The first episode of Vice Principals is reminiscent of the dark humor which made Eastbound & Down a hit.
The final season of Vice Principals centers around Neal Gamby’s (Danny McBride) quest to find out who shot him at the end of the first season. Gamby suspects everyone at North Jackson High and enlists the help of a psychotic pal, brand new principal Lee Russell (Walton Goggins) to track him down. Could one of his own students be the culprit behind his attack or could it be the one person he considers a friend?
The chemistry between Gamby and Russell is undeniable. Those two characters are the pillars that hold this comedic narrative in place.
The writing in the first episode is darker than Season 1 which is a good thing.
Goggins plays his character with the right amount of comedy and sleaze. The audience doesn’t know whether to laugh with him or at him.
McBride’s character in the second season is very reminiscent of his iconic character Kenny Powers. Just like Powers, Gamby is losing touch with reality going so far as to turn his bedroom into a diorama reminiscent of the Kennedy Assassination.
Busy Phillips is hysterical in the role of Gale. Her character is the perfect mix of white trash and someone who’d be arrested on Cops.
The first episode of season two is very inviting to new fans of the series. Someone could easily just jump into the series and not miss a beat.
Towards the end of the first episode, Dr. Belinda Brown (Kimberly Herbert Gregory) makes a return after leaving town at the end of last season. Brown is the perfect foil for Gamby’s character. It would be foolish for them not to incorporate that character into the new season.
What Didn’t Work
Too much time was spent on Gamby’s recovery and not enough time was given to his triumphant return to North Jackson High. The first episode takes off when he’s back to interacting with the students and faculty rather than moping about.
Vice Principals hasn’t lost a step and is off to a great start in its second season. This isn’t shocking as Mcbride and his talented writing partner, Jody Hill, are extremely gifted writers. I’m sure if HBO could convince Mcbride and Hill to stretch this series for a third and fourth season, the quality would remain consistent. However, it appears that the talented writing duo is committed to just seeing this storyline play out and fans can’t wait to see the end result.