The third act starts a new book-on-tape. After Kenny's "moment of clarity" in the previous episode, things start to turn around. Once again, it's the Will Ferrell character, Ashley Schaeffer who gets it rolling. The same guy that started to break Kenny down will be indirectly responsible for building him back up. Ashley sets up a pitching/batting contest with Kenny's nemesis from his playing days. Kenny is able to survive the showdown in a clever nod to The Natural, get the girl and by winning the girl, get his fastball back. Now our hero, you'll actually feel yourself rooting for this jerk by the fifth episode, has everything back again. In the sixth episode, he's on his way back to the major leagues. But unlike other TV shows, Kenny doesn't learn any lessons from his fall. In fact, Kenny comes full circle to the character we knew at the beginning. The season ends as Kenny leaves with April to pursue his dream. Or does he?
I found lots to like in this first season. The six-episode arc works well for the first time around and I'm glad it wasn't 12-15 episodes. There's a flow to the story in essentially three hours of show. Kenny is portrayed as a character with no redeeming qualities. And yet we see them through the show. Kenny doesn't seem to deserve redemption and yet the viewer can't help but cheer for it to happen. The writing here is above par for the type of show that it appears to be on the surface. It's easy to create an arrogant jerk; it's much harder to make us like the arrogant jerk. The closest I can come to this in current pop culture is either Curb Your Enthusiasm or the British version of The Office. By the time The Office came to America, Michael Scott became much less of a jerk and more of a likable buffoon. Kudos also to HBO for sticking with this beyond the essentially weak pilot episode.