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Tag: Eastbound & Down (1-5 of 5)

'Eastbound and Down' finale: Farewell to pop culture's last baseball star, Kenny Powers

There are many reasons to mourn the end of Eastbound & Down. Danny McBride’s easy, almost casual hilarity, the show’s odd, un-TV-like pace, and the sheer thrill of seeing Will Ferrell on television will all be missed.

But there’s also another thing that the HBO series will take with it when its finale airs tonight, and that’s baseball — or, more specifically, baseball’s place in pop culture.

For years — even decades — people have talked about baseball losing its mantle as America’s favorite pastime, but the topic has flared up again in the past few months. National ratings are down, even for postseason games, while professional and college football continue to dominate; this year’s World Series ratings were among the lowest ever, while the past several Super Bowls ranked as the most-watched events in TV history. These figures have renewed the contentious debate about baseball’s supposed decline, with some pundits declaring it culturally irrelevant and others arguing that it’s healthier than ever.

We’ll leave the in-depth sports analysis to the in-depth sports guys. But if you were to use the likes of TV shows and movies to assess the game’s popularity, well, it does seem like baseball is losing the good fight. And now with Eastbound & Down leaving us, our pastime’s cultural footprint threatens to become that much smaller.

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Jeremy Lin isn't playing tonight, but Kenny Powers is

The sensational New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin picked up two major wins in the past 24 hours. One was the impressive athletic victory over reigning NBA champs Dallas Mavericks Sunday afternoon; the other was on the pop culture field, when Saturday Night Live used its cold open to address the good and bad aspects of America’s ongoing Linsanity.

But as Lin’s fellow sports star Kenny Powers might say, “f— all that noise.” While the Knicks can kick back tonight, Kenny’s Myrtle Beach Mermen will make their debut tonight on Eastbound & Down‘s season 3 premiere — and just in time, too.

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HBO GO passes 3 million downloads. Is it worth it?

This past weekend, HBO GO, the premium cable channel’s mobile streaming app, surpassed the 3 million download mark after less than two months on iTunes and the Android market, but the app’s features don’t make those numbers all that surprising. HBO GO allows current subscribers full access to its library of original programming. That includes older series, previously available only on pricey DVD collections, like Sex in the City, The Wire, and The Sopranos. But with the Hulus and the Netflixs of the world, can HBO GO bring anything new to the table?

The answer is simple: Yes. READ FULL STORY

Lunchtime Poll: Kenny Powers' Best in Hair?

HBO’s Eastbound & Down returns for its second season Sunday, Sept. 26. Kenny Powers is in Mexico now! What is this, Weeds?

In season 2, Danny McBride’s Powers — EW’s favorite crude-as-hell, washed-up former major-leaguer-turned-gym-teacher — is now pitching for a team named the Charros. Great, all I want to do right now is eat a churro. The trailer (embedded after the break) looks great, Charo will hopefully show up at some point, and Kenny Powers still does not like children.

Vote below. Change your look, change your life!

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'Eastbound & Down' is coming back: Get your F-bombs ready!

Eastbound_lFans of hilarious, unrepentantly crude, and life-lesson-phobic television rejoice: HBO has just picked up Eastbound & Down for a second season, which will air sometime in 2010. I’m thrilled, because I was worried about its future. When Danny McBride’s comedy about a foul-mouthed, steroid-sticking, drug-gobbling, incomprehensibly arrogant, washed-up baseball phenom-turned-gym teacher began, HBO barely gave it any press at all. Usually, they send out multiple episodes of their series in advance (as they did with season 2 of Flight of the Conchords, which was premiering at the same time), but with Eastbound there was deafening radio silence. It seemed odd that they wouldn’t be bragging about having a Will Ferrell-produced project featuring a rising star like McBride, who had just appeared in two comedy hits, Tropic Thunder and Pineapple Express. And yet we had to request a screener, just so Ken Tucker could give it an A-. It was as if Eastbound was the fat, racist family member the network didn’t want anyone to know about. When, in reality, Eastbound was the fat, racist family member they should have introduced to everyone.

I loved the show as soon as I saw it: McBride’s Kenny Powers was a masterwork of crudeness, so much so that I can’t really quote anything he said here. (Though I am partial to this statement from his motivational tapes: “If there’s one thing I hate, it’s losing. If there’s two things I hate, it’s losing and cancer.”) But I was amazed at how many other people discovered it on their own; it was so good that HBO couldn’t keep it a secret. I went to a dinner party during the show’s second week, and three different people, knowing I cover TV for EW, came up to me in a kind of weird daze, and said, “Have you seen this show Eastbound & Down? It’s hilarious!” They had this weird disbelievingly look on their face as they said it, as if they’d made this really weird and wonderful discovery and wanted to share it, but weren’t quite convinced it hadn’t just been a bizarre dream. I imagine this is the same look people have when they’ve just been abducted by aliens and seduced by a really hot martian.

I’ll be curious to see where season 2 goes. Kenny seemed humbled last season, even before his offer to come back up to the majors fell apart. Will he go back to being his self-centered self? We last saw him driving away from town, having dumped April — the old girlfriend he convinced to leave her husband and run away with him — at a gas station. Will he come back to town and get his gym teacher job back, allowing him to call a whole new class of kids some variation on the word "wuss"? Will creepy car salesman Ashley Schaeffer (Ferrell) be waiting for him with a crowbar? At least we can hope for a tearful reunion with his vaguely brain-damaged acolyte, Stevie.

Did you join the Eastbound cult? And how did you discover it? And do you have trouble quoting it in mixed company?

addCredit(“Fred Norris/HBO”)

More ‘Eastbound & Down':
Ken Tucker: TV Review: ‘Eastbound & Down’
Snap Judgment: ‘Eastbound & Down’ premiere
Danny McBride: The next Will Ferrell
Ken Tucker: ‘Flight of the Conchords’ and ‘Eastbound & Down': Which ended funnier?

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