Friday, October 11, 2013

What I’m Watching: Eastbound and Down

Eastbound and Down: Season 4, Episode 2 “Chapter 23” (B+)

It’s hard not to enjoy this show, and that’s because it knows its characters so well. April and Stevie in particular were on fire in this episode, each standing their ground but ultimately giving in to their love for Kenny Powers, but showing it in an appropriate and effective way. April saying that she wasn’t worried about Kenny failing but was worried about him abandoning her was sweet, and I like that she showed up to encourage him to take down the bully on the show, which instantly gave him the courage he needed to withstand the lights. Stevie coming to Kenny to grovel only momentarily and then whip him into shape for his appearance on the show was also great, and a spectacular use of a sometimes stupid character. Guy being nice to Kenny rather than mocking him only made Kenny’s early predicament worse, and it was truly awkward to watch Kenny get skewered on the show. But that’s what’s best about it, that we were rooting for Kenny to burst, because we wanted to see his anger. Kenny’s mean streak is often one of the most appalling things about this show, but getting to see it emerge, especially when directed at someone who’s been equally vicious without being likeable, is a majestic thing. The notion of Kenny being on TV swearing his ass off and insulting lots of people on a regular basis is actually perfect, and I’m sure it will be a bumpy road, but that just makes the payoff so much better and funnier.

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