February 20th, 2012
05:02 PM ET
One minute after wrapping up Sunday's season premiere of "Eastbound & Down," I got a text from a friend with his one-sentence review: "The new 'Eastbound and Down' is epic."
Keep in mind this friend is a devout follower of the Church of Kenny Powers, and even dressed as him for Halloween before it was cool. Ordinarily, I'd take his words to heart, but I can't say I'd use those exact terms to describe the first episode in the series' last hurrah.
But I will say it was darn (this is a family blog, after all) good from start to finish.
We kick things off in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Why the series is just now arriving at this haven for Southern debauchery is beyond me, because it seems like the perfect place to fuel KP's fire.
This is evident in our intro, where a boogie board-toting KP makes his way through a crowded beach throwing up peace signs and making tanning jokes directed at African Americans. He has no time for surfers who get in his way, and has no problem showing them that the hard way. Ladies and gentlemen, KP is back with a vengeance.
On the baseball diamond, KP is the comeback kid, making a new name for himself with the Myrtle Beach Mermen as their lights-out closer. I must say, watching KP win is a lot more fun than watching him lose, and now he even has a sidekick in Shane (Jason Sudeikis).
Shane, like KP, loves to crack racist jokes and tell everyone else how much they suck. Their back-and-forth "you're so awesome" banter rivals Will Ferrell's Ricky Bobby and John C. Reilly's Cal Naughton Jr.'s "shake and bake." Hopefully we'll get more scenes of these two cruising the Myrtle Beach streets with their young girlfriends and pick-up trucks with Lamborghini doors.
Anyhow, KP is a star in Myrtle, but back in Shelby, North Carolina, he's just another deadbeat dad. He arrives at his son Toby's first birthday party fours late, and April (Katy Mixon) is not thrilled.
On top of doing everything possible to avoid making physical contact with his child, KP's also been dodging child support payments. Things only get worse when he gets his toddler a PlayStation 3, and proceeds to defend his gift by addressing his broken family and blaming April for everything.
To KP's surprise, April comes to his place back in Myrtle Beach and says she doesn't want to talk about the birthday party fiasco. KP convinces her to go out for a night on the town, which includes taking every drug in sight, picking fights (and winning) on putt-putt courses, and getting classic spray-painted T-shirts all while screaming, "We're parents!"
After sharing a moment with baby Toby, who KP won't admit looks like him, April and KP make love, and all's well and the family's happy...except, not.
In the morning, KP wakes up to find that April is gone and has left him with a note saying she's not herself. In the background Toby's heard crying, letting KP know that whether he likes it or not, he has to play the position he's avoided like the plague: Dad.
If "Chapter 14" is any indication of things to come, the team behind "Eastbound & Down" might have some sort of "epic" on their hands.
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