Eastbound & Down
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this pay cable 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.
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 delude himself by imagining that she still wants him -- even though she's now engaged to the school principal (Andrew Daly).
Is it any good?
Self-centered, crass, inconsiderate, and extremely profane, Kenny is nothing like the role model he imagines himself to be. And that's the main issue with this sad comedy. It's not entirely clear whether Eastbound & Down is supposed to be a story about Powers' redemption -- or whether his one-note character is the entire joke, because Kenny shows no sign that he may be on any kind of journey of self-discovery.
Meanwhile, he's not particularly fun to watch, and the show's efforts to mine humor from his arrogance and hubris mostly strike out.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about role models. The show makes it clear that Kenny was once a role model; he even has his own line of motivational tapes. Do you think the racist, sexist, and angry former baseball player he is now makes a good role model for anyone? Based on his depiction, do you think he set a good example even at the peak of his career? What makes someone a good role model?