Eastbound & Down appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on these Blu-ray Discs. Season Two improved on the visuals of Season One, and Season Three topped them all.
Sharpness was consistently satisfying. Only a sliver of softness ever occurred, as a few wide shots could be a smidgen tentative. Nonetheless, definition was usually tight and accurate. No issues of jaggies or shimmering appeared, and I saw no edge haloes. The shows came with light grain but lacked any specks, marks or print flaws.
With a generally natural palette, the series’ colors seemed strong. The hues appeared vivid and full throughout the shows. Blacks were deep and dense, while shadows appeared smooth and distinctive. Overall, the programs looked quite good and definitely surpassed the spottier visuals from earlier years.
As for the series’ DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio, the tracks were fine but could be too active. During some scenes – like those at ballparks or clubs and one in Chapter 15 with cannon blasts – the soundscape made sense and delivered a vivid, involving setting. However, the mix tended to use the surrounds too prominently even in quieter scenes, so they became a bit of a distraction. This wasn’t a fatal flaw, but I’d prefer that the speakers offer better balance.
Audio quality was fine. Speech sounded distinctive and concise, without notable edginess, and music appeared dynamic and full. Effects showed good accuracy and added nice heft when appropriate, such as during the scenes with those cannons. The overactive surrounds created a minor nuisance, but the shows still had “B”-worthy sound.
When we head to the extras, we start with audio commentaries for all eight episodes:
Chapter 14: writer/actor Danny McBride, writer/director Jody Hill and actor Katy Mixon.
Chapter 15: McBride, Hill, writer Harris Wittels, director David Gordon Green, and actors Steve Little and Elizabeth De Razzo.
Chapter 16: McBride, Hill, Little, editors Jeff Seibenick and Travis Sittard, and actor Ike Barinholtz.
Chapter 17: McBride, Hill, Green, Little, De Razzo and writer Josh Parkinson.
Chapter 18: McBride, Hill, Little, De Razzo and actor Erick Chavarria.
Chapter 19: McBride, Hill, Green, Seibenick, Sittard and Little.
Chapter 20: McBride, Hill, Seibenick, Sittard, writer John Carcieri and actor Craig Robinson.
Chapter 21: McBride, Hill, Mixon and Little.
Across these tracks, we hear about story/character subjects, cast and performances, deleted scenes, music, sets and locations, and a few other areas. The commentaries start pretty well, as the first couple of them offer a nice mix of details and flow in a positive way.
After that, though, the tracks become spottier. While they still include some good information, they tend to become more focused on praise and laughing and less on concrete notes. They remain worth a listen, but they lose steam as the season progresses.
On Disc One, we find recaps for the series’ first two years. The Season One overview goes for three minutes, 32 seconds, while the Season Two synopsis lasts one minute, 32 seconds. Both consist of show clips without any additional narration/explanation. They probably won’t help explain the show to uninitiated fans, but they can help remind viewers of what they might’ve forgotten.
Disc Two launched with Dinner with the Schaeffers. It goes for five minutes, 49 seconds as it shows a long deleted scene from Chapter 15 in which a tertiary character tells an odd story. I’m not sure why it gets its own section and doesn’t show up in “Deleted Scenes”, but it’s amusing.
26 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 48 minutes, 10 seconds. We find a mix of short tidbits and fairly major excisions, such as the first, which gives us a long chat between Kenny and Shane. This area restores a lost thread with Kenny at a local seafood place, and the final clip offers a cameo from Val Kilmer as the Texas team owner.
I’m surprised that one got the boot, as it totally eliminates Kilmer’s presence in S3 – and it’s pretty good, too. Some of the others are also quite entertaining; I assume they were cut solely due to time considerations. On the other hand, two long, pointless Stevie sequences were appropriate omissions. One lets us see him hit on a woman on the beach, and the other allows us to view his head/eyebrow shaving. Both go on forever and seem self-indulgent. They’re the only real drags in an otherwise entertaining collection of scenes.
Next comes a collection of Outtakes. This reel goes for eight minutes, 57 seconds as it shows goofs and giggles. I hoped for more alternate takes, but this is mostly a standard blooper reel.
After a somewhat disappointing second year, Eastbound & Down bounces back with a largely satisfying Season Three. Though we still get some lulls, more than enough of the year succeeds to make this a good batch of shows. The Blu-ray delivers very good picture with generally solid audio and a few interesting supplements. Fans will enjoy the ride that Season Three provides.