DVD Review – Eastbound and Down Season 4 (2014)

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The fourth and final instalment of Eastbound and Down is released on DVD and Blu Ray on the 12th May along with the Season 1 – 4 box set.

A season that wasn’t originally meant to happen, the show was initially meant to finish at the end of season 3, but due to popular demand, HBO asked Danny McBride (This Is The End, Pineapple Express) and Jody Hill (Observe and Report) to write a fourth season of the show. This meant that Kenny (McBride) could reconnect with his beloved April (Katy Nixon) who was only in season three for a few episodes because of Nixon’s other TV commitments.

Season 4 starts off with Kenny coming back from the dead after faking his death at the end of season 3. Fast forward a few years and he’s almost back where he started, having a go at being normal, living happily-ish married with April. He’s not playing baseball, he’s listening to NPR, working in a car dealership and having nights in with Gene (Tim and Eric’s Tim Heidecker) and Dixie (Jillian Bell) and dreams of hitting the big time again and having a pool.

In comes one of Kenny’s old baseball buddies Guy Young (Party Down’s Ken Marino), proud owned of his own AIDS charity and presenter of TV show Sports Session.  Kenny see’s Guy’s money and fame and it’s not long til he wants to gets himself back in the game, along with side-kick Stevie (Steve Little aka The Peppermint Butler from Adventure Time).  Kenny starts working on Sport Session, gets rich and loses touch with reality, he buys a pretty awesome wolf called Dakota, finally gets that pool and, of course, a jet pack.

Kenny’s brazen spending starts to alienate April, and the relationship implodes when Kenny doesn’t turn up to therapy and then organises a party to renew their wedding vows.  Kenny storms out freeing Dakota in the process, who runs away into the wilderness.

At the same time, Kenny annoys Guy by stealing the limelight one too many times on Sport Session. Guy tries to get one over on Kenny, by leaving his microphone on whilst Kenny gives himself a bathroom pep talk.  However, Kenny ends up beating Guy at his own game and ends up presenting the show.  So Kenny is back living the “highlife”, hosting Sports Session, partying and dealing with getting divorced with April.

Meanwhile, Stevie gets a makeover, complete with a ridiculous $50,000 prosthetic chin (that doesn’t last very long) and bright blue contact lenses and starts managing a mall kiosk tastefully named ‘Taters and Tits’.  As he’s spent all his money he asks Kenny for help, but he’s too far in his own despair to help Stevie, or anyone.

Kenny spirals out of control, but in the end he realises that money is not the route of his happiness and does his best, along with the creepiest Christmas elf, to give his friends and family the Christmas they deserve. But will it be enough to win them back?  And what about Dakota? That’s the real questions!

Not for the faint hearted, this is loud, brash and filthy comedy filled with puerile one liners, from it’s opening first scene with Kenny talking about family movie The Human Centipede to Kenny’s movie script ending.  There is however real heart and remorse in the show, even though Kenny Powers is at times a horrible person, it is generally evident that it’s his struggle with his own ego that leads him to be like that.  In his own roundabout way, he’s a good person and you root for him all the way.  There’s something so loveable about his cluelessness, that when he does finally do the right thing, he redeems himself and it’s actually pretty moving.

A roller-coaster of emotions, the show is responsible for some of the most twisted and ground-breaking comedy from the last few years and Kenny and co will be missed.  The only thing that is missing from Season 4 is Will Ferrell’s (who also is one of the show’s producers), Ashley Schaffer who appearances in Seasons 1 and 3 are definitely some of the highlights of the show. Ken Marino is a great addition to the core cast and both McBride and Little are fantastic.  There is a pretty notable cameo from Sascha Baron Cohen, the only man capable of playing a character that makes Kenny Powers look saintly and yes even Lindsay Lohan makes an appearance in the last episode too!

What’s next for Danny McBride and Jody Hill?  Well they were rumoured to be making a US version of Lars Von Trier produced Danish comedy Klown, which if you’ve seen the original, totally makes sense as it’s even more puerile than Eastbound and Down.  There was stories last year of a high school series for HBO, though further details have yet to be announced, all we know is they’ve got a lot to live up to.

The end. Cut to black. Audience goes f*cking apesh*t…

 

★★★

Alice Hubley

Genre:
Comedy
Distributor:
HBO Entertainment
BD/DVD Release Date:
12th May 2014 (UK)
Rating: 18
Cast:
Danny McBride, Katy Nixon, Ken Marino, Tim Heidecker

Buy
Eastbound and Down – Season 4 [DVD] [2014]
Eastbound and Down – Season 1-4 [DVD] [2014]

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