I binge watched “Eastbound and Down” this week and I have no regrets

4 Apr

Despite what people may say, there are certain advantages to being late on certain TV shows. I remember being early to the party on television shows such as “Spawn” and “Archer” and the impatience I felt from week to week between episodes. I hated waiting for the next episode. I hated the dread I would feel, looking at our house clock and seeing there was only five minutes left until the wait would begin again. I have a friend who watched “True Detective” when the first episode aired and he couldn’t contain himself. It would be all he talked about until 9:00 pm on Sunday nights, when the next episode would be available.

When I went to visit him over spring break, I was able to watch it all in one full swoop. I’m glad I did it too, the wait would have killed me. I started out just wanting to watch a little bit of the first episode, but it was clear ten minutes into it that I was not going to stop until I’d seen all eight. I started watching late on a Sunday night, I was done with it by Tuesday morning (And yes it IS that good).

Back when “Eastbound and Down” first aired in 2009, I didn’t have HBO, and it wasn’t even on my radar. I’d heard about it, but what I’d heard wasn’t enough to make me go out of my way to check it out. A recent conversation with a friend struck me as a ringing endorsement for the show. Clips like this and this piqued my interest enough to finally download the whole series. This way I could watch it at my own pace, and just veg out. I’m so happy that I did.

Initially the show comes off as a spoof on a solipsistic baseball pitcher named Kenny Powers (played by Danny McBride), a person without an ounce of self awareness. The show follows him from him at the top of his game to his descent into the minors, and eventually back on his comeback bid. Admittedly the show is full of cheap laughs, dick and pussy jokes, foul language and goofy drug gags, and plenty of gratuitous nudity. However, by episode 4 the plot and character development gets deeper than what is initially presented. At times, Powers is a sympathetic character, most of the time he is a horse’s ass. What is refreshing is that as a main character, Kenny is fallible and remarkably flawed.

Despite the nasty mullet perm, and packing a bulge in his belly, Danny McBride lends a certain swag to his role as Powers that is both awesome and sometimes infuriating. Even though Powers has at least one laughable tantrum after another, he always learns a lesson, and he always apologizes. The show is funny, and oftentimes painful to watch. There are even a few tear-jerking scenes that manage to not be over the top (Yes I cried once or twice).

Rarely do you get a chance to see a show where the hero is so flawed, and keeps fucking up his own chances to redeem himself. Yet, as humans this is normally how the story arc plays out. The reality of his struggles is endearingly entertaining, and the best part of this story is that Kenny Powers never gives up. No matter how many times he fucks up, Kenny still has the hubris to not give up on ‘sucking his dream’s dick.”
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Its a great show and worth the 540 minutes (only 3 seasons–6 episodes a piece). There are some great cameos throughout by people who you’d never have imagined seeing, but each cameo is fucking perfect. Peep game if you haven’t already. You don’t even have to be a baseball fan to enjoy it.

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