"Chapter 7" moved along at a brisk pace. It felt like a prologue, quickly showing us that Kenny tried to start anew, but he's incapable of change, and that's good for us. It's hard to tell the direction "Eastbound" will take -- we missed last season's key characters such as the real Stevie and Kenny's buxom love interest April -- but the premiere's predictable and somewhat-satisfying conclusion gets a baseball back in Kenny's hands, and that's a promising sign.
The episode came up short in the laughs department but it kept the show's unsavory, creepy edge that is imperative to its effectiveness. The skeeviest moment came at the midway point, with Kenny masturbating to April's faculty photo in a yearbook. It wasn't done for laughs but done to underline Kenny's pathetic descent (as if we needed the emphasis). It was encouraging to see the show sticking to its hallmarks even when the episode failed to truly take off. Optimism is still in play for "Eastbound's" sophomore run, based almost solely on the first season's strengths. Now we wait until next week and hope Will Ferrell's Ashley Schafer opens up a BMW dealership down south.
Photo by HBO. Check back each Monday for recap/commentary on the latest episode of "Eastbound & Down." E-mail me or follow me on Twitter, @wesleycase.