Eastbound and Down season 3 Blu-ray Review

HBO’s ‘Eastbound and Down’ is like an SNL skit that goes on too long.  It’s funny, and has humorous characters, but there’s only so much you can do with the idea of a white trash, self centered baseball player that’s trying to get back to the big leagues.  Every episode has about two minutes of comedy gold and about 28 minutes of filler.  And a little Danny McBride can go a long way in a movie, but a lot of McBride in a half-hour comedy can become overkill very quick.  My frustration with this show is that it has the potential to be groundbreaking and hilarious, but comes off pedestrian and childish more often than not.

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The third season of ‘Eastbound and Down’ finds Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) playing for a minor league team in Myrtle Beach, SC.  April (Katy Mixon) has given birth to their son, but freaked out from the pressure and took off, leaving Kenny to raise their baby on his own.  Lucky for him, Stevie (Steve Little) and Maria (Elizabeth De Razzo) have moved in with Kenny to help him take care of the baby.  Professionally, things are going well for Powers since he’s the star player, but has a rivalry going with a Russian pitcher named Ivan Dochenko (Ike Barinholtz).

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The best thing about Kenny Powers is his willingness to say anything to anyone, regardless of how offensive his comments may be.  This is great when he’s talking to other people about something other than himself.  It gets old when he keeps talking about how great he is, only because there’s only so many ways you can praise yourself.  By now, we fully understand that Kenny thinks he’s great, Stevie is sad and pathetic and everyone around Kenny seems to tolerate him.  This was introduced in the first season and none of the characters have grown or changed since then.  That’s fine, because the show is a comedy, but the focus needs to be on making it funny, not continuing to beat us over the head with what we already know.

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The trouble with the show is that the writers don’t seem to understand what’s actually funny and what’s sad.  This is actually a problem with series co-creator Jody Hill, whose movies THE FOOTFIST WAY and OBSERVE AND REPORT had this problem as well.  It’s tough to find humor in a character when you’re constantly shaking your head in pity.  Whenever Kenny says something about being the team’s savior or living a life of fame, my first reaction is to roll my eyes.  I don’t want to hear him narrate his book, I want to see him out in public, interacting with people, like when Kenny and April went off on a family at a miniature golf course; that was laugh out loud funny.

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That scene was in the first episode and season 3 actually started off pretty well, but every subsequent episode wore on me a little more until finally, I wasn’t laughing at all.  Thank goodness the series featured a few episodes with Will Ferrell and Craig Robinson, who make the most out of their brief appearances.  They provided a spark and gave the audience something to laugh about.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the last episode.  I’ll call out a minor spoiler alert in case you haven’t seen it.  I loved the last episode and thought that they finally wrapped up the character by having him grow up and realize what’s important.  I also loved how I thought they were going to end the series by having him die, only for them to realize he faked his own death.  I’m sure McBride and Hill got a kick out of that, but it wasn’t funny.  However, I took solace in the fact that surely, that would be the end of ‘Eastbound and Down’, only to have them announce a fourth season this past July.  I have no idea where they’re going to take the fourth season, but here’s hoping they mix it up a little bit.

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video:  Eastbound and Down look wonderful on Blu-ray, with every drop of Kenny’s hair gel shining through.

Audio: The audio is also wonderful.

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Season 1 Recap (3:32): A nice recap of season 1 in case you missed it.

Season 2 Recap (1:32): Same as above but with season 2.

Audio Commentaries: Each of the episodes (sorry, chapters) have a commentary with Danny McBride and Jody Hill and each episode includes commentary with other editors or writers. If you liked this season then these are probably worth watching. They do keep the commentaries interesting so it’s not a complete waste of time.

Dinner with the Schaeffers (5:49): This is a deleted scene of the dinner with the Schaeffers, which was where Will Ferrell was entertaining the Kia representatives.

Deleted Scenes(48:10): These definitely didn’t need to be included in the final product, but they were humorous to watch at times. It’s always nice to see Jason Sudeikis on screen, but some of these did last way too long. However, if you stick around til the end you can see a deleted scene with Val Kilmer and a TOP GUN reference.

Outtakes (8:57): This is your typical gag reel which wasn’t as funny as you would think, but it does have its moments.

 

OVERALL 2.5
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