A Stupid Opinion About the Impact of Eastbound and Down

18 Nov

Eastbound and Down wrapped up and last night, and I have the feeling that Jody Hill, DDG, Steve Janowski and Danny McBride won’t have to rock themselves to sleep cuddling the existential nihilism that keeps me warm at night. Not as promoted series finale as another anti-hero finale this year, but just as important in its own right. The was brilliant and worked in large part because of McBride’s genius, but not to take anything away from the great writing, great direction either. All of this, and it just happened to come at the exact right time where everyone’s desire to be famous was gaining some dangerous speed.


Over the four seasons and 29 chapters, Danny McBride’s Kenny Powers has kept his ego in check for all eighteen seconds of the show. The alpha male everyone hates to love, but really loves to love is the rawest machismo just pissing his way through life with drugs, sex, baseball and fame. The team that put this production together relied on McBride’s charm to carry the asshole Powers through the gut wrenching, hilarious decisions for four seasons, and luckily for them McBride is lovable enough to abandon any sense of polite behavior and still be loved. It’d be a pandering page grabbing attempt if I just broke down all the dick moves and rank just how awful Kenny Powers, but  thanks to what I find more interesting about this vulgar little show I decided not to.

The series debuted in the simpler times of 2009 when facebook only had 350 million uses and zero movies made about it. Everyone was just getting used to the personal access via Hubble telescope of the internet and social media. This was the puberty of online identity. Slowly, there was a collective realization that being online wasn’t anonymous anymore. There were real world consequences for letting the faceless superego run wild on message boards and chat rooms, or posting pictures of drug-fuel parties.  And if they weren’t fully understood, at least they were better understood. What was still misunderstood was how online fame translated to the real world. Were people with over a thousand followers really famous? If we posted enough pictures or wrote enough blogs would we ever get paid? We knew we weren’t anonymous, but could we still be famous?

And just at that time we got Kenny Powers. The man who so blatantly fucked or fucked over everything that crossed his path to suckle that sweet titty of being known as the motherfucking pope. The whole show, despite how cringe worthy Kenny’s actions got, always turned up relatively aces for him. The show started with a montage of his major league antics as he wore out his welcome across the MLB, partying and buying tanning beds for everyone around. Kenny Powers showed the world-wide web that you didn’t really have to be responsible and you could do whatever you wanted, just as long as you were motherfucking famous.

Season after season, Kenny strived for the glory and exposure of that opening montage and he went about it in the same way he acted when he was famous. And until last nights show, it pretty much worked out for him as he chased the paparazzi lined coffin called fame up and down North America. And his success planted seeds of doubt in those casually seeking fame of the online variety, making them take a good long hard look at their latest selfie and ask, “Am I willing to be Kenny Powers level of asshole to be famous?” Hopefully, many people just settled on the social aspect of social media thanks to Eastbound and Down. Kenny Powers is the example of everything that fame can get you, as well as everything it costs to get.  Eastbound and Down taught a world with the possibility of fame right at their fingertips what it took to grab that golden ring, and that will be the show’s lasting legacy.

Want to be famous? Most celebrities got their big break posting comments on blogs just like this one. I’m pretty sure that’s how one of the Kardashians got on the show. I know that’s how Tom Hiddleston got the role of Loki. Let us know what you think about Eastbound and Down? or other stupid and poorly written aspects about us.



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