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‘Vice Principals’ Review Roundup: Critics Give Danny McBride’s New HBO a Passing Grade, but It Doesn’t Make Honor Roll

"Eastbound & Down" fans are likely to be its biggest supporters.

“Vice Principals”


Danny McBride has made his HBO return in “Vice Principals,” but the reviews haven’t exactly been triumphant so far. Indiewire’s Ben Travers begins his by noting that anyone enamored of “Eastbound & Down” (which was likewise co-created by McBride and Jody Hill) “will be pleased if not ecstatic” with the new comedy co-starring Walton Goggins, though he himself is “on the fence” after six episodes.

READ MORE: Review: ‘Vice Principals’ Charms With A-Grade Class Clowns, But This ‘VP’ Is No ‘Veep’

Most others are similarly lukewarm. One exception is the A.V. Club‘s Danette Chavez, who gives the show an A- and writes that, “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.”

Variety‘s Sonia Saraiya lands on the opposite end of the spectrum, calling the show “an unwelcome insight into the mind of small-minded assholes; a farcical love letter to insensitive pricks” and identifying a “glaring problem” in the fact that, “while the show never quite endorses Neal and Lee’s actions, but it does think that you, the audience, will find their hijinks amusing.”

READ MORE: HBO’s ‘Vice Principals’ Starring Danny McBride Will Only Run For Two Seasons

In between the two extremes are RogerEbert.com’s Brian Tallerico, who says the show is “unlikely to win over anyone not already converted,” and Vulture‘s Jen Chaney, who argues that it “marinades so much in its own outrageousness, it’s depressingly easy to imagine that some people will laugh at the show’s antics for all the wrong reasons.”

“Vice Principals” currently boasts a 57 on Metacritic and a 55% on Rotten Tomatoes. The first episode airs tonight on HBO.

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