Kenny Powers gets back in the game

A series likely to get lost amid the hype of the Breaking Bad finale Sunday night is Eastbound & Down.  The fourth and final season begins Sunday at 10 p.m. on HBO and HBO Canada.
If you’re already a Kenny Powers fan you’ll want to coax one more hour out of a busy night of PVR scheduling. Danny McBride is back as the ultimate baseball bad ass. He’s out of the game and has given up on his dream when we catch up with Powers. now in the rent-a-car business. Can he make it as a regular family man?
I’ve seen the first two hours and it is fun to watch McBride turn this character inside out. Powers is a loathsome chump, a despicable loser, yet, by the end of the second episode, you still root for him to crawl back into the limelight.
The series seemed done at the end of the third season but HBO wanted more, as I wrote in the September issue of Movie Entertainment magazine:

McBride and co-creators Ben Best and Jody Hill–who all had film projects on the go–had already announced to fans that they were going three-and-out. The plan was always to tell this story in three parts. Hill jokingly referred to the series as their “redneck ‘Godfather.’”
HBO threw them a curve, however, and called the series back for extra innings. The final eight episodes will begin September 29 on HBO Canada.
HBO is teasing it as “The epic final season,” but we’ve heard that one before. Here’s what we do know for sure:
Production took place in Wilmington, North Carolina, the same Atlantic town where Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” is based and where “Dawson’s Creek” and “One Tree Hill” were produced. It’s also near where Best and Hill grew up and where all three producers went to film school.
Joining the series is Ken Marino (“Party Down,” “Veronica Mars”), who plays a middle-aged baseball player named Guy Young who likes to party. “Saturday Night Live” alumni Jason Sudeikis played a similar party animal player is Season Three.
Funny or Die comedian Tim Heidecker has also joined the cast as Kenny’s naive next door neighbour and new human punching bag.

Will this truly be the end of the road for Powers? Sports comedies are as rare as a no hitter and seldom last very long. The Craig T. Nelson ‘90s sitcom “Coach” and the HBO comedy “Arli$$” are two that come to mind, along with Aaron Sorkin’s pre-“West Wing” comedy “Sportsnight.”
Powers may go down as the biggest jerk in TV sports but that’s not why this series is hanging up the cleats, says Hill. He acknowledges that the ill-tempered prima donna is a bit hard to take but thinks viewers have seen a kinder, gentler Powers slowly emerge. “It’s like taking a road trip with somebody you don’t like,” he told a reporter. The other person may start out by getting on your nerves, but, “The longer you drive on that trip, the more you understand them.”

Leave a Reply