As fans of Eastbound and Down (10 p.m. Sundays, HBO) know, the show, albeit hilarious, delves into some pretty dark waters. Danny McBride’s notorious baseball bad boy Kenny Powers walks the line between making us laugh and raising concern with his seriously disturbed behavior. Beyond the Powers bravado of F-bombs and dick jokes is a fundamentally flawed human. He’s a class clown on steroids (sometimes literally) who, once he starts working in a positive direction, seems determined to self-sabotage.
This trope can grow tiring, which it did in the stale second and third seasons. But the writing this season is on-par with E&D’s 2009 debut; this time around, we find Kenny begrudgingly living out the picket-fenced lifestyle — he’s married to April, has two kids and a nondescript 9-to-5 and lives in the ’burbs. When Kenny’s chance to reposition himself in the spotlight arises — in the form of a panel spot on a perfectly spoofed ESPN-like talk show, Sports Sesh — he goes after the opportunity, abandoning his picturesque life and family for fame and money.
But it’s a comedy! — that’s true, and these twisted moments are what make Eastbound and Down a great contemporary comedy. Supposedly this is the final season, but let’s not forget Eastbound and Down’s (unfortunate) third season was also billed as the series’ last. If ratings are up, there’s always a chance for another inning with KP.
This week Kenny finds himself in a new position of power, spearheading Sesh’s Christmas special, but he flounders with the stress of family problems.
WEDNESDAY NOV. 6
American Horror Story: Coven (10 p.m., FX) – Move over, Walking Dead, the zombies of Coven are coming through! Zoe discovers a new power to combat Laveau’s undead army.
Cordelia is faced with more personal challenges after she is mysteriously attacked. Fiona and Myrtle battle it out for control of the coven.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season Finale, 10 p.m., FXX) – Thanksgiving puts The Gang in the spirit to make amends with all the weirdos they’ve wronged, including the McPoyles and Gail the Snail.
THURSDAY NOV. 7
Inside the Actors Studio (8 p.m., Bravo) – The cast and series creator of Arrested Development join Season Four co-star James Lipton for a chat about the acclaimed comedy.
Parenthood (10 p.m., NBC) – Amber gets cozy with The All-American Rejects Ashes of Rome as she plans a live performance for the band, which leads Ryan to worry about his fiancée’s commitment. Camille plans a trip to Italy — sans Zeek. Hank and Sarah consider giving their relationship another try.
The Greatest Event in Television History (Part 3) (Midnight, Adult Swim) – Adam Scott’s Greatest Events feature shot-for-shot recreations of ’80s TV show intro credits, including Simon & Simon (with Jon Hamm) and Hart to Hart (with Amy Poehler). The absurdity of the concept (and show title) is matched with an introduction by Jeff Probst and fake behind-the-scenes footage, complete with a countdown clock to the mere minute-long finished product. This third installment’s series of origin remains a mystery (though it’s speculated to be Too Close for Comfort), but will star Scott, Kathryn Hahn, Jon Glaser, Catherine O’Hara and Chelsea Peretti.
SUNDAY NOV. 10
Killing Kennedy (8 p.m., National Geographic) – This month marks 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and with this anniversary comes yet another dramatic look at that fateful day in 1963. Based on the book by Martin Dugard and Bill O’Reilly (automatically deduct points), Killing Kennedy stars Rob Lowe as JFK and Will Rothhaar as Lee Harvey Oswald.
The Walking Dead (9 p.m., AMC) – Both Daryl’s group and Rick make it back to the prison with supplies, but the effort might not be enough for Hershel to save all the infected. Rick must decide how to explain Carol’s situation to the other survivors.
Boardwalk Empire (9 p.m., HBO) – Sally gives Nucky a heads-up regarding some “extra cargo” hidden in his hooch shipment; Margaret has another interesting — and potentially profitable — encounter with Rothstein; the war between Chalky and Narcisse escalates.
Homeland (9 p.m., Showtime) – Typical Homeland — right when you think Carrie’s finally getting her shit together, she opens a drawer full of evidence proving otherwise. This week, Saul risks his career by moving forward with his interrogation of Javadi without Dar Adal’s knowledge. A local police investigation of a recent double homicide puts Quinn in a compromising position.
CONTACT JAC KERN: firstname.lastname@example.org or @jackern