Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Once again, another love it/hate it pop cult proposition. HBO’s new Eastbound & Down, brought to you by the folks and star/co-creator (Danny McBride, also registering as a very funny guy in last year’s Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder) behind cult indie comedy The Foot Fist Way, will either make you squirm on your couch with indignation and irritation, or leave you shaking yer head in sheer open-mouthed admiration.
A dramedy at heart, Eastbound & Down is also a down and dirty middle class satire, focusing on disgraced ex-major league pitcher Kenny Powers (McBride), a John Rocker-type, given to drinking, drugging, and womanizing, and without the apparent social graces of a six grade miscreant, who finds himself back in the house of his regular guy brother (Deadwood’s John Hawkes) in Shelby County, N.C., and (barely) working as a gym teach at the local school.
McBride’s schtick is lowball Larry David, socially inept, politically incorrect, blissfully arrogant and perpetually steamed at the no-nothing world around him, sans the intelligence—a walking and talking idiot, the crudball version. It’s both funny and scary, even a bit sad, as we watch the clownish actions of yet another big-timer who rose to monetary and societal heights seemingly only because of one simple, exceptional talent-the ability to throw a ball past batsmen. If you can handle a full half hour devoted to a relentless sadsack and obnoxious loser, this one’s for you.