Eastbound & Down appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. This was a consistently average presentation.
Sharpness looked mediocre at best. Close-ups demonstrated decent delineation, but wider shots could be rather soft and tentative. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed only minor edge enhancement. However, grain became somewhat heavy at times.
Colors were pretty bland. The shows featured a natural palette that never looked poor, but the hues also never came across as too lively or dynamic. Blacks were reasonably dark, and shadows were acceptable, though the grain made low-light shots murkier than they should’ve been. I thought the series was watchable and that was about it; it tended to look pretty flat.
While more impressive than the visuals, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Eastbound and Down was unexceptional. The soundfield largely focused on music. The songs and score boasted good stereo imaging and featured nice reinforcement from the surrounds. Otherwise the track remained generally uninspired. In terms of effects, the side and rear speakers offered environmental bits but not much more.
Audio quality was fine. Speech always seemed natural and concise, and the lines lacked edginess or other issues. Effects were so low-key that they didn’t provide much range. Those elements were clear, though, and without problems. Music remained the best part of the track, as the score and songs seemed dynamic and full. I thought the music sounded good enough to boost my grade to a “C+”, but the track never impressed in any way.
When we head to the extras, we start with audio commentaries for three episodes. These cover Chapters One, Four and Six, as we hear from consulting producer/director David Gordon Green, writer/actor Danny McBride, writer/actor Ben T. Best, and writer/director Jody Hill. They discuss the origins of the series and its title, cast and performances, story/character notes, cut/trimmed scenes, sets and locations, music and visual choices, and a few other production areas.
The chat for Foot Fist Way included some of the same participants; it wasn’t very good, so I feared these tracks would also be dull. Happily, they turn out pretty well. The guys throw out a few jokes, but that side doesn’t dominate. They provide a lot of good insights into the series and make these commentaries enjoyable and informative.
Next comes a featurette called Making Eastbound & Down. This 12-minute and 12-second piece includes notes from McBride, Best, Green, executive producer/episode director Adam McKay, executive producer/guest actor Will Ferrell, executive producer Chris Henchy, producer Stephanie Laing, and actors Katy Mixon, Andrew Daly, Craig Robinson, Gina Gershon and John Hawkes. The program looks at the series’ origins and developments, cast and characters, shooting in North Carolina, improvisation, and a few other production tidbits. At its heart, this is a promotional show, but it still provides some interesting elements. In particular, the footage from the set proves entertaining.
After this we get the two-minute and 38-second Kenny Powers: Greatest Hits. It shows the promo reel “Stevie” creates in the series. We see snippets of it during “Chapter Four”, but it’s fun to check out the whole thing without interruption.
Two Schaeffer Motors Commercials follow. The first goes for one minute, 22 seconds, while the second lasts one minute, 26 seconds. Both are similar, and both are pretty amusing as they show Will Ferrell’s obnoxious character.
11 Deleted Scenes run a total of nine minutes, 12 seconds. These are much closer to outtakes than they are proper “deleted scenes”. They’re essentially extensions/variations of bits that we find in the final episodes. They’re still fun, but don’t expect any unused story elements or anything.
Another collection of Outtakes goes for 13 minutes, 10 seconds. These straddle the line between alternate takes and bloopers, as we get a mix of the two. I prefer the former to the latter, but this remains a good set of clips.
Finally, Stevie’s Dark Secret lasts seven minutes, 32 seconds. This offers an extended deleted scene in which Stevie tells us a secret. It clearly was way too long and way too unrelated to the show’s story to fit into the show, but it’s interesting to see.
Given the personnel behind Eastbound & Down, I figured I’d dislike the series. However, it actually musters a fair amount of entertainment and becomes pretty enjoyable. The DVD offers mediocre picture and audio along with a decent roster of supplements. Eastbound offers a surprisingly good series that keeps us interested for its short season.