No Kenny Powers, you’re f*cking out.
I’m a big fan of HBO’s Eastbound and Down. I think Danny McBride is hilarious (even though his character is almost exactly the same in every single movie/tv show he acts in) and the concept of the show is brilliant. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 3 years and have never seen the show, McBride plays Kenny Powers, a former Major League Baseball star known more so for his partying and antics than his skill. The first episode of Season 1 showed Kenny’s downfall. Once a 100+ MPH closer for the World Series Champion Atlanta Braves, a life of partying and basically not giving a shit caused KP to bounce from team to team and eventually out of the Majors. Eastbound and Down has chronicled Kenny’s life since then and is now in Season 3 as he finds himself pitching for the Myrtle Beach Mermen in hopes of getting back to the show.
Season 1 had some of the best one liners in TV series history. My favorite Kenny Powers moment is actually from the very first episode when he’s sitting down for a meal with his brother Dustin and his family (skip to the 1:13 mark) :
Season 2 was equally entertaining. Kenny’s antics in Mexico and the climactic event of being reunited with his father only to be double crossed made viewers eager to see what was in store for Season 3. Sadly, we’re only 2 episodes in to the third and final season and it seems as if Eastbound and Down may have jumped the shark.
The first episode of the new season was OK. April and Kenny’s baby is 1 year old, Kenny is lighting it up in the Minor Leagues for the Mermen and he’s even found a new best friend in the team’s catcher Shane, played by Jason Sudeikis. I liked where this season was going until Sunday night’s episode, Chapter 15.
I’m OK with April dumping the baby on Kenny and leaving town. Watching Kenny Powers try to raise a baby is hysterical.
I even found it hilarious that Ashley Schaeffer now owns a KIA dealership after Kenny destroyed his reputation at Schaeffer BMW. And Stevie working for the KIA dealership after being dumped by Kenny as his assistant? Brilliant. It was the final 5 to 10 minutes of the show that went sour.
Mr Schaeffer is having a dinner party with his Korean business associates, and Stevie turns out the be the entertainment for the night. Dressed as a Geisha, Schaeffer forces Stevie to dance around for his dinner guest and even subjects him to offering lap dances to the business associates. Kenny breaks in to the house and tries to liberate Stevie but fails. This is where the episode really takes a turn for the worst.
Schaeffer brings everyone into the backyard of his home where he has a large yard and a cannon facing away from the house. What ensues is a redneck rendition of the scene in the film Apocalypto where the Mayans forced captured men to run for their lives as tribesmen shoot them down with a bow and arrow. First, Schaeffer forces one of his men to run the course, blowing him up. Next up is Stevie and Kenny who dodge a few cannon balls until they are luckily saved by Maria as she pulls up in Shane Dog’s truck near the end of the yard. The episode ends with Kenny and Stevie in the back of the pickup laughing in what doesn’t seem like acting at all, and me sitting on the couch asking myself what the f*ck did I just watch?
Is there still hope for the rest of Season 3 of Eastbound and Down? I personally don’t think so. Sure there will be some funny one-liners and I’ll get a chuckle out of watching it, but after Chapter 15 there is no way it can still be called one of the best shows on TV. When a show resorts to dressing ancillary characters in drag and spoofing Mel Gibson films, you know the writers have given up. Just like Fonzie waterskiing with his leather jacket on, there’s no coming back from that.