“Eastbound and Down”: A delayed reaction


I may regret saying this but …”Eastbound and Down” has grown on me. Kenny Powers, the foul-mouthed, bellicose cretin at the center of the show, has grown on me. I can’t explain why.

I pretty much sat slack-jawed through the first episode, not believing what I was seeing, or hearing. It’s hard to describe specifics without giving too much away, but suffice it say that Powers, played by Danny McBride, is an ex-Major League pitcher in the mold of John Rocker. He’s not just politically incorrect, he’s just wrong on every level of his life.

We meet up with the mullet-headed Kenny a few years after he’s been drummed out of the game for a steroid scandal, and he’s hitting near rock-bottom. All he’s got to his name is his truck, his jet ski and his audio book of the Kenny Powers guide to life, a relic of the brief moment when he was a big wheel in baseball.

He’s now reduced to moving back to his North Carolina home town and moving in with his well-meaning older brother, his churchy sister-in-law and their three young kids, and he takes a job as the P.E. teacher at his alma mater, Jefferson Davis Middle School.

Powers’ old flame from high school days now works as a teacher there, and she’s Eastbounddmbb engaged to the nebbishy principal, but he’s determined to win her back, etc. He also reconnects with his hard-living, beer-swilling old friends, including the owner of a local dive bar, Clegg (played by series co-creator Ben Best pictured left), who helps Powers self-medicate.

The premise isn’t all that unusual, but the setting is. You can tell that the show is shot North Carolina with local extras. The tweens and teens in the middle school scenes don’t look like L.A. kids who are angling for their SAG cards.

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  3. Greg says:

    I think the six episode series works perfectly for this show. If you have seen the show you know that there is too much in there to keep it within the feature film time span. six episodes is just long enough for the story to be told and finished. they have been doing one season episodic series for a long time in other countries (i.e. The Lobbiest in Korea). Maybe its time the US started doing it as well. cannot wait to see the DVD sales

  4. Dan Martin says:

    Eastbound & Down makes me feel edgy when I watch it. A comedy has never done that before.

  5. Andy says:

    I love the show. I’m from North Carolina and its nice to see a show that sort of takes jabs at southern culture but doesn’t nessecarily make fun of it. I think that we can all agree that McBride is a star, he makes this show. It’s hilarious, and hopefully HBO will come to thier senses and pick it up for a 2nd season, but I feel like this could be similar to Lucky Louie, a show that was too honest and crude for HBO to renew

  6. D says:

    I’d have to agree with the review. This series probably will not resonate with any ultra conservatives or liberals. It is quite brash and crude. That being said, I want more. McBride is hilarious and delivers on the currently popular in-your-face and controversial comedy. The biggest thing that stood out was the believability of the show. The actors are well cast and sell the small town feel. There have been alot suggestions by critics that fans of HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords” or NBC’s “The Office” (two of my favorites) will not gravitate towads “Eastbound & Down.” I couldn’t disagree more. Kenny Powers (McBride) says and does everything that normal and civilized people wish they would have done once distanced from the situation.
    HBO has a winner and I hope the series gets picked up for another run after the initial 6 episodes. I am afraid that this series may get the undeserving axe much like “John from Cincinnati” though.

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