Wednesday, April 29, 2009

TV: Eastbound and Down

*Posted April 13, 2009*

If you like Danny McBride, then you'll love this show even if you have no interest in the plot. If you remember his small role in Tropic Thunder as the special effects guy who blows up the jungle, just take that guy and make him racist, selfish, and oblivious to anyone else. The HBO show (just renewed for a second season) is a quick 6 episode story of a former All-Star MLB pitcher who has an ego the size of his gut who now has to adjust to small time life with his brother's family. McBride (as Kenny Powers) starts teaching gym at a high school but is more importantly on a quest to get back to the big leagues. He is the latest in a string of characters that are so terrible and self-absorbed, but the audience can't help rooting for and liking this guy (see also: any Will Ferrell movie this decade). The supporting cast is interesting, but this is mostly a one man show. Kenny is the kind of superstar with catchphrases ("You're fuckin out!"), memorabilia (toilet seats, masks, and guitars), and even an audio book-on-tape (read by himself) of his autobiography. Here's an excerpt:
"Sure, I've been called a xenophobe, but the truth is I'm not. I honestly just feel that American is the best country and all the other countries aren't as good. That used to be called patriotism."

To top it off, the series, which I can't help but compare to the British Office in terms of the main character having an opinion of himself that is so different from the rest of the world, ends on fantastic cliffhanger. If you don't have HBO and don't want to wait for DVDs, just go here to watch episodes.

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