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Vice Principals

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When the principal of a high school retires, his two vice principals go to extremes to land the vacant job.

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Yep.

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Starring McBride and Justified’s Walton Goggins as the scheming, underhanded and ambitious VPs of North Jackson High, the nine-episode first season that debuts July 17 is, as I say in my video review above, about as fun and foul-mouthed far from the likes of Degrassi High and most Big 4 sitcoms as you can get.

The AV Club

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In tone and setting, it’s a spiritual sequel to their previous premium-cable outing, the mostly uproarious Eastbound & Down. There’s even a blustering man-child at the center of the story. But while the profanity reliably reaches virtuosic levels, it rarely does so at the cost of more meaningful discussion. What Hill and McBride end up with, after the LSD-laced shenanigans, is as much a meditation on disillusionment with life as it is a clash of would-be titans.

 

I'm IN!

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Yeah I was going to watch because of Eastbound and Down.

Obviously Groggins has been great in his roles but he hasn't done anything comic yet, at least anything widely known.

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McBride has become such a dealbreaker for me. He's technically very good at what he does, but deliberately unbearable is still unbearable. And as you say, we are well past saturation point on comedies of toxic masculinity and misplaced confidence.

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Interesting. This show gave me a bad feeling from the start, simply because teaching/education is an overwhelmingly female-dominated profession, so it seems like a weird decision to make the protagonists both men. What's the point of a workplace comedy if you dismiss or ignore the perspectives of the people who actually make up the workforce? (Contrast this with TVLand's "Teachers," which is uneven, but truly celebrates the particular weirdnesses of a female-dominated workplace) And if that's what the content is like, it sounds like something I can comfortably skip!

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Well, the principal is a woman, and there's a lot of women on the faculty. I don't know what the % of administration is women in high school though. 

But, McBride basically is playing the same guy with more of a sad sack angle. Although, he seems like he has a good relationship with his daughter. 

Edited by ganesh
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18 minutes ago, ganesh said:

Although, he seems like he has a good relationship with his daughter. 

Yes, it does. And I'm also snickering at how nice/supportive his ex-wife's boyfriend is. He really seems to think Gamby is pretty awesome.

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So What's the over/under for Dr. Brown to see through Lee Russell? He was working her over pretty well.  

Once again, Walton Goggins makes things so much better. Seeing him mouth the words to Wind Beneath my Wings was great. 

Not a fan of Georgia King. I didn't like her in The New Normal, and the wide eyed delivery. 

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I'm fine with Danny McBride, even though he tends to only play one character.  But Walton Goggins is the reason I'm here, because he honestly might be one of my favorite actors of all time.  Shane Vendrell (The Shield) and Boyd Crowder (Justified) were both some of the best, most fascinating characters on TV, and Goggins was perfection in both of those roles.  So far, I'm loving him in this and it's fun to see him in a more comedic role (granted, Boyd could be funny at times.)

Also enjoyed seeing both Busy Phillips and Shea Whigham as Neal's ex and her new boyfriend/husband.  I really love that Ray actually seems to like Neal, but Neal's too big of a dick to see that.  Plus, Shea is another actor I always enjoy watching (Boardwalk Empire, Agent Carter, etc.)

Loved Dr. Belinda Brown dropping the nice act and laying down the law on Neal.  I can only imagine what she would do if she finds out about Russel's underhandedness.

Wished I wasn't spoiled about the Bill Murray cameo, because that was nice bit.

I liked it.  Mean-spirited, but I'm find them entertaining enough to watch their eventual self-destruction and downfall.  Plus... well, Goggins.  The man can do no wrong, in my book.

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I think I would have enjoyed this more if the two main characters were Walton Goggins and Busy Phillips.

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The way to watch this is to view McBride as Wile E. Coyote - sure he's the guy we spend most of the time watching, but we're not rooting for him to get what he wants; the fun comes from seeing him fail brilliantly over and over again.

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Very funny premiere.  McBride basically plays the same character in everything he's in but it's still entertaining to me.  Goggins is great and I would have watched the show due to him alone.  Nice to see Busy Phillips and Shea Whigham's character's admiration for Gamby is pretty damn funny.

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Anything that starts with a Bill Murray cameo has to be a good thing. I liked this pretty well, even if McBride is playing is typical asshole/loser character, even though this guy is more played as pathetic than some of his past characters. 

The real draws though, for me, are Walter Goggins, Busy Phillips, and Shea Whigham, all of whom I love. Shea Whigham just looks so different in this than he did over on Boardwalk Empire, and so far I like his character the most. He is just a super nice, chill guy who McBrides character hates, but he just cannot get a rise out of. 

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The first season of Eastbound & Down is one of my all-time favorite pieces of comedy. When S2 premiered, I was excited to see where they took it, but I got about 3 eps in before I started to find it unwatchable. S1 was written so well, and it seemed like they weren't trying so damn hard to be funny. The subsequent seasons turned the characters into cartoons, and terrible ones at that.

 

That being said, I decided to give McBride and his creative team another chance with VP, but it feels like more of the same. I was optimistic about seeing his brand of humor set in the high school system again (that was some of the best material in S1 of EB&D), but the pilot wasn't funny to me. I know he can be a one-note actor, but just having him spew 4-letter words in inappropriate settings isn't funny enough on its own. I'll stick with VP for another ep or 2 to see what happens, but I'm not expecting much.

Edited by cmfran · Reason: typo

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I actually found Goggins difficult to watch, maybe because I keep seeing his role in Sons of Anarchy (that was him, right?). McBride acts like a PE teacher and Goggins acts like a French teacher. Seeing either as AP is difficult; no wonder the school board brought in someone else as principal. I just wish the principal was less susceptible to Goggins' ploys, and called him on it. Not sure about this one. The best parts were with McBride's life outside of the school. I'll give it a few more eps. 

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I will give it a few episodes but, I didn't find it funny AT ALL.  Plus I agree that it is a bit odd for it to be so male focused when teaching is usually such a woman's game.

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13 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

At the very end of the episode, Mr. EB scoffed, "Never make a deal with Boyd Crowder!"

But so confusing when he sorta sounds like Venus Van Dam!

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Okay, I'm not all that picky about the moral integrity of my tv characters--the bad guys are always more interesting.

But I was appalled. 

I tried to dig up some sympathy for that asshole--his pathetically sterile apartment, his sweet little daughter who loves him . . . can't do it.

Out.

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Just a quick note about teacher gender.  Females are by far predominant in elementary schools.  However, high schools historically were male dominated (and many decades ago high school teachers were paid more than elementary teachers because the faculties were mainly men [the pay scales are now the same]).  As for high school administrators, there's a bit more of a gender balance in administration.  Probably still more male administrators at the high school level, but from my experience (as both a high school teacher [in two states] and a high school administrator) women are not far behind.  Some schools/districts vary of course.  The fictional school district may have hired a female principal to help equalize the gender balance (and because both vice principals would be horrible principals from what has been shown so far).

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And I'm out. There is being unlikeable, which I'm completely down for (I love Veep) and then there is being hateful, sexists sociopaths. 

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Well, to quote a common phrase, that escalated quickly.  Burning down Belinda's house like that.  I thought for sure there was going to be some kind of twist, but so far, that's not the case.  It kind of feels like they're basically setting it up to Russell be the real bad one.  Gamby is clearly an egotistical asshole who thinks his shit doesn't stink, but Russell seems like a flat-out psychopath.

Not sure if I like them making Belinda be kind of a jerk too (although, nowhere near as bad as the main duo.)  I liked the idea of a tough, but far principal, and these guys hating on her out of jealously and spite, but they seemed to be going out of their way to make her be unnecessarily harsh about firing that desk clerk, so I get the sense I'm suppose to hate her too.  Not a fan of that.

Not enough of Busy Phillips and Shea Whigham in this one.  I still love that Ray seems to be a decent person, who actually wants to be friendly to Gamby, but Gamby is just too big of an asshole to treat him with respect.

Usually not a fan of obvious product placement, but the stuff with Bojangles amused me.  Probably because I could see that being popular among a faculty in a real-life high school in South Carolina.

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I didn't think that Brown was unnecessarily harsh about firing the lady in the office. In the few minutes that they interacted, Brown saw that she was disorganized, fumbling, and unable to deal with her own computer. When you add to that the report that said she was 30 minutes late to work every day, I can see why an outsider who had no warm fuzzy feelings for her just because she had worked there forever thought she was dead weight and had to go.

I love that Ray is always shown as friendly and kind to Gamby, but I can understand why Gamby is always so rude to him since he sees Ray as the guy who stole his wife. I'm not clear on if that's what actually happened (maybe they divorced before she met Ray) but I can see why Gamby is so resentful. I know that if Gamby were more mature, he would appreciate that his daughter has such a nice stepfather.

Heh, I agree that things escalated really quickly. They went from going through Brown's trash to breaking into her house (and already I was like whoa, you guys are definitely crossing the line!) to breaking her stuff (which I wasn't okay with but I thought maybe Russell thought that busting up a few things would make it seem like a home burglary to cover up the fact that they broke in to snoop) and then setting her house on fire.

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When I heard about this plotline initially, I thought that burning Brown's house down was going to be an accident, like an electrical fire that caught the curtains on fire and started the fire or something. I didn't know Russell was going to intentionally start a fire. I agree, that combined with spitting in the mother-in-law's tea does make him seem kind of borderline sociopathic/psychotic.

The end of this episode was so ridiculous; surely even Gamby wouldn't be stupid enough to not realize that giving that guy from the stable the brooch is essentially giving him a piece of evidence that can link him directly to the crime. Why wouldn't he have tried to sell the brooch first (in another town far away or something, where he is not known/could wear a disguise) and then just given the stable guy the money?

Edited by Phishbulb
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Soooo.....does no one inhabit Dr. Brown's neighborhood in the daytime? Is it full of vampires? I mean these two were going through her trash in front of the house and then broke into her front door in broad daylight? Must be nice...

I have one foot out the door on this show. I need a twist and quick because so far this is just incompetent, stupid southern white men's wet dream about getting revenge on a system they perceive to have wronged them. I mean how in the world is someone with a PhD in EDUCATION who has been a principal at least 3 other times less qualified than either of these two who probably barely have BA's?  And how many houses of their white male bosses who have wronged them have either of these two burned down? 

I would love to see a picture of the writer's room and a picture of all the HBO execs required to green light this shiz. I would absolutely love to be wrong about this show and have some revelation revealed to make this not what it has shown itself to be in the first two episodes.

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A big step down from last week. Maybe things would get better if they brought Bill Murry back? Anything is better with Bill Murry. 

So it looks like they are setting up "Russel is even worse of a guy, even if he acts nice" which, yeah I figured thats what they were going to do. That whole house scene was just kind of disturbing. These guys are legit kind of nuts. 

Whatever, I will give it some more time to figure its shit out. 

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Walton Goggins is hilarious in this.

For the record, I do think these two nuts would have acted the way they did if the new principal had been a man.  They're both clearly insane and self-entitled.

Edited by benteen
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20 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

Well, to quote a common phrase, that escalated quickly.

Lee is devious. Damn.

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I didn't think that Brown was unnecessarily harsh about firing the lady in the office. In the few minutes that they interacted, Brown saw that she was disorganized, fumbling, and unable to deal with her own computer. When you add to that the report that said she was 30 minutes late to work every day, I can see why an outsider who had no warm fuzzy feelings for her just because she had worked there forever thought she was dead weight and had to go.

It was still cold. I would guess, unless it's a really really egregious offense, someone working at a place since the 80s might face some disciplinary action first and given a chance to shape up. Then, if not, ok you're fired. 

I kind of like that the principal is kind of mean. I can buy it. I was surprised that the reports on the two VPs were actually good. 

5 hours ago, red12 said:

And how many houses of their white male bosses who have wronged them have either of these two burned down? 

Clearly, from Gamby's pov, this was the first one. He was genuinely worried that they went too far. I was actually surprised that he was kind of remorseful. Maybe Lee has, but I would think it would have come up during the course of this episode. 

What's going to be interesting is if the fire is going to be a continual thread. I don't know how grounded in reality they are making the show, but any investigator is going to know this was arson. And, as it was said, Gamby handed over a gigantic piece of evidence.

5 hours ago, red12 said:

I mean how in the world is someone with a PhD in EDUCATION who has been a principal at least 3 other times less qualified than either of these two who probably barely have BA's? 

Obviously she's more qualified, even if we don't quite know the education background of Lee or Gamby. It's not a difficult premise. I'm at my job for 10 years or something, and there's an opening to be the boss. Then someone from wherever gets the job instead. Both Gamby's and Lee's reports said they were actually good at their jobs. Why wouldn't they be resentful? 

I didn't know a thing about the show coming in so I didn't know what to expect. For two episodes, it's been ok so far. 

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16 hours ago, Phishbulb said:

The end of this episode was so ridiculous; surely even Gamby wouldn't be stupid enough to not realize that giving that guy from the stable the brooch is essentially giving him a piece of evidence that can link him directly to the crime. Why wouldn't he have tried to sell the brooch first (in another town far away or something, where he is not known/could wear a disguise) and then just given the stable guy the money?

I thought the same thing. You have to go to a large city where no one knows you and pawn that thing and then use the money to pay for the stable fees!

5 hours ago, ganesh said:

It was still cold. I would guess, unless it's a really really egregious offense, someone working at a place since the 80s might face some disciplinary action first and given a chance to shape up. Then, if not, ok you're fired.

At a job like a high school, being 30 minutes late every single day is pretty egregious. I know there are other work environments where it's not a big deal, but they tend to be pretty unforgiving about that at schools (at one of my previous jobs, I got in trouble for being ten minutes late because there was an accident that morning). It would be one thing if she had an emergency or circumstances that were out of her control but she was consistently showing up half an hour late every day because she was out with her power walking group. I have no doubt that Brown's attitude about the situation was how about starting your walk half an hour earlier and getting to work on time?

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45 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I thought the same thing. You have to go to a large city where no one knows you and pawn that thing and then use the money to pay for the stable fees!

At a job like a high school, being 30 minutes late every single day is pretty egregious. I know there are other work environments where it's not a big deal, but they tend to be pretty unforgiving about that at schools (at one of my previous jobs, I got in trouble for being ten minutes late because there was an accident that morning). It would be one thing if she had an emergency or circumstances that were out of her control but she was consistently showing up half an hour late every day because she was out with her power walking group. I have no doubt that Brown's attitude about the situation was how about starting your walk half an hour earlier and getting to work on time?

I also found it interesting that the pity party about her husband's retirement was supposed to save her. Uh, you knew you needed benefits when you decided not to learn email and show up late for work everyday. Why is your firing anyone's fault but your own. Personally, I would have given her a warning first, but they didn't owe it. She was coasting for years and got caught. 

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Time and attendance.  When I got my very first summer youth job that's what my mother said to me. Time and attendance are the two things mgmt can always fire you for. You might get away with being a slacker at work, but they can always get you for being late.

Edited by Brooklynista · Reason: There's a difference btwn can and can't
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After this ep, I'm definitely out. Really wanted to like it, but it's just more of the same from McBride and the writers. Even though I know it's not supposed to be grounded in reality (or is it?), I'm not liking the mean-spirited vibe. Worst of all, it's just not funny.

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7 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

At a job like a high school, being 30 minutes late every single day is pretty egregious. I know there are other work environments where it's not a big deal, but they tend to be pretty unforgiving about that at schools (at one of my previous jobs, I got in trouble for being ten minutes late because there was an accident that morning). It would be one thing if she had an emergency or circumstances that were out of her control but she was consistently showing up half an hour late every day because she was out with her power walking group. I have no doubt that Brown's attitude about the situation was how about starting your walk half an hour earlier and getting to work on time?

That's what I mean. You have evaluations on everyone and go through them with each person and set new performance goals like being on time. She got summarily canned. The approach reveals who Brown is. 

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4 minutes ago, ganesh said:

That's what I mean. You have evaluations on everyone and go through them with each person and set new performance goals like being on time. She got summarily canned. The approach reveals who Brown is. 

I'm unaware of a school system hierarchy but wouldn't the firing be done by the principal? 

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Probably. Brown making Gamby do it, and then bring the biscuits was more of a power play to show who is in charge. She's coming off nice to everyone while making him do the dirty work. 

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Brown was probably justified in firing her but I would have given the woman a warning too.  Give her a chance to get her act together and to cover my bases incase she considers some kind of legal action like age discrimination.

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On 7/25/2016 at 10:06 PM, benteen said:

Walton Goggins is hilarious in this.

I loved him in Justified and I had no idea he could do comedy so well. The show cracks me up. It's one of those "I shouldn't really be laughing at this but I can't help it" shows. 

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On 7/19/2016 at 3:40 PM, tennisgurl said:

Anything that starts with a Bill Murray cameo has to be a good thing.

Seeing Murray in the beginning of this stopped me from even watching this episode until just now.   I didn't know he wasn't in the whole series.  I'll watch a couple more for Walt Goggins.  I like the principal a lot too. 

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On July 26, 2016 at 1:44 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I thought the same thing. You have to go to a large city where no one knows you and pawn that thing and then use the money to pay for the stable fees!

At a job like a high school, being 30 minutes late every single day is pretty egregious. I know there are other work environments where it's not a big deal, but they tend to be pretty unforgiving about that at schools (at one of my previous jobs, I got in trouble for being ten minutes late because there was an accident that morning). It would be one thing if she had an emergency or circumstances that were out of her control but she was consistently showing up half an hour late every day because she was out with her power walking group. I have no doubt that Brown's attitude about the situation was how about starting your walk half an hour earlier and getting to work on time?

The show should have indicated she had been talked to about this before and ignored it. Maybe the old principal explicitly allowed it, we and the new principal don't know. Without that happening, the firing was pretty sudden.

I FF'd through the house stuff. That was too far. And not funny. And the end was just stupid. This only ends well with an East Bound and Down serendipity at the last second.

Edited by Ottis · Reason: Clarity

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Man I just don't think this show is funny. I can't see one thing funny about it. I would be out but HBO plays this constantly on a loop. So I end up seeing 5 minutes at a time.  I also feel like this show is kind of misogynistic but doesn't know it. So far I don't see a thing wrong with Dr. Brown except that those two insane white male privileged red necks feel she took what was their's.  Oh and when in doubt and looking for jokes throw in Asians to make fun of. Nice.

Gamby is insane to throw in with Lee. Who is obviously insane(and kind of seems gay?). When Lee gets what he wants or doesn't get what he want he will make sure people know what Gamby did. I took him giving the broach is evidence that Gamby is getting set up.

Edited by BooBear

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I don't think this show is a comedy. Just like I didn't think Getting On was. Sure, I laughed, but there's more at play here, I think.  

Gamby's certainly made a deal with the Devil. Russell is totally setting him up as the Patsy.  

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Wasn't feeling this one, since Russell/Walton Goggins was only in two scenes, and I really don't know if I find Gamby watchable by himself.  And none of the scenes of him being an asshole, and not noticing everyone hates him, really made me laugh.  And the stuff with Amanda is just creepy, and I wish she would just flat-out tell him he sucks and be done with him.  But I guess she really doesn't know the worst of it.  I wonder if that other teacher will eventually spill the beans.

Still hope we get more of Gale/the ex and Ray soon, because the brief moments we do get, are continuing to be my favorite.  Busy Phillips and Shea Whigham seem perfectly casted, and I want to see more of them.

The cold opening, where Gamby and Russell were mocking Belinda for being late and frazzled, just shows that those two are the worst, considering the reason she was like that was all because of them.  Assholes.

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