Eastbound & Down stars Danny McBride (Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder) as washed-out major league baseball star Kenny Powers. Still incredibly arrogant and self-centered, Powers has a hard time coping with real life. This very strange and crude show airs Sundays at 10:30 P.M. on HBO
From the pilot, it is hard to tell what fate awaits Eastbound & Down. Kenny Powers is very, very difficult to like. He is the a-hole of all a-holes and unrepentantly so. A series with a character like that at its center will have to feature some really solid writing and a stellar supporting cast. The pilot episode, which airs February 15th 2009, does not indicate if this is going to be the case. It certainly does not introduce a strong enough foil for Kenny.
The pilot basically sets up the Kenny Powers story from making the last strike-out during the World Series to becoming a total dickhead who offends everybody he comes in contact with. Powers then returns home to North Carolina, moves in with his brother, his wife, and their three kids, and gets a job as a substitute PE teacher at the local high school. His high school sweetheart is now a teacher at the school and engaged to the principal.
The problem with Eastbound & Down is you do not believe the premise the show is trying to set up. No matter how famous someone once was, he cannot possibly get a job in a junior high school if he constantly swears and behaves like a total a-hole with everybody on staff and the students.
This HBO show comes with some solid credentials behind the camera including director and executive producer Adam McKay of Anchorman and Tallageda Nights fame. Will Ferrell is executive producer and occasional guest star. This means the show will get a fair chance to find an audience. The question is, is there an audience for this show.