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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Eastbound & Down: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
Eastbound & Down: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
HBO // Unrated // December 4, 2012 // Region A
List Price: $39.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Adam Tyner | posted December 3, 2012 | E-mail the Author
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Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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The word for a while there was that this was gonna be the end for Eastbound and Down, and if it had been...geez, what a way to go out. All these storylines that had been dangling for the past few years get tied up in a neat, tidy bow,
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or...okay, maybe not a bow so much as cum-stained duct tape, but whatever. Eastbound and Down's brilliantly hypervulgar sense of humor remains every bit as sharp as those pointy things on the end of Poseidon's mighty trident. ...and this season's setting! I defy you to name a city the world over that screams Kenny Fucking Powers like Myrtle Beach, South C'lina. Can't be done.

But, yeah, Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) is livin' the dream. I mean, no, not the dream-dream where he gets called back up to the majors or anything, but playing ball in Myrtle Beach is the next best thing. As the all-star closer for the Mermen, Kenny's making bank and pounding jailbait. He's got waves, he's got a moist teenage hole, and he's snorting enough Adderall to supply the entire state of New Mexico. ...and, okay, he's got a newborn kid, but fucking whatever. That's woman's work, son, and Kenny can't focus on his comeback if he's weighed down by a BabyBjorn. The thing is that being a single parent is kind of driving his ex April (Katy Mixon) over the edge. After one final Coors-drenched, coke-addled night together, Kenny wakes up to find a goodbye note and a screeching one-year-old kid.

We're talkin' about Eastbound and Down, though, so you're not gonna get some Mr. Mom shit with Kenny Powers rocking an apron and making pancakes or whatever. Kenny P's still got his eye on the ball: working his way back up to the majors. It's just now he's gotta do it while trying not to accidentally kill his infant son. And, well, he has to remind that new Russian import (Ike Barinholtz) who owns the mound in Myrtle Beach and that this ain't Rocky IV. And he needs to track down April to take this shit-and-puke geyser off his hands. And he's gotta deal with something kind of shitty happening to his best friend (Jason Sudeikis). And he's gotta bring his other best friend Stevie (Steve Little) back into the fold to lighten his load, and then Kenny has to bring Stevie and his jilted wife back together, and then he has to put up with that shithead grifter he calls his father (Don Johnson) and furry, mongoloid, Mexican-flavored mistake of a half-brother, and then there's a touching reunion with Mom (Secret Guest Star), and then...I don't know, a bunch of other stuff. I'm reviewing an entire season of a TV show, so, y'know, a ton of shit's going on.

Goddamn but I forgot how much I missed Eastbound and Down. Unlike season two which took a little while to really get going, this year the series pretty much just drops a cinder block on the gas pedal and screams ahead relentlessly for four hours straight. Not a single one of this season's eight episodes misfires. I don't know if the class of
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2012 has delivered a more jaw-dropping incredible half-hour of television than Chapter 15 with a Mexican Grimace, Kenny shoving his twelve month old inside a backpack filled with lettuce so he'll eat better, a transvestite geisha forced into sexual slavery, a Colonel Sanders knockoff doing some Most Dangerous Game shit with a Civil War-era cannon to entertain Kia suits straight off the plane from Korea, and...I'm still reeling. It takes a half-battalion of straight-up geniuses to make a show this trashy be this smart. What other series about a narcissistic, endlessly exploitative drug addict would start playing the theme from Rosemary's Baby whenever the camera closes in on an infant child? Who else could take a scene where Kenny and his mom trade prescription pills like they're Pokémon and make it into a sweet family moment? So much of Eastbound and Down is like having an acid trip in a low-rent strip club, and yet the series still nails its really dramatic, emotional moments every. single. time. This season gets even more dark and depraved than ever, but it'll still throw in a Revenge of the Nerds-scored decorating montage or a Dildosaurus Rex without missing a beat.

I mean, Kenny Powers may be some pathetic has-been, but this season of Eastbound and Down...? As good as it's ever been, and if you need me to say any more than that three seasons in, I don't know what to tell you. Highly Recommended.

I hadn't really stopped to think about it till now, but...is Eastbound and Down the only comedy on TV still shot on 35mm? Basically, the series is shot like one gigantic movie that just happens to be divided up into half hour chunks, and there's not another laffer on the small screen that looks anything like this. Really, Eastbound and Down looks pretty incredible on Blu-ray, and it has a whole lot more going for it than that really cinematic sheen. Its filmic texture is tight and completely unintrusive, not smeared away by any overbearing noise reduction or anything. The image is crisp and startlingly clear throughout, and...geez, that backdrop of Myrtle Beach really does make for some eye-poppingly vivid colors. These episodes are encoded at a remarkably high bitrate too, so the AVC encode never once stutters or sputters. Honestly...? Pretty much perfect.

This season's eight episodes are served up at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and are spread across two BD-50 discs.

...and Eastbound and Down sounds pretty damn nice too. The show's scored the lossless treatment, natch, belted out in 24-bit DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. As you'd probably expect, the mix is pretty front-heavy. The series' dialogue is balanced really well, with a flicker of clipping creeping in every once in a while. The low-end is pretty thumpin', from some occasional hip-hop to that club/rave whatever-you-call-it sonic-type shenanigans to the throaty growl of all those Black Biker Week engines. Without a doubt a couple of notches above average.

Eastbound and Down also dishes out a lossy DTS 5.1 dub in French along with a stereo Spanish track. Also along for the ride are subtitle streams in English (traditional and SDH), French, Spanish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish.

  • Outtakes (9 min.; HD): AKA Every Time Someone Fucked Up Our Show. My favorite bits were the Gatling Gun improvs that were scattered all over the cutting room floor, like Kenny rattling off some of the other stuff he fed his baby son and the five-star celebrity guests on tap for the Team Leader Fourth of July Throwdown.

  • Deleted Scenes (54 min.; HD): No, you read that right: you basically get two more episodes' worth of deleted and extended scenes. With a runtime like that, it kinda goes without saying that there are too many highlights to list, but
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    just to spout off a few...? A skydiving intro. More tits. Kenny Powers tagging along for a Roses' run with his barely legal girlfriend and her disappointed daddy. Headshaving. Sapphic acknowledgement, I think. A faux-tranny beatdown at a seafood joint. Kenny knighting his successor with a trident. A cameo by Val Freakin' Kilmer. Totally worth taking the time to tear through.

  • Audio Commentaries: All eight episodes this season feature optional commentary, and...yikes, it'll take forever for me to type all this out. The lineup varies by episode, but across the season as a whole in alphabetical order, you're lookin' at actor Ike Barinholtz, writer John Carcieri, actor Erick Chavarria, actress Elizabeth De Razzo, director David Gordon Green, writer/director Jody Hill, writer Steve Little, writer/actor Danny McBride, actress Katy Mixon, writer Josh Parkinson, actor Craig Robinson, editor Jeff Seibenick, editor Travis Sittard, and -- stopping to catch my breath here -- writer Harris Wittels.

    It seems kind of stupid to follow up a long, long list with another long, long list, but this is where I talk about some of the standout moments, like how there was originally going to be a lot more set in the water until they realized how nightmarishly long that stuff took to film, working with baby triplets who'd break down and cry the instant they saw cameras and lights, the arcs for Kenny's nephews pared down to swapping out their T-shirts, Ashley Schaeffer's murder-baseball pitch, tallying up Eastbound and Down's first ever body count, Elizabeth De Razzo reliving her sex line operator past, snorting condensed milk, the origin of Ivan's what-the-fuck haircut, killing off one character the same week his namesake ate it on The Walking Dead, HBO not being all that keen on Stevie getting the shit fucked out of him, how much of a method actress Lily Tomlin is, more brilliant bowling league names like David Bowlie, the influence of Teen Mom this season, the friggin' Peanut Butter Solution, and oh my God this is the longest sentence I've ever written so I'm gonna stop now.

Eastbound and Down's third season comes packaged in a standard width Blu-ray case with another one of those shorter-than-average slipcovers.

The Final Word
Three seasons in and still bringin' the heat: Highly Fucking Recommended.
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