Eastbound & Down: Season 2

BY Philip BrownPublished Nov 17, 2016

Love it or hate it, there's never been anything on TV quite like Eastbound & Down and unless the show's talented, but insane, creators come up with another series, it's unlikely we'll ever see anything like it again. In Kenny Powers, star Danny McBride and co-writers Ben Best and Jody Hill created something approaching the ultimate comedy antihero. Kenny is a pretty disgusting human being; he's arrogant, narcissistic, delusional and cruel, but has an unshakable confidence that's almost admirable. In fact, the entire series is the tale of a fallen hero rising to power taking place entirely in Kenny's head. Objectively, he's just fucking up and burning one bridge after another while occasionally making minor steps of improvement. But in his head, he's a humbled king learning lessons because he admits it's time. That split is hysterical and makes the series feel almost like a deconstruction of the traditional hero story arc. Of course, this is also a show you laugh at because a fat white guy with cornrows is fighting with a Mexican midget over a donkey painted like a zebra. Though surprisingly intelligent and incredibly well crafted, Eastbound & Down is a comedy that goes straight for the balls. It's a rude, crude and pleasantly offensive ode to all forms of bad behaviour and the second season sees the failed MLB pitcher turned high school gym teacher hightail it to Mexico to avoid his problems. Kenny sees himself as an outlaw for reasons only he knows and his time spent south of the boarder features cock-fighting, tequila, border-hopping, cocaine, gun-wielding drug lords, gratuitous prostitute sex and a visit to his father (weirdly, played by Don Johnson). There's something to offend everyone and while some of the secret heart of the first season is missing, that feels almost appropriate. The Eastbound and Down creators always viewed their show as a three-season arc. The final season (which is currently filming) will return the characters home and wrap up the story. This is a dark, cartoon second act designed to push Kenny's rock bottom lower than even he imagined possible. It's a hysterical, fearless comedy that more than lives up to the first season, even if it lacks most of the memorable supporting cast (except for Steve Little's dorky sidekick Stevie, who almost steals the second season away from McBride). The Blu-Ray presentation of Eastbound & Down's second season is absolutely gorgeous. The show was shot in 35mm and looks like a movie, with all of the vibrant colours and dirty details one would want from a drug-fuelled trip to Mexico. Danny McBride, Steve Little and directors Jody Hill (Observe and Report) and David Gordon Green (George Washington) pop up for lively and informative commentaries that prove the show is as much fun to make as to watch. There's also the standard array of promotional behind-the-scenes docs, deleted scenes and outtakes. It's all fun, but nothing compared to the show, which is easily one of the most subversive and ambitious comedies on television. Granted, if you don't find the image of a grown man screaming like a child while sitting on a toilet in a Mexican prison funny, it isn't for you.

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