Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Eastbound & Down - Season 2

If I had to pick one, the second season doesn't quite live up to the mostly brilliant first. But as a direct follow-up and the soul-searching middle part of a story (it's been picked up for a third and supposedly final season), Eastbound & Down season two was very good. It finds Kenny Powers in Mexico after his chance with Tampa Bay falls through, living off the spoils of cock fighting and his friend Stevie's stolen credit card. It's a new low in Kenny's life, but you wouldn't know it from the exterior, as he's still as arrogant, self righteous, and vulgar as ever. The best part of the show is still just listening to him narrate his own version of his life and curse people out for disappointing him over and over again. In terms of creating a character that's a total jerk but one you still can't help but love, it's still one of the best successes on television.

But the whole show isn't just Kenny strutting around, doing drugs, and chasing women. His destiny is to be a ballplayer again, and the thrust of the season is him getting a shot through a local baseball team. The manager knows who he is and wants to help him get back into the game, but Kenny is often his own worst enemy as he misjudges his relationships with others and has conflicts with the team owner. The plot follows a lot of the same beats as the first season, but it also does some new things including some exploration of why Kenny is the way he is that's particularly enlightening. It's basically the same mix of comedy, depressing moments, awesomely appropriate music, nudity, and entertaining cameos throughout these seven episodes, and the Mexican setting helps keep it fresh. Unlike the huge downer of the last finale, this one is more hopeful, and I'm really interested in seeing how things end up for our old buddy Kenny fuckin' Powers.

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