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For the better part of this millennium, Walton Goggins has gifted TV viewers’ lives with his excellent acting chops, going from a corrupt cop in The Shield to a soulful criminal in Justified. We’ll soon be getting a better look at his comedic side, as Goggins has joined Danny McBride’s upcoming HBO comedy Vice Principals, along with Boardwalk Empire’s Shea Whigham. This show just went from intriguing to amazing.
Vice Principals, unsurprisingly, centers on a squad of V.P.s at a high school where they have more say than the big bosses. McBride is starring as Neal Gamby, who enters into an “unholy alliance” with Goggins’ Lee Russell, whom Deadline describes as a “conniving politician.” We’ll go ahead and assume that means he’s aiming to claw his way ahead in the educational food chain, and not that he’s also running for mayor or something. Honestly, the details aren’t as important as the fact that Goggins and McBride will be co-stars.
Meanwhile, Whigham will star as Ray Liptrapp, who is newly married to Busy Phillips’ character that also happens to be Gamby’s ex-wife. As such, Gamby treats Ray like shit, despite Ray being a genial human being. It’s going to be weird to watch Kenny Powers berate Eli Thompson, but I’m not complaining.
Vice Principals is another co-creation from McBride and his Eastbound & Down cohort Jody Hill, who also worked with him on The Foot Fist Way. Director David Gordon Green, who worked with the duo on their previous foul-mouthed work, is also involved.
As Boyd Crowder, Goggins has played one of TV’s most engaging villains, and he had an awesome recurring role on Sons of Anarchy as the transgender “friend of the club” Venus Van Dam. (He made a comedic splash in Community last year as well.) Currently filming Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, which I suspect will be some of his finest work to date, Goggins will soon be seen opposite Mark Wahlberg in William Monahan’s Mojave and with Jesse Eisenberg in Nima Nourizadh’s American Ultra.
Whigham, who is currently starring in ABC’s Marvel series Agent Carter, will be seen later this year in Jon Watts’ Cop Car, Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups and Peter Billingsley’s crime drama Term Life. Not too shabby a 2015 in the least.
Vice Principals is scheduled to begin its 18-episode run on HBO at some point in 2016. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later, to ease the pain of having Boyd Crowder stricken from our lives.