AICN’s First Review Of EAST BOUND AND DOWN, The HBO Pilot From Will Ferrell And The Folks Behind FOOT FIST WAY!!
I am – Hercules!!
A six-episode HBO comedy from the “Foot Fist Way” team of writer-director Jody Hill, screenwriter Ben Best and writer-actor Danny McBride, “East Bound And Down” follows a superstar major-league pitcher who finds himself reduced to serving a substitute gym coach.
Besides McBride (“Pineapple Express,” “Tropic Thunder”), the series stars John Hawkes (“Deadwood”), Jennifer Irwin (“Still Standing”), Katy Mixon (“Four Christmases”) and Andrew Daly (“Mad TV”).
“Noodleman,” an untested spy, says that at a recent screening he attended “the whole room was dying”:
Just saw the pilot for Eastbound and Down, the new HBO series starring Danny McBride (and exec produced by Will Ferrel). It's written partially by Jody Hill, who not only directed the pilot but also McBride's The Foot-Fist Way and the upcoming Observe and Report.
The thing HBO is really trying to drive home is that, with recent R-rated comedies like Superbad, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder, etc, they thought now would be the best time to get in the Will Ferrel business, and wanted to bring characters like you'd see in those films to the smaller screen.
They did a pretty fantastic job of it, too. The pilot, which was somewhere between 30-40 minutes, is laugh out loud hilarious from beginning to end. I'm personally pretty easy to please, but the whole room was dying, almost the whole time.
The show's about Kenny Powers (McBride), who was essentially an all star pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. But, he gets cocky, and as he gets cockier, he gets less talented-- By the end of the first five minutes, in a gut-busting montage of Powers' baseball career, we see the rise and fall of Powers, and he's fallen so far he's living with his brother, his sister in law, their three kids, and just got a job at his alma mater (I think) as the sub gym coach.
The way he speaks to people-- his family, his co workers, even the kids he's teaching, is consistently obscene, but he seems to get away with it mainly because of who he is, fallen idol or not.
A perk of working as a sub for Kenny is being around his high school sweetheart, but that falters when he discovers she's now engaged to the principal of the school, a dimwitted, naive guy who loves Kenny quite a bit.
The environment of the school is really quirky, which helps make it easier to swallow that a guy as abrasive and outrageous as Kenny Powers could get away with some of the things he does (which range from bad to abhorrent very quickly).
His ex girlfriend and his brother seem to be the central heart of the show, and I like it better that way, rather than try to tone Kenny down and make him sympathetic, which would be nearly impossible if they wanted to retain the humor.
Overall, it's definitely worth checking out, and with only 6 episodes ordered right now, I can't really forsee anyone starting the first episode and not wanting to keep up with it, just to see what fucked up thing Kenny does next (I can't even imagine, but the HBO guy promised there's some good stuff in store that even made him seem queasy).
If you use this, you can call me Noodleman.
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Nov. 27, 2008, 3:26 a.m. CST
by Bob Loblaw Law Blog
Nov. 27, 2008, 3:26 a.m. CST
does this start?
Nov. 27, 2008, 4:08 a.m. CST
I sent you guys a review of this thing months ago. It was far less glowing because the show is pretty ho-hum as a whole. It may have played better in a theater but alone on my couch I was close to turning it off a couple times.
Nov. 27, 2008, 4:19 a.m. CST
Although I'm thinking it was more like six. But, yeah, it was funny.
Nov. 27, 2008, 6:42 a.m. CST
Lough-out-loud....Allow me to be the first to say: 'Plant'.
Nov. 27, 2008, 7:52 a.m. CST
Nov. 27, 2008, 8:27 a.m. CST
Really can't have too many obnoxious male tv series can you.
Nov. 27, 2008, 9:27 a.m. CST
and just straight boring. i never thought an actor could make the word "fuck" as annoying as danny mcbride has done here. the whole show is just crass in that red state, budweiser swilling, shotgun toting kind of way. i'll stick with "life and times of tim" thank you.
Nov. 27, 2008, 9:56 a.m. CST
I thought that show was terrible; completely devoid of character development. Danny Mcbride plays the same character in every movie. I felt so bad for John Hawkes during that pool scene; you would think the director would make up a better shot where John wouldn't shake so much. Complete amateur crap.
Nov. 27, 2008, 10:39 a.m. CST
... and the Bandit!<br><br>Or maybe the like story of everyone's favorite actor / country and western singer Jerry Reed!<br><br>I was duped!
Nov. 27, 2008, 10:54 a.m. CST
Thank god for talkbackers, who can point out that<br> a)this show was out and reviewed months ago<b> b)it wasn't all that funny <p> So we can sit back now and look at this "review" and say "Ha ha, AICN has fucking sold out again to Planty Mc Herbivore"
Nov. 27, 2008, 10:57 a.m. CST
It's some of the most poorly written "comedy" in ages. It's inconsistent, the visual style screams mocumentary but it ISN'T, the narrative is all over the place... And McBride is the worst improv actor I've ever seen. I can see in his performance when he's ad-libbing. You shouldn't be able to tell from someone's performance when they're ad-libbing. If Fran Drescher in Spinal Tap can hide her improv, why can't McBride? His ad-libs also tend to be non-sequitirs or ridiculously over-the-top. Neither of which = funny. I don't understand his appeal at all.
Nov. 27, 2008, 11:02 a.m. CST
And it was ok. I wasn't falling over with laughter but it has its moments...
Nov. 27, 2008, 11:06 a.m. CST
Horrible, I say. I don't even know where to begin with its horribleness.
Nov. 27, 2008, 12:39 p.m. CST
by My Mom Is A Whore
I am truly alone in this world. :(
Nov. 27, 2008, 12:43 p.m. CST
Or is the "reviewer" an unpaid intern they forced to write that plantastic review?
Nov. 27, 2008, 12:48 p.m. CST
...I saw this show 6 months ago. First review or not...This shit was funny.
Nov. 27, 2008, 12:51 p.m. CST
by Gap Toothed TV Boy
I read the script a couple of years ago and it was painful. McBride's character was obnoxious and unfunny and none of the supporting characters were allowed to be funny at all. Curious if the pilot is the same way.
Nov. 27, 2008, 12:51 p.m. CST
"Can I wear the Scream mask" - finally a tv comedy with actual balls. Go back to your douche hipster Flight of the Conchords and your pathetic life and times of tim, which along with all the other sensitive she-ra hipster bullshit will be uncool in about... oh, six months ago. Foot Fist Way is one of the best films of last year.
Nov. 27, 2008, 1:34 p.m. CST
Best films of last year???????? What exactly was good about that POS? The sub-par writing? The unfunny characters? The lo-fi filming technique that NOBODY took advantage of? Incidentally, I've never been able to tell when the guys in Conchords are ad-libbing. Wish I could say the same for McSuck.
Nov. 27, 2008, 1:42 p.m. CST
Not funny. At all.
Nov. 27, 2008, 2:25 p.m. CST
.. plain and simple and I was even hanging with mary jane so I was in a forgiving mood. mcbride just came across as a painfully bad will ferrell wannabe. you could actually see the moments when he his brain was working trying to come up with something funny to ad lib with, which it invariable wasn't. this however, was surprisingly funny. I look forward to seeing where they go with it. he's so obnoxious and the characters around him so normal that it's funny in the best embarrassing way.
Nov. 27, 2008, 2:30 p.m. CST
Fucking comedy these days is blighted by the simple fact that 90% of everything is a pale imitation of The Office, where Gervais and Merchant were smart enough to mix pathos with humor. In fact I thought the show was brilliant because it was depressing more than funny. We are now saturated in painfully horrible, pathetic imitations replete with awkward pauses and uncomfortable moments that try to duplicate the mannerisms of that show with none of the wit or commitment to the characters. That's the other crucial distinction - absolutely becoming the character with total whole hearted lack of irony. That's what is so amazing about McBride and Foot Fist Way - he isn't half hearted, he actually becomes this douchebag who does think he is awesome, without ever wryly letting the audience know, wink wink oh its offensive and embarassing but its just comedy. Fuck no! McBride and Hill go full fucking tilt. That's why a lot of Foot Fist Way you're not laughing. But when McBride hits one of his leftfield bizzaro lines he always kills me. I have loved the man ever since All The Real Girls, where his "i can't fuck" monologue was the stand out moment in the entire movie. It had me wondering if there was something seriously wrong with the person portraying that character. In other words, I like my comedy to have giant fucking balls instead of the twee, obnoxious, affected bullshit that clutters the airwaves with its hipster glasses and awkward pauses.
Nov. 27, 2008, 3:29 p.m. CST
some killer jack herer. does anyone have kristen stewart's phone number?
Nov. 27, 2008, 3:48 p.m. CST
by My Mom Is A Whore
But I'm not going to give it to you<p>because I'm a complete bastard.
Nov. 27, 2008, 5:07 p.m. CST
by Spacker Dave
Time to weed it out.
Nov. 27, 2008, 5:22 p.m. CST
It was amazing in it's office level of pathos. <p> I'm surprised it didn't get any attention.
Nov. 27, 2008, 8:53 p.m. CST
could have been a lot better...but it was a complete waste of talent...i'm surprised we are even talking about it because the reason it didnt get any attention is because it "kinda sucked."
Nov. 27, 2008, 9:51 p.m. CST
I remember seeing that Chili Pepper motherfucker on Conan doing his Fist Foot Way bit and B.O.M.B.I.N.G. I'm sure this'll suck and bomb, too.
Nov. 28, 2008, 2:32 a.m. CST
OK, so what is the point of having a website/forum about all things geeky when you intentionally NOT review a show when it is leaked on the net? Its not like this wasn't out there months ago and hordes of us have already seen it. (I turned it off after about 15 minutes. It sucked.) I understand maybe holding back on a currently-running show when you get an advance copy, but when a show gets leaked onto the usenets FIVE F@CKING MONTHS before it airs, you just look like idiots and sell-outs when you post a "first" review the week that it premieres. Who do you think your audience is? We are the people who download all of the pilots in May/June/July when they get leaked and then hype them or scorn them before they air in the fall. We're the ones who got BSG its huge numbers when it went to series because we told everybody that the episodes that had already aired in the UK were unbelievable. We're the ones who told everybody to watch this amazing show "Lost" that had a pilot that was insanely better than anything that we had ever seen before. (I'm actually still disappointed that they added subtitles to the Korean dialogue when they went to air. I really liked the idea of not being able to understand those two, just like all of the other characters.) Stop pulling this crap. You're embarassing yourselves.
Nov. 28, 2008, 2:35 a.m. CST
Eagle vs. Shark, I wonder if the guy who made that saw Napoleon Dynamite or a Wes Anderson film. I wonder if the guys who make Flight of the Conchords have seen the scenes in Extras with the agent. Grow the fuck up, no one cares about twee man children who adopt the mannerisms of oh so adorable gifted twelve year olds trapped in the bodies of undernourished dudes with receding hairlines. Flight of the Conchords is some pathetic attempt to merge mediocre music with mediocre comedy in the hopes of promising a full tv show. It doesn't. It's shitty music for people who think Tenacious D are too hardcore. You know what's funny? Paul Mooney, Happy Gilmore, Chris Rock's latest special, The Foot Fist Way, the original Office, Brass Eye, The Colbert Report. The only thing funny about hipster comedy is how some people actually find that shit amusing.
Nov. 28, 2008, 7:43 a.m. CST
you fucking hipster pussy wipes! "you're fuckin' out!!!" cower on your knees in the presence of my mullet of manhood. you 12 year old manchildren can't handle my southern drawl, you fuckin piss pants! i'll throw you off my jetski and won't even give a fuck! won't even give a fuck!!! my balls are huge!
Nov. 28, 2008, 9:17 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
I'll stick with Sons of Anarchy thank you very much.
Nov. 28, 2008, 9:27 a.m. CST
Did you get the father son relationship? <p> Did you laugh at the guy in the wheelchair section? <p> How about the Twin Towers candle? <p> The movie falls in place at the end. That is about the point where the full depth of the emotional understanding falls. <p> It is a sad and weirdly funny film.
Nov. 28, 2008, 11:44 a.m. CST
by Lost Jarv
Why not just publish the press release. <P>It'd be more honest.
Nov. 28, 2008, 12:30 p.m. CST
the dude spelt Will Ferrells name wrong.<p>DOYOYOYOYOYOYOYOYOYOYING!!!!!!
Nov. 28, 2008, 12:32 p.m. CST
getting money from HBO, and the show still has the look of 20 bucks. they need a DP that knows how to make it not look like shit, actors that aren't embarrassed by their lines (lookin' at you Hawkes), and material that isn't Foot Fist Way 2.
Nov. 28, 2008, 3:43 p.m. CST
Being willing to say and do things that others aren't doesn't give you balls, first off. In the case of Foot Fist Way, it was more lack of a brain cell than "balls". And by your naming of an Adam Sandler film in your "you must watch" list, you've outed yourself as a comedy cretin. Hooray for stupidity! Do you have the Special Editions of the Larry the Cable Guy DVDs, too?
Nov. 28, 2008, 7:33 p.m. CST
punch drunk love is wayyyy better than happy gilmore, but if you don't think the origin of "you eat pieces of shit for breakfast" is funny, then you're a high minded far too superior to enjoy comedy douchebag. happy gilmore is a fucking hilarious film. and i didn't say balls were funny, i said that unironic commitment to an asshole character is far more interesting than bullshit fake awkwardness.
Nov. 28, 2008, 7:59 p.m. CST
. . .to raise their hand.<br><br> waiting. . . .waiting. . . .waiting. . . .<br><br> not only is McBride not funny, he's not even that talented. Mediocrity his running rampant.
Nov. 28, 2008, 8:43 p.m. CST
Nov. 29, 2008, 5:22 a.m. CST
Happy Gilmore, or Billy Madison? Both pretty damn funny, but I give the edge to Gilmore. If only because of Bob Barker coming out of left field.
Nov. 29, 2008, 7:50 a.m. CST
Only have 6 episodes, I can't wait to see what wacky adventures our lead character will get into....(retch) If I haven't made the point, he curses a lot, and we know you kids....I mean 'we' like cursing, so you will like this movie. Whatever.
Nov. 29, 2008, 9:39 a.m. CST
Fuck dude we all need a buzz to make it through the holidays. But you been hittin the Meth way too fucking hard. <p>Eagle vs Shark was an underrated gem NOT for fake hipness but for stunted growth. It was fucking sad. <p> I don't find Chris Rock funny anymore. Matter of fact most "stars" are shit these days. People see them just because they are names not content. <p> I'm not a big fan of Sandler but Happy Gilmore is cool. There are a couple of others but can be totaled on the three fingers of your sisters beating hand. <p> You know what I mean.
Nov. 29, 2008, 12:48 p.m. CST
I also enjoyed this show. Also people that say that something "sucked" instead of "I didn't like it" are not to be trusted in opinion land. They are too desperate to be correct.
Nov. 29, 2008, 3:20 p.m. CST
I thought Never Scared was his weakest, but his new special.. "You ever have a job you hate so much you take extra long time taking a shit just so you don't have to get back to work?" And for the last fucking time I'm not smoking meth I'm just higher n shit on good weed.
Nov. 29, 2008, 3:21 p.m. CST
not to go back and forth with lists of what is and is not funny? "You moron, you probaly like A, B and C, but those are NOT funny. In fact it is only J, L, Y and to some extent W that are funny. You probaly like Z! FUCK YOU!" "Wait a minute, did you just say L!?!? You lost all credibility with that one! L is in fact not funny and I can prove it by stating it right here! FUCK YOU!!!" etc.<p> I'm actually with the doctor, I loved THE FOOT FIST WAY. I heard it wasn't very good and didn't see it in the theater but when I rented it I ended up watching it two days in a row I was so fascinated by it. I don't know man, I understand that it's not for most people but for some reason I find myself rooting for that asshole. His whole attitude is hilarious to me, and the things he says ("You're a warrior, so I will allow you the basic right of stretching.") And I like that it doesn't have much of a plot, he doesn't have to save the world or become a celebrity or any shit like that, it's just a small story (although the Chuck the Truck thing would be funnier if they got a real martial artist for the role).<p> Anyway, I love the movie and look forward to this show when it's on DVD but I don't understand setting it up as an opponent to Flights of the Conchord and asking everyone to choose sides. Who gives a shit if somebody laughs at something you don't? Explain your view but don't get mad and insulting about it.
Nov. 29, 2008, 3:59 p.m. CST
I actually liked The Foot Fist Way, but it's hard to take you seriously when you use words like "twee," "weakling" and "ballsy" to describe comedy. I have no idea what the point you're trying to make is and I'm not sure you do either, but stringing together a bunch of buzzwords isn't really helping your cause. And I like "Flight of the Conchords" too. If that makes me a "pathetic twee affected hipster douchebag," well, I guess I'll just have to do my best to get over it (which shouldn't be too hard since those words mean nothing to me in that context).
Nov. 30, 2008, 3:55 a.m. CST
and actually enjoyed it, though i thought it lost a lot of steam towards the end.<br> i still however think the first 15 minutes of the pilot of "east bound and down" is the most painful thing i've ever had to sit through. the hallway makeover scene and the black betty ending where funny.
Nov. 30, 2008, 7:35 a.m. CST
I guess I just enjoy McBride's raw hatred and arrogance. Also, how the fuck is everyone seeing this fucking pilot? Did it already air? Is it on Hulu...am I going to have to torrent this motherfucker?
Dec. 1, 2008, 12:44 a.m. CST
"when will we learn?"<p>learn? um, you do realize that this is an AICN talkback...disagreeing with another's opinion here and acknowledging them without being upset and infantile would be like a dog learning to send e-mail...
Dec. 1, 2008, 2:50 a.m. CST
The difference is that his role in that movie had endearing moments and you sympathized with him. This East Bound and Down John Rocker character is just a dick. A lazily-written, one dimensional character that makes you want to grab him by his mullet, throw him down on the street, and stomp on his head until all the vileness spills out of his cranium instead of his mouth. That being said, Andrew Daly was very good in this.
Dec. 1, 2008, 8:02 a.m. CST
Dec. 1, 2008, 11:16 a.m. CST
I had never heard of the show, didn't see McBride's face, I just knew it featured him. What's the deal with this guy, he's not THAT funny. He was OK in Pineapple and Tropic Thunder but everyone is acting like he's the second-coming of Christ
Dec. 1, 2008, 4:42 p.m. CST
Dec. 2, 2008, 2:31 a.m. CST
by the podosphere
Danny McBride brings a particular kind of a-hole to what he does with unmitigated gusto. It can be funny, but may not be everyone's cup of tea. <p> Me, I him better in small doses. Pineapple Express had about as much McBride as I like in a single movie.
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