McBride's shows, from Eastbound & Down to Vice Principals to the The Righteous Gemstones, can be an acquired taste. "It is possible that, but for professional reasons, I would never have seen any of these shows — life is short, and television series are long — but I never regret the time spent watching them," says Robert Lloyd. "They’re tightly plotted in a way that draws you from one episode to the next, and fine performances, from players well and less well known, strike individual notes that keep characters free from cliché. I don’t think they’re funny, exactly, though every so often a bit of slapstick or a throwaway aside will make me laugh out loud. But it’s not so much because the jokes are bad — though they sometimes are — as that laughter doesn’t seem to be quite the appropriate response to all the pain and humiliation. The series do achieve something like depth over the long run, and if it’s only a matter of the characters becoming familiar, that also makes them more recognizably human — more understandable, more forgivable. There is a carefully placed hole at the center of many McBride characters — not just the ones he plays but most of the ones he writes — that only love can fill. As a writer, he’s a sentimentalist at heart, which is what makes his comedies, for all their low humor and violence, basically old-fashioned. They’re feel-good, quasi-black comedies in which the good feeling is delayed as long as possible — but it comes." ALSO: In praise of the Danny McBride multiverse.