Directed by Jody Hill, David Gordon Green
Starring: Danny McBride, Katy Mixon, Will Ferrell, John Hawkes, Andrew Daly
If you are a fan of Danny Mc Bride from Hotrod, Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder and other films, you are at least curious about Eastbound and Down, his new series on HBO, right? HBO Home Video recently released the first season on DVD and I gave it a whirl.
It seems the best years of Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) are behind him. Do you hear the refrains of Springsteen’s song Glory Days dial up in your head? It seems to have been written for Powers.
He burst out of his small town and became a big time Major League Baseball pitcher. But, due to some bad decisions and serious personality flaws, he is now down on his luck, overweight and washed up.
He has to return to his small town and accept the only job he can get: substitute teacher at his former school. He lives with his brother’s family who only tolerate him: no real warm family feeling to welcome him home at the end of a hard day of swallowing his pride.
His former love interest April (Katy Mixon) is a teacher at the school too and that sparks a little fire in his heart. But, she is engaged.
Before you feel too sorry for Powers, remember a lot of his problems are due to his abrasive personality and his tendency to be, well….a dick. So, a little comeuppance is way past due for Kenny. And he gets it…wow, does he get it, every day.
Powers is on an emotional, albeit funny, rollercoaster that is going to twist and turn before he reaches the end.
I enjoyed the first season of Eastbound and Down. But trust me; you have to find Danny McBride and Will Ferrell funny to enjoy it. If you aren’t a fan, I wouldn’t trust that you would enjoy it.
Also, some people don’t enjoy watching someone be a jerk, even if they get their comeuppance on a regular basis. These same people don’t enjoy Curb Your Enthusiasm for the same reason. I like that show too, so I guess I am okay with that type of humor. I enjoy watching a jerk get what he’s got coming to him.
The supporting cast holds their own with McBride, who can be a scene stealer. Also, fans of Reno 911: keep your eye open for Andrew Daly, who plays April’s fiancé here and does a great job.
So, you know which camp you fall into. This either up your alley or it isn’t.
Presented in Anamorphic widescreen, the series has a respectable transfer on this release. Colors are vibrant and I did not notice any instances of grain or artifacts throughout.
Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, every obnoxious syllable out of Power’s mouth is crystal clear and easily understood. The ambient sound is mixed well as well as the soundtrack.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
Eastbound and Down is presented a standard case with understated McBride’s mug on the cover.
Making Eastbound and Down is a standard but enjoyable look at the production of the show. Kenny Powers: Greatest Hits is a funny fake “highlight” film from “Powers” professional career.
There are commentaries with cast and crew present, deleted scenes and outtakes.
Rounding things out is a featurette entitled “Stevie’s Dark Secret”. I will let you discover that on your own.
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10
The Series 7/10
The Video 7/10
The Audio 7/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 6.5/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10