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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this dark comedy's main character is a profane, misogynistic former baseball player who's squandered his money and his talent. Angry and bitter about the direction his life has taken, he tries to soothe his pain with beer and drugs but secretly cries himself to sleep. Expect nonstop swearing (including "f--k" and worse), drinking, and drugs, as well as some nudity and frequent graphic descriptions of sex.
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What's the Story?
It's really hard to like Kenny Powers (Danny McBride), but he sure does want to be liked. Once a star pitcher, the washed-up ball player has squandered his fortune, been drummed out of the big leagues, and now, in EASTBOUND & DOWN, is slumming it as a middle school gym teacher while crashing with his brother's family. Once accustomed to the trappings of fame, Kenny can barely disguise his contempt for the regular folks he works with -- including his middle-class brother -- and he deludes himself by pretending he's still important. The one highlight of his new life is finding that his high school girlfriend April (Katy Mixon) is a coworker at Jefferson Davis Middle School. Kenny continues to imagine that she still wants him -- even though she's now engaged to the school principal (Andrew Daly).
Is It Any Good?
He's self-centered, crass, inconsiderate, and extremely profane. And yet, Kenny Powers is trying his very best to start fresh back home. Turns out, his best is terrible. Watching Powers' attempt at redemption while having absolutely no self-awareness is excruciatingly painful and painfully hilarious. The show's jokes aren't for the faint-hearted; you may cringe as much as laugh, and the lives of its characters can appear remarkably bleak. But somehow this mullet-sporting sad sack will weasel his way into your heart.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about role models. What makes someone a good role model? Just because someone is a talented sports star, should he or she be pressured to be a positive influence in other arenas?
Is there anything to like about Kenny Powers? Why do you think he gets away with so much?
- Premiere date: February 15, 2009
- Cast: Danny McBride, John Hawkes, Katy Mixon
- Network: HBO
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: February 5, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Crowd-pleasing '80s underdog sports comedy.
Winning but mature comedy about sex and baseball.
The Bad News Bears
Edgy '70s baseball comedy has lots of cursing, drinking.
For kids who love comedies
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate