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Last year, Eastbound & Down's Danny McBride and Jody Hill stuck with HBO for the comedy-until-it's-not Vice Principals, which focused on two ego-driven monsters trying to destroy their boss by any means necessary. And while most critics agreed on how insane and funny Season 1 was, some of the unflattering stereotypes used to demonize McBride and co-star Walton Goggins' lead characters attracted some negativity. CinemaBlend spoke with McBride about the recently released Season 1 Blu-ray, and when I asked if that reaction would affect how the already filmed Season 2 is handled, here's what he said:
A lovely side of humility coming from the man who is also Kenny Powers. Vice Principals already isn't a show that's going to be for everyone, given its profane and ribald nature, and free from narrative context, it's not so surprising that a TV show about two Southern white men trying to ruin the life of a black woman would make people fussy. But as Danny McBride has pointed out, he and Jody Hill knew what they were doing when they wrote Vice Principals, and everything that happens works to serve the point that Gamby and Russell are terrible people - one far more so than the other - that no one should really be rooting for; they're just the ones carrying the story. That's not the most common way to craft a TV show, so an uncommon way to put it together makes sense.
By knocking out the entirety of both Vice Principals seasons at once, Danny McBride and Jody Hill were able to go full speed ahead with all of the turbulent mayhem that Gamby and Russell invoke into the lives of everyone they know, particularly Kimberly Herbert Gregory's Dr. Belinda Brown, without having to stop and think about what people are saying about the show. That's always a good headspace to be in.
And, when I asked about how filming Vice Principals compared to how Eastbound & Down went, he again brought up the advantages and positive aspects of doing a dual-season production.
It certainly does feel like a series that was created by jumping from one landmine of comedy to the next. On the downside, Danny McBride did bemusedly tell me he had to take a little time off after filming Vice Principals, as he had a constant feeling like he needed to be stressed out about something. Hanging out with Walton Goggins' Lee Russell for that long will do that to anyone.
Vice Principals doesn't yet have a Season 2 premiere date set for HBO's permanent record, but you can relive Season 1 with the Blu-ray set that was released earlier this week, which features everything you would want from a cast and crew as hilarious as this: bonus scenes, outtakes and commentaries. And while we're waiting to hear more about Season 2, head here to see what the actor told me about his and David Gordon Green's new Halloween flick, and then skip over to our midseason premiere schedule to see what else is hitting the small screen soon.