Deep into yet another too hot summer, going through the motions of a general election that feels neither important nor deserved, and just generally discouraged, our nation looks for a hero. Through the eyes-half-shut haze of a debt-ridden and sweat-stained high, we see a rider. He is on a Boogie Board. He is flipping us off.
He’s fucking back. And just in time, too, because recession America needs Kenny Powers.
When I interviewed Danny McBride a few months ago, it seemed like a long-shot that there would be a fourth season of HBO’s brilliant Eastbound and Down. “When we started the show, we always thought that if we got to three seasons, we would be able to tell a big story with an arc, and we can take the show to the outer limits of our wildest imagination. And I feel like we’ve accomplished that,” he told me. “We’ve told the story that we set out to tell. As far as more of Kenny Powers, I wouldn’t rule that out. But for now, I feel like we have seen the tale of Kenny Powers.”
When arranging the interview with the powers at HBO, they didn’t want to rule out the possibility of a fourth season. And I guess, eventually, McBride and his producers came around to the idea of continuing the story.
Still, I feel like the show had come to a beautiful, fitting conclusion. As McBride reflected, it seemed like they were able to accomplish a lot with such a damaged, bigoted hero. However, as we stare down the barrel of unceasing bad news, it would be a shame to be without Kenny, perhaps the finest fictional American during this ignominious century.
As we head into another year of pursuing a more perfect union, our 236th (give or take a few years during which we actively worked against it), it’s nice to think about the continuing adventures of Kenny Powers, the washed-up, heat-throwing anti-hero for our failing times.
Happy July 4th from Full Stop!