WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS NAUGHTY LANGUAGE
For those that don’t know, HBO programming actually covers a lot of sports. It’s one of the few outlets that still devotes time to boxing, it’s got Real Sports, it had Inside the NFL for years, The Joe Buck Show (oh wait, forget that one), 1st & 10 and you may have heard about this little program called Hard Knocks. But for my money, the best HBO sports program is…surprise, Arli$$!
Arli$$ is standing tall in television’s Parthenon next to greats like Heil Honey I’m Home! and Homeboys in Outer Space. Arli$$ followed the story of sports super agent, Arliss Michaels and his eclectic office staff as they survived the wackiness that is the world of professional sports. For example, one week the gang is dealing with a sexually confused QB and the next, they’re grooming an impressionable up-and-coming Eastern European tennis star. That reminds me…
Before she was Nadia in American Pie, Shannon Elizabeth was serving up straight sets of sensuality as an impressionable up-and-coming Eastern European tennis star in the season one episode “Crossing the Line.” Sorry Jason Biggs, Arliss was going for seconds before you got your first sniff. Dame, Set, Match.
Another reason to love Arli$$ is…wait, what the fuck am I talking about? Arli$$? Are you kidding me? That show fuckin’ blows. Arli$$, you’re fuckin’ out. Kenny Powers is fuckin’ in! Let’s buy the bar and get shitfaced! You guys didn’t really think I was fuckin’ serious about Arli$$ did you?
[Image from HBO]
Plot: In the opening minutes of Eastbound & Down, pitching phenom Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) experiences a meteoric rise in major league baseball. One minute Kenny wins the World Series, the next he’s on a downward spiral of steroids, sex and scandal that finally crashes and burns with Kenny taking the substitute teaching exam in his hometown.
Season one’s six episodes deal with Kenny’s struggle to give up baseball and to adjust to the life of an average American – that is an average American that blew millions of dollars and moved back to his hometown only to live with his brother’s family and be a substitute Phys. Ed teacher at the local middle school.
Why it’s great: The easy, obvious, answer is Kenny Powers. Everything this character says and does is gold. For the sake of providing at least one specific, I’ll narrow the great material down to Kenny’s words of inspiration. During each episode, Kenny receives his own advice via his Audio Biography titled, “You’re Fucking Out, I’m Fucking In.” Basically, this means Kenny Powers is responsible for doling out the best advice in entertainment since Empire Strikes Back. Here’s a taste of what to expect:
- A lot of people ask me, ‘Kenny Powers, you’re a giant superstar. You can get any woman. Have you ever paid for sex?’ And the answer is yes, I have. Several times, in fact. And it’s actually kinda cool. You can negotiate practically anything and sometimes, even just kind of do stuff in the moment that you never agreed to pay for and it goes by without much argument.
- Sure, I’ve been called a xenophobe, but the truth is I’m not. I just feel that America’s the best country and all the other countries aren’t as good. That used to be called patriotism.
- I love women, every fuckin’ one of ‘em. Even the ugly as shit ones. But don’t ask me to trust ‘em. Not even nuns. Because every pair of tits comes with a gapin’ hole of need.
- One time I was invited to come to a social gathering. I was paid a handsome amount of money, and I brought a shotgun and a bottle of Tanqueray and showed those people the best fucking time they’ve ever seen.
- You know what Kenny Powers says? Fundamentals are the crutch of the talentless. This one coach I had tried to put me on a weight training program, and I was all like, “You and your weights can go fuck off somewhere. I’m not lifting that shit. That shit is heavy. You tell me why I need strength training when I’m strong enough to throw a goddam 100 MPH pitch. Fuck that. See in life, when you have talent, all the other shit doesn’t matter. If we were on an island with no weights, and no running drills, who would be on top then? The guy with the talent.
Will Ferrell as Ashley Schaeffer: Will Ferrell appears in two episodes as the stylin’, profilin’ Ric Flair-lookin’ local car dealer Ashley Schaeffer. Just looking at him in this role makes me want to laugh, but he’s got a ton of great lines and has an obsession with slapping dudes in the junk. In Schaeffer’s final scene, he’s pushing Kenny to have a pitch off against an old baseball rival Reg Mackworthy (Craig Robinson).
During the exchange, Ferrell delivers a line that’s so insane Robinson and McBride are struggling to keep a straight face. It’s probably my favorite quote from season one, which, as you can by now imagine, is saying a lot:
- I had a dream about this moment. When I was making love…to my wife Donna. On top a her; powerful thrusts, filling the sultry night air. Heavy breath. My son Gabriel walked in, little boy. My wife sprung out of bed and said “No, Gabriel! Leave!” And I said “No, honey, shut your mouth, let him watch.” Let him watch what is being consecrated here. And I want the people to watch what is going to be consecrated here. And I will bring my son down here, and he will watch.
[Image from HBO]
I enjoyed this program so much, that I want to share the love with one of my readers. Yes sir, I’ve opened up the coffers and purchased a copy of Eastbound & Down Season One to giveaway! Here’s what you’ve got to do if you want a chance to win:
Leave your favorite Eastbound & Down quote in the comments section by midnight eastern on Saturday, September 25.
You’ll also get one bonus point for sharing this post on Twitter (remember to include my handle @mdfearon so I can give you credit). Speaking of Twitter, you should make sure to follow Kenny’s assistant Stevie Janowski (@SFUCKINGJ).
The winner will be selected at random and be announced during the week of September 26.
If you want to win an even bigger prize, like Kenny’s Jetski “The Panty Dropper,” check out HBO’s official site. You’ll be pulling some serious tail if you win that thing.
[Image from HBO]
Final thoughts: I’m going to Sha-BOOM’s and John Rocker is driving me. This post has been based on a true story. The mother-fuckin’ end.