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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Top Five Sports TV Shows- #3

It's the Case and Point list of the Top Five Sports TV Shows.  So far we've gone over a special honorable mention plus the fifth and fourth ranked TV show.  To see who ranks third on the list, click below to read more!


*My huge TV knowledge revolves around pretty much anything from 1990, which even then is limited until about 1995 for the full spectrum of shows.  Oh, and for this case ignoring reality shows like Hard Knocks and HBO's 24/7.


3. Eastbound and Down (2009-Current)
Vulgar.  Irreverent.  Immature.  These are words that can describe not only Eastbound and Down but the star of the show itself, Kenny Powers.  As a pitcher who was once briefly at the top of his game before getting too big for his head and going off of the deep end, Eastbound and Down follows Powers on his rise to regain his fame in the major leagues.
Produced and airing on HBO, it's a far departure from their average sports fare.  It's also nothing short of brilliant.  Carried by Danny McBride (Hot Rod, Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder) as the just shy of completely out of control Powers, McBride does a fantastic job of switching Powers between confident, cocky, manic hyper personality and self destructive, always in the way, crude, and clueless.  While these characters seem to be McBride's specialty, his ability to naturally spew awkward and vulgar sentences and phrases without shame fit the downtrodden Powers perfectly.

While only two seasons deep into Eastbound, with a third and final season coming shortly, we've seen Kenny tackle a bevy of issues that we all (don't really) face.  Early on he spends his time in North Carolina with his brother and wife, trying to cope with the loss of his fame, fortune, and the fact that he's a complete punchline while trying to regain the love of his high schools sweet heart and work his way back into the majors (with help from steroids, sex, and various drugs).  After looking like he is getting his chance, just to have it taken away, he disappears.

When he emerges again it's in Mexico where he is passing his time cockfighting.  He's discovered by a coach who asks if he can still play.  Eventually Kenny "Powders" gets back into the game, in hilarious fashion, and regains his touch.  Along the way to rediscovering his magic, and being rediscovered by a Major League scout, he deals with the loss of love and the usual motions that follow Kenny Powers along any path way he's chosen.

While benefiting from guest stars like Will Ferrell, Don Johnson, Craig Robinson and Gina Gershon the show is absolutely carried by McBride.  His ability to make Powers annoying yet vulnerable, vulgar yet sweet, out of control yet focused makes it easy to love the loose cannon Kenny.  It would be hard to picture anyone else occupying the cleats of Powers.  While his book may be coming to an end soon (each episode, all 13 so far, have been chapters in his come back book), it will be a long time until we see a personality like Kenny Powers grace the sports world again.
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