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Eastbound & Down: The Complete Second Season


HBO's sauciest series scores another homer

Rod Lott August 1st, 2011

When we last saw egotistical, repulsive, overweight, rude, crude, arrogant, self-centered, self-destructive, alcoholic, weed-smoking, coke-snorting former pro baseball player Kenny Powers, he had left the love of his life on the side of the road and high-tailed it to Mexico, the no-good bum.

eastboundanddownseasontwo

Now, as "Eastbound & Down"'s second season opens, his mullet is in cornrows and he's making scratch as a cockfighter.

Still a legend in his own mind, Kenny (Danny McBride, "Your Highness") relents and joins the local baseball team, the Charros; inexplicably lands a new gal pal in a sexy, single-mom songstress (Ana de la Reguera, "Cowboys & Aliens"); schools his goofy best/only friend, Stevie (Steve Little, TV's "Adventure Time"), in getting laid; and searches for the mysterious Eduardo Sánchez — not, he informs Stevie, the director of "The Blair Witch Project."

The last of this season's seven half-hours could serve as a series-ender, but "Eastbound" will return for a third and final batch. The second-to-last ep introduces a couple of surprise guests who will help take Kenny down the next path in the pathetic excuse that is his effed-up life.

But enough about that, because this journey — almost all of it set south of the border — is hysterical. It's every bit as politically incorrect as year one, making it every bit as good. Yes, Kenny spouts the most sexist, racist and otherwise inappropriate things, but it's to mask a severely low self-esteem. It also results in an interesting blend of tragicomedy, because one minute, you're laughing at the poor guy, and another, you almost feel sorry for him.

Almost.

HBO's double-disc set includes roughly 15 minutes of deleted scenes, several of which are worth watching, and a gag reel in which tiny gangster Deep Roy ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory") flubs lines left and right. Much like Powers, an eight-minute promo piece thinks a bit too highly of itself, but much of the boasting is earned by sharp writing and sharper performances to pull it off. —Rod Lott

 
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