David Gordon Green catches his stride in comedy

Posted by · 10:06 pm · March 8th, 2009

(from left) Danny McBride and David Gordon Green on the set of Eastbound & DownIt has to be doubly sweet for my southern brethren to take in HBO’s “Eastbound & Down” every Sunday night, but even if this country detail or that passes below your radar, or heck, even if you don’t know a blatant Ric Flair gag when you see one, I can’t imagine anyone not laughing their ass off at this thing week after week.

Then again, maybe I’m wrong.  The Danny McBride brand of humor might be seen as an extension of the Apatow/Rogen trajectory we’ve been on, toilet humor a bit too low on the brow for some.  Not me.  I’m eating it up.

Strikingly, I think the last three episodes (plus last year’s “Pineapple Express”) prove that David Gordon Green should stick to comedy and prepare to make his mark there, because this seems to be his calling.  I’m all for the era of artistic stretching he’s been interested in since “George Washington” leaped off the neighborhoods of North Carolina and onto Roger Ebert’s top 10 list, though 95% of all of that never worked for me.  And I’m sure he’ll go there once again.  But as long as he wants to stick in this vein, I’m game.

Not only is the timing something special (and just take a look at the editorial choices made in “Pineapple” by flipping between the extended and theatrical cuts on the Blu-ray or DVD for evidence there), but the mundane is represented like never before.  Last July I wrote of “Pineapple” the following:

Yes, the man who staked a claim on the mundane mumblings of children and the love-struck in films like “George Washington” and “All the Real Girls” has applied those sensibilities to a niche genre that roots itself in same.

And it works! It works so well it’s a shame Terrence Malick never tried his hand at “Up in Smoke.” The pieces slide into place and find a cohesive fit that couldn’t have been more unexpected.

And that’s the case with “Eastbound & Down.”  100%.

Of course, plenty of credit is due to co-creators McBride and Jody Hill (directing this summer’s “Observe and Report”), but the guidance behind the camera is exceptional.  I only hope I’m not the only guy taking this stuff for more than surface level, however, because it deserves more — whether it knows it or not.

(And hel-lo Katy Mixon.)

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6 responses so far

  • 1 3-09-2009 at 12:22 am

    Sound Designer Dan said...

    Finally!! Someone who agrees with me. Everyone I’ve spoken to thinks this show is BS but I LOVE IT!

  • 2 3-09-2009 at 12:38 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’ve spoken to no one about it, really, other than a thumbs up Facebook message to McBride. Ha. Maybe I should keep it out of the water cooler discussion…

  • 3 3-09-2009 at 6:38 am

    actionman said...

    Huge fan of McBride.

    “You just got killed by a Daewoo Lanos, motherfucker!”

    Eastbound and Down is completely and utterly hysterical

  • 4 3-09-2009 at 10:40 am

    Troy said...

    Has its moments, but hasn’t particularly grabbed me yet. Pineapple Express on the other hand, was amazing. Hopefully Green will find a nice balance between doing comedy and the drawn out art house movies.

  • 5 3-10-2009 at 7:28 am

    actionman said...

    Episode 4 was the best yet. The ending bit with Kenny trashing his brother’s living room was hysterical. And his contemplative skiddo ride on the lake — AMAZING.