Jody Hill

Eastbound and Down

“I’m a bad man. I’m a very bad man.”  Kenny Powers’ road to redemption came to an end on Sunday’s Eastbound and Down finale. After a stellar fourth season that found Danny McBride’s MLB has-been unexpectedly making a living through his bullying and bullshitting skills as TV sportscaster, Kenny finally discovered that men — or at least some men — just can’t have it all. “I was never unhappy with you guys,” he admits to his ex-wife about the family he broke apart. “I was unhappy with myself.” Thus another manchild bites the dust. Eastbound and Down couldn’t have ended any other way. After last week’s episode [spoilers], when Stevie was on the verge of putting a bullet through his brain for not being able to buy Christmas presents for his kids, the show’s bathos graduated to genuine, compelling pathos. (“Trying to kill myself was the best thing I ever did,” Stevie decides later in the company of his ever-doting wife.) Kenny has a better head on his shoulders than Stevie does, but an ending that finds “Kenneth Powers” giving up on his humanity to become sadistic kajillionaire Ronny Thelman’s (Sacha Baron Cohen) mulleted pit bull might have been too dispiriting a conclusion.

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Eastbound and Down ended on the perfect note last season. Whether there would be a fourth season was still up in the air, but Jody Hill and company gave their series a sense of closure. Unlike that cheap slap in the face Entourage gave to its fans – “It may not really be over because of that silly movie idea, but it might be!” – Kenny Powers’ arc and the show itself felt completed. However, apparently HBO disagrees, considering that they’ve recently ordered a fourth season.

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I’m pretty that question is from an old Zen Koan or Buddhist saying or something. Of course, it might be from Eastbound and Down. According to The Hollywood Reporter, that show’s creator, Jody Hill,  is attached to an untitled Warners action movie that might morph into a reboot of Dukes of Hazzard. Hill also directed Observe and Report and hails from North Carolina with a special connection to southern filmmaking. Yes, the eternal name of Peckinpah was evoked in the piece, but the underlying truth here is that the studio won’t know whether they’re rebooting The Dukes of Hazzard or not until Hill finishes the script. Let that sink in. There’s a magic, confusing moment right now where Hill is either going to write a movie that will be an original piece of southern action, or Hill will write a movie that will be an original piece of southern action that has a 70s sitcom title slapped on it. This is where we’re at creatively. The fear of anything original is palpable, but at Warners? Then again, Danny McBride does have a Tom Wopat feel to him.

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When you really think about it, Eastbound and Down is one of the HBO’s most depressing shows — no small feat. The hero’s journey Kenny Powers has been wandering through gets sadder and sadder with each season, as the character falls hard from the top, unlikely to ever obtain the glory he once had. This show challenges its characters to the fullest, and that’s something Jody Hill, David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and the rest of the creative team behind Eastbound and Down seem to revel in. Not many television characters can match the sheer narcissism, misogyny, delusion, sadness, and hilarity of Kenny Powers. Somehow, the worse he acts, the more human and oddly lovable Hill & Co. make him. Powers is about as anti-heroic as a television character can get. Here’s what Jody Hill had to say about what we can expect from season three, the highs and lows of Kenny Powers’ arc, Stevie Janowski’s warped coming-of-age Stevie story, and more:

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Kenny Powers is the ultimate antihero. Powers is a man without self-awareness who lacks proper ethics and morals and sits right on the edge of narcissism. And yet despite his selfish and cruel antics, you like him. Powers is an idiot, but a likable idiot. Eastbound and Down is on a total free fall with very little genuine redemption and high points for Kenny. He’s mean-spirited, but unbeknown to the fact. The show is now heading into its second season, and it places Kenny in the ultimate playground for terror and laughs: Mexico. The first two episodes play on the possibilities you imagined, and hopefully we’ll see even more to come. A lot has changed this time around and there are things you all must be braced for. Here are the top ten things to know about Kenny Powers (straight from Jody Hill) and what to expect with the return of Eastbound and Down:

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No one knows what it is, so you have to judge whether or not it’s a good idea based on who’s involved.

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One of the things that I like most about this year’s overall South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival line-up is the diversity. And if there’s one thing you’ll see in this year’s panel and shorts lineups, it is just that. Diversity.

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I have no idea what it stands for, but I assume it’s something like Landscaping and Produce Interrogator.

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Ramin_Bahrani

The man who Ebert has called the “next great American filmmaker” took some time out of a busy schedule to talk about his latest movie, Goodbye Solo, the importance of showing the bad parts of life, and a giant pile of trash floating around in the Pacific.

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Kevin Carr calls for an apology from the feminists for their treatment of Seth Rogen.

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While other Rejects may have enjoyed the film, Robert Fure pepper sprays Observe and Report in the face and then mercilessly beats it into the pavement. See if you agree inside.

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FSR

Kevin Carr reviews this week’s new movies: Observe and Report, Hannah Montana: The Movie, Dragonball: Evolution and Anvil!: The Story of Anvil.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Neil comes out swinging, preparing to defend the good name of Observe and Report from Kevin’s bile. Meanwhile, Kevin defends Hannah Montana as best a fat guy can.

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Observe and Report

We’ve seen Hollywood do paint-by-numbers comedy. Heck, we’ve even recently seen a paint-by-numbers mall cop comedy. But if there’s anything we can say definitively about Jody Hill’s Observe and Report, it is that it doesn’t give a f–k about painting or numbers.

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Jody Hill Observes and Reports

In the fourth of four interviews with the stars and director of Observe and Report, Jody Hill talks about freedom within the studio system, his inspirations behind filmmaking, and considers seeking anger management.

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Once again, here I stand on the edge of all things cool and new and awesome. I firmly believe that I am the only person alive who has not had time to watch HBO’s hit series Eastbound and Down. Luckily, there is DVR. For the rest of you, there will be season 2.

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Seth Rogen Observes and Reports.

In the third of four interviews with the stars and director of Observe and Report, Seth Rogen talks about doing things differently in Hollywood, his favorite Sleepy Time Tea flavor and the progress of The Green Hornet.

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In the second of four interviews with the stars and director of Observe and Report, Anna Faris waxes philosophic, shows her blonde roots, and discusses the freedom of playing a total bitch.

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Warner Bros. has released a brand new redband clip from their upcoming release Observe and Report, from The Foot Fist Way director Jody Hill. It features a show-stealing performance from Aziz Ansari.

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Observe and Report

Prepare to be introduced to the employees that work in the Forrest Ridge Mall, the characters at the heart of the upcoming Warner Bros. comedy Observe and Report.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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