With their courage, humility, and refusal to speak anything but the folksy truth, Hollywood baseball heroes have always represented the best of America -- a lousy deal for anyone who prefers their protagonists to be losers who remain lovable despite arrogance, delusion, and occasional scumbaggery. Kicking baseball tradition square in the teeth, HBO's Eastbound & Down, a new series debuting Sunday Feb 15th at 10:30pm.
Eastbound follows the hilariously tragic adventures of Kenny Powers, a flamed-out superstar pitcher famed for his catchphrase "You're F***ing Out!" now reduced to a job as his hometown's substitute phys-ed teacher (the role's nailed by Danny McBride, who took martial arts films to daring new lows by beating a 9-year-old senseless in The Foot Fist Way). Forced to live with his brother's family, Kenny clings desperately to the last vestige of his high-rolling life -- a sweet jet ski -- as he continues to project endearingly oblivious badassness, never acknowledging that he's no longer the "bulletproof tiger" he imagines himself as. Hoping to win back his (engaged) high school sweetheart, Kenny tries to pull his life together, but his schemes hilariously fall apart, whether it's sabotaging his "competition" (a local high school pitcher), pimping himself to a luxury car dealership, or selling paraphernalia on eBay -- when your rookie card commands less than a lightly soiled Rainbow Brite, your career's probably on the downswing.
To get a taste of the Kenny Powers magic, check out the preview above, then hit HBO.com for more info and a schedule of upcoming episodes. With just 30 minutes of weekly couch-time, you could represent the real best of America: inert, entertained, and profoundly incapable of changing the channel.
Click the preview above, or you will be attacked by wild dogs. Or possibly feral cats. While you're at it, show your friends you care by sending 'em some love from the legend himself, Kenny Powers.