Popcorn Culture / Television / Words, Words, Words

The Epic Return of Eastbound and Down

Kenny Powers is so wrong, he’s right.

Sunday night, HBO premiered the new season of Danny McBride as the twisted baseball player Kenny Powers in Eastbound and Down. As season 2 was set in the deep deep south, Mexico, the finale brought Kenny back to his hometown of Shelby North Carolina. He now is on an amateur team called the Myrtle Beach Mermen, and thankfully this includes the original, brilliant hometown cast. It’s great to have Kenny back, once again breaking the laws in America.

Danny McBride as Kenny Powers

HBO

This wildly inappropriate and popular series can be attributed to the unconventional comedy star Danny McBride. His performance makes Eastbound and Down, as the writer, creater, and executive producer. His co-creator Jody Hill and director David Gordon Green are also major players in this raunchy production. Some changes this season include the addition of Jason Sudeikis, long time Saturday Night Live cast member and star of the recent film Horrible Bosses. Sudeikis’s character on Eastbound and Down is the ultimate sidekick for Kenny Powers. Fully equip with southern accent, crude mannerisms and jokes that are almost as offensive as Kennys. So far in Eastbound and Down guest stars such as Will Ferrel, Matthew McConaughey, Adam Scott, Craig Robinson, and Don Johnson. I’m glad to see the old faces, as well as the new.

 

Will Ferrell as Ashley Shaeffer

Will Ferrell as Ashley Shaeffer on Eastbound and Down

I want to break down the character of Kenny Powers, a redneck baseball player with a mullet glued to his neck and a serious habit of self-destruction. He pulled the biggest asshole move at the end of season 1, leaving for Mexico with his high school love and now baby-mama April in the rear-view mirror.  He is a self’centered narcissistic pitcher who is addicted to (among other things) attention and cocaine. Kenny Powers also narrates his own life by recording a new autobiography, which also follows as the narration for the show. He is rude and insensitive, the only moments Kenny has of deep reflection  happen on his jet-ski. Kenny Powers is not a role model and not even close to likable. I wonder why I love him.

I have to comment on one of the most thoughtful and essential parts of the show- the soundtrack. Every episode has moments that are made ten times more hilarious by their choice of song.  One song Eastbound and Down suggested to me was “Your Touch” by The Black Keys. Every moment the soundtrack is brilliantly synchronized to the show, its naughtyness, and its audience. Among the amazing songs in this season 3 premiere is  Lee Hazelwood’s “I’d Rather Be Your Enemy.”

“I’m not like these characters that I portray,” McBride insists. “But I definitely have played a bunch of fucking assholes.”

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