Plot: While Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) was promised a return to the majors, that promise turned out to be the word of a drug addict in the throes of a serious binge. So rather than return home and face the reality of the situation, Kenny heads to Mexico in order to hide out and regroup. Across the border, he works on his new audio book and earns some cash in the cockfighting circuit, with the help of a ruthless midget named Aaron (Deep Roy). But he longs for his lost love April, so when he is rolled by his small friend, loses his prize cock, and is hunted down by Stevie (Steve Little), Kenny realizes he needs to get back on top. He invites himself to join the local baseball club, where he demands showy entrances and is dejected when his strikeouts aren’t met with roaring applause. As he tries to get his pitch back, find romance, and force Mexico to worship him, will Kenny find what he is looking for or perhaps find even more than he ever anticipated?
Entertainment Value: The first season of Eastbound & Down introduced us to a wealth of colorful, memorable characters, so when this second season leaves most of them behind, that was a ballsy move. Kenny remains the focus of course, but at least Stevie shows up to be part of the adventures, so while a lot has changed, the core of the show is still intact. The sense of humor remains ruthless and often random, with just as much dysfunction and oblivious swagger as before. I still prefer the first season overall, but seeing Kenny interact with a new whole new nation of people ensures there are ample opportunities for outlandish fun. And while most of the smaller roles from the first season aren’t around for most of this second season, the show repopulates the cast with new, sometimes just as colorful people. I loved Aaron, the cantankerous little person who is small, but has the persona of a giant. He is hilarious here, especially when he dials up the aggression and he is given enough screen time to shine, but not enough to feel overused or stale. While some of the new faces are fun, such as Aaron and Casper, I still feel like the first season had a much richer roster of characters. But even so, there’s still a lot of laughs and outrageous moments here.
Danny McBride brings Powers to life in natural, hilarious fashion once again, taking his delusions and lack of culture to new heights here. His casual racism and contempt for Mexico and his people is certain to offend some, but Powers isn’t a good guy, he is a total asshole, so it makes sense. The show as a whole is likely to offend most people, so easily triggered viewers might want to skip this series. But the dark, offensive humor works well, though I do think McBride’s performance is a little forced at times, as if he feels like he has to one up previous moments. Most everyone else is up to the task as well, especially Steve Little, who takes Stevie’s naive hero worship up a few notches and provides some outlandish laughs. Also on deck here we have Don Johnson, Matthew McConaughey, Efren Ramirez, Elizabeth De Razzo, and Erick Chavarria, as well as some familiar faces that pop up toward the end of the season. I think this second season is rock solid, ridiculous fun, even if it isn’t quite on par with the first season.