart with her children.

    Complete TV Listings

    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 12)

    Friday, March 16

    • Yara Shahidi (grown-ish/black-ish) - Watch Yara on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Donald Glover (Atlanta/Community) - Donald appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • J. J. Totah (Champions) - J. J. is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) - Josh appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
    • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly visits The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
    • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
    • Josh Henderson (One on One) - Josh visits Access Live, so check your local listings.
    • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Drew talks about Santa Clarita Diet on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.