Eastbound & Down: Season 4, Episode 8

Chapter 29 (17 Nov. 2013)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Sport
8.9
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Kenny Powers is on the verge of achieving his dream - hosting his own talk show, but when a vicious head of the network asks him to emotionally finish off unbalanced Guy Young on-air in order to seal the deal, his moment of truth arrives.

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Title: Chapter 29 (17 Nov 2013)

Chapter 29 (17 Nov 2013) on IMDb 8.9/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Dixie
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Ronnie Thelman
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Make-up Artist
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Maria
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Dontel Benjamin (as Omar Dorsey)
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Gene
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Guy Young
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Jed Forney
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Benjamin (as John Adrian)
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Storyline

Kenny Powers is on the verge of achieving his dream - hosting his own talk show, but when a vicious head of the network asks him to emotionally finish off unbalanced Guy Young on-air in order to seal the deal, his moment of truth arrives.

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Genres:

Comedy | Sport

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Details

Release Date:

17 November 2013 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Kenny goes to April's house as she is packing up, he is wearing an Asian-themed jacket. The Chinese characters on it say "Kiss My Ass". See more »

Soundtracks

Who Wants To Live Forever
(uncredited)
Performed by Queen
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User Reviews

Season 4: Ends with the same strengths (excessively crudely funny) and weaknesses (no depth or characterization) that it always had
17 January 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is the fourth and almost certainly final season of this show and it goes out as generally it has lived. This will be good news for those that love the excess and crudity that is Kenny f-ing Powers; news of no interest to those that didn't like the show and stopped some time ago, and rather disappointing news to those hoping that the show would at least end with a bit more heart and intelligence than it has displayed before. In case it isn't clear, I fall into this third camp because to me this show only does one part of its construct well, while the other part is left as unrealized potential.

The fourth season sees Kenny reappearing after faking his death. Years have passed and he is with April with two children but is working down at the car rental place as a wage-slave. A chance delivery to the TV company sees him meet former teammate Guy Young, who is not the host of a successful sports panel show (Sports Sesh) with the usual characters and banter getting good ratings. Exposure to this life reawakens the desire for fame and all the trappings in Kenny and soon he manages to beg his way into a special appearance on the show as a temp. When he makes a big impact on the crowd it does appear that he is on his way - if only his own ego doesn't get in the way. So, essentially, the narrative arch is the same as the previous seasons with just the details being different. To a point this works because Kenny's excessive ego and inability to rein himself in does produce plenty of laughs; a great deal of them are painful because it is quite cringe inducing to see him being this terrible character and be so totally unaware of the reality that exists just inches from his own body. So we see him mistreat family, friends and colleagues because he perceives them as standing in the way of him being the greatest version of himself that he knows he can be. It is funny, but it is the same narrative.

In the first episode I thought maybe it wouldn't be though. I liked that we saw Kenny in reality because it gave more to his character. He was still the same ego in there, but it was damaged and brought back to earth, which made it more engaging to me, to have consequences, to see a human behind all the noise. I hate to keep coming back to the comparison - but this is no Alan Partridge and soon he is back to just being the simple asshole we know. Perhaps it is a cultural thing, but I prefer Partridge, who is essentially the same character as Powers - lets the whiff of fame go to his head, hates being below others even when he is, lashes out when he is hurt etc. Difference is that Partridge lets you see this and a lot of the laughs comes from him not being who he thinks he is and ending up with egg on his face in his small little bubble in which he constructs his own reality. With Powers it is so much forward motion and crudity that this side never comes, we never really see consequences in a meaningful way to his character - not lasting but not even fleeting really. He is really unlikeable even if he produces lots of funny excesses.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think the show falls far from where it could have been (I keep watching because I like it) but it is still disappointing that it never gets beyond "crude and funny" to be something more precise and well written at the character level. McBride continues to do a good job with his character at the level he needs to though - he is hideously unaware and really does nail the "spoilt child" thing with the only regret ever being when his actions hurt him, not others. Shame there isn't more to it than that, but he does that well. Janowski continues to be part of the comedic excess and he does it well even if his character is weak here. Mixon is decent but hampered by the script asking her to love Kenny but never showing us any reason why - again a failing to put a character inside the blowhard.

So it ends as it was. A show that is very funny in a crude and excessive way while also disappointing that it never does anything more than revel in the noise Kenny makes and not let us get inside to find the human that generates such neediness and ego. Kenny Powers is a lot of fun - but it is a real shame he never got to be more.


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