15 shows about working-class families that aren’t Roseanne

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My Name is Earl

Jason Lee has a special place in my ’90s kid heart, and I will watch anything the Mall Rats alum is in. He doesn’t disappoint in this quirky, high-concept sitcom, in which he plays a scruffy, but ultimately handsome, guy who wants to do the right things.

The premise: In the first episode of the series, Earl Hickey wins $100,000 in the lottery, but promptly loses the ticket when a car hits him. While he’s in the hospital, he learns that he’s been experiencing karma all these years. He’s been a bad guy, and karma has been punishing him all along. He decides to right all his old wrongs in the hopes of turning his karma around.

Shortly after his first good deed, he finds the lost lottery ticket, confirming his belief in karma, and he decides to use that wealth to make amends of all the folks on his list. He is recently divorced from his wife Joy (Jamie Pressly), and moves away from her and the two children, Dodge and Earl Jr., neither of whom he is related to.

Why you’ll love it: It’s a smart and updated take on the trope of man versus his own fate. Earl is an ex-dirtbag trying to turn his life around, and it’s not a subtle metaphor that he has to have money to do so. Although his past keeps trying to suck him back in, he is determined to do right by a lot of people.

The show is populated by a lot of eclectic and hilarious characters. You have Crab Man (Earl’s buddy and probably father of one of Joy’s children), his hapless brother, and Catalina the improbably gorgeous housekeeper at the hotel at which they live.

Where to find it: Once you visit Camden, you will understand why I love this show. You can find all four seasons on Hulu.