Danny McBride’s antihero typecasting saw him nail Red in Pineapple Express, but it’s in his own show, Eastbound & Down, that he really gets to shine. Playing egomaniac Kenny Powers, a washed up former Major League baseball star, he becomes a racist red neck with a taste for hard drugs, loose women, violence and more effing and jeffing than Superbad, but somehow he manages to make you want to see him do well.
Returning to his hometown of Shelby, North Carolina after falling on hard times since his retirement from baseball, Powers is forced to live with his older brother and family. To pay his way, with the IRS breathing down his neck, he also has to take a temp PE teacher job at the local middle school.
Like a red neck, mullet wearing Alf Garnet, Danny Powers is a perfect blend of criticism and empathy, showing the good and bad in small town America. Ethics aren’t black and white in the show though, and there isn’t the faintest whiff of it taking itself too seriously, so it’s hard to judge it from either side of the red neck divide. All you can do is sit back and laugh.
However you look at it, Eastbound & Down is funny, clever and real stupid. The supporting cast are perfect, but it’s Danny McBride’s character that owns the show. With cameo appearances from Will Ferrell, eye socket casualties and a bar called Sh-boom Sh-booms, Eastbound and Down’s short 6 episode run leaves you with genuine anticipation for the 2nd series, which starts late summer in the US.
Eastbound and Down Series 1 DVD review: 4.2/5