Do you remember where you saw him first? Hot Rod? Pineapple Express? The Foot Fist Way? Look out Seth Rogen, in the past three years offbeat funnyman Danny McBride has risen from scene-stealing comedic second fiddle to pot-bellied leading man material. In Eastbound & Down, the HBO series of his own creating that arrives on DVD tomorrow, McBride plays Kenny Powers, a washed up major league pitcher who loses his touch (both in regards to pitching and reality) and has to return to his North Carolina hometown. Despite having to move into his brother's home and take a job as a substitute gym teacher at Jefferson Davis Middle School, the foul-mouthed has-been can't quite accept his lot as one of the regular people. Kenny attempts to regain his confidence by making celebrity appearances at a local car dealership (owned by Ashley Shaffer, played by the show’s executive producer Will Ferrell), producing a low-budget promotional video to orchestrate a comeback and making a play for his former flame, the voluptuous art teacher engaged to the school’s repressed principal. Eastbound & Down is truly funny in a slightly uncomfortable, “it’s hard to watch this clueless jerk make one horrible decision after another” sort of way. And yet, although Kenny Powers is not a likeable or redeeming character, you somehow end up feeling something for him.
HBO has picked up Eastbound & Down for season two. Viewers can catch up with the plot with the short six-episode first season. Extras include outtakes, three commentary episodes, a “making of” piece and a few back-story commercials and videos. This series, destined to become a cult favorite, is definitely worth a watch.