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After fleeing his North Carolina hometown, washed-up major-league pitcher Kenny Powers spent a soul-searching season in Mexico as “La Flama Blanca” – and ended up returning to the States a changed man. Or is he?
Find out when the comedy series Eastbound & Down, executive produced by Will Ferrell, Chris Henchy, Adam McKay, Jody Hill and Danny McBride, kicks off its eight-episode third season Sunday, February 19, exclusively on HBO, just as real-life baseball spring training begins. The new comedy series “Life’s Too Short” debuts immediately after the season debut at 10:30 p.m.
Starring Danny McBride (“Pineapple Express,” “30 Minutes or Less”), Eastbound & Down tells the story of Kenny Powers, who used to be a star pitcher until his self-destructive behavior knocked him out of Major League Baseball. Picking up a year after season two, the third season finds Kenny in action on the “Redneck Riviera” (aka Myrtle Beach, SC), somehow resurrecting his baseball career by becoming the closer for the minor-league Myrtle Beach Mermen.
Even as he tries to pass himself off as the “King of Myrtle Beach,” Kenny struggles to come to terms with growing older and accepting the responsibilities of being a new father.
Eastbound & Down also stars Steve Little (“The Ugly Truth”) as Stevie, Kenny’s faithful sidekick; John Hawkes (HBO’s “Deadwood,” Oscar nominee for “Winter’s Bone”) as Kenny’s brother Dustin; Jennifer Irwin (“Still Standing”) as Dustin’s wife, Cassie; Andrew Daly (“Mad TV”) as Terrence Cutler; and Elizabeth De Razzo as Maria, Stevie’s Mexican wife. Jason Sudeikis (“Saturday Night Live”) joins the cast as Kenny’s new best friend and kindred spirit Shane, a veteran catcher with the Mermen.
Returning special guests on the third season include Katy Mixon (“Mike & Molly”) as April, the mother of Kenny’s one-year-old child; Will Ferrell as car dealer Ashley Schaeffer; and Matthew McConaughey as baseball scout Roy McDaniel.
Episode #14: “Chapter 14,” Enjoying a new lease on his baseball career as the closer for the minor-league Myrtle Beach Mermen, Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) settles into a life of body-boarding, jet-skiing and hard-partying with his catcher, Shane (Jason Sudeikis). A detour to Shelby to attend the one-year birthday of his child reunites Kenny with April (Katy Mixon).
Episode #15: “Chapter 15,” With the baby in tow, a seething Kenny heads north in search of April. Getting no assistance from Dustin (John Hawkes), Maria (Elizabeth De Razzo) or Jamie (Jerry Minor), Kenny tracks down his erstwhile lackey Stevie (Steve Little), currently employed at Ashley Schaeffer’s (Will Ferrell) car dealership. Kenny crashes a perverse plantation fete the dealer is throwing in an effort to liberate Stevie.
Episode #16: “Chapter 16,” Pro scout Roy McDaniel (Matthew McConaughey) arrives in Myrtle Beach to ask Kenny to mentor Ivan Dochenko (Ike Barinholtz), a promising young Russian pitching prospect. Stevie lays down the ground rules for his return to Kenny’s team, while grappling with Shane and Kenny’s relationship.
This season’s episodes were directed by David Gordon Green and Jody Hill, both of whom also directed episodes of the first and second season of Eastbound & Down.
The seven-episode second season of Eastbound & Down, which concluded in Nov. 2010, followed Kenny on his adventures in Mexico as he played baseball, made new enemies, reconnected with his deadbeat dad and smuggled Stevie’s Mexican girlfriend back into the USA on his return. The hit season inspired critical praise, with Entertainment Weekly saying that the show “continues to amaze,” while the Huffington Post called it “hilarious.”
The New York Post called the series “very funny,” and Rolling Stone hailed Kenny Powers as “an American anti-hero for our troubled times.” Danny McBride was named Comedy MVP for his role as Kenny Powers at the 2011 Spike Guy’s Choice Awards.