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HBO's Ballers
#1
AI'm not into this alpha male, lifestyle porn, sports dramedy, but have at it if you wish.
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#2
AI don't have HBO.

#NotABaller
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#3
AEvery ad I see for this looks like HBO is saying "ok, so we canceled Entourage, here's some horrible culture to replace it ok?"

Cool dudes being assholes to "beta dudes" - of COURSE The Rock is an ALPHA BRO! BRO! - while women are just sex holes for the alphas to obtain because they're so rich.

Fuck this.
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#4
AI'm watching this right now with a sliver of my brain and that is exactly what it is, there's even some kind of Ari Gold-lite character played by Rob Corddry.

Dwayne Johnson can act and he has presence, but twenty minutes in, I don't give a shit about anything going on in this show.
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#5

I saw Peter Berg talking to Dan Patrick about this last year.  I thought it was maybe a grown-up FNL, maybe some Playmakers.  Either of that would be fine.  More than fine.  But yeah, Entourage is the term that Johnson keeps bringing up when talking about Ballers.  Forget that.

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#6

The fact that they're using NFL team names and logos tells ya it's going to be more DRAFT DAY than NORTH DALLAS FORTY.



I'll watch it a few more times just to see if Johnson's charisma is enough to carry it. Gonna be a tall order.

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#7

There were actually more jokes in the premiere of True Detective, the most terminally self-serious show ever created, than in this "comedy".  Johnson and Corddy deserve better.

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#8

Interesting to see Wahlberg as a producer. It really does feel like entourage. The "turtle" character even got a job at a Chevy dealership.



I gotta say that I loved the opening credits sequence. It made the point of all the hard work and what it morphs into at the highest level. Since both my sons are year round basketball players, I do find this interesting. I will be watching for a while to see what this show does and what issues it focuses on.

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#9
ABummer, I was kind of hoping this would be more 1st and Ten than Entourage.
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#10

It's like if Entourage made even less effort at being funny, and Vince ended every party with some lip service about how they shouldn't be living so extravagantly.

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#11
Quote:

Originally Posted by andrevellozo View Post

Every ad I see for this looks like HBO is saying "ok, so we canceled Entourage, here's some horrible culture to replace it ok?"

Cool dudes being assholes to "beta dudes" - of COURSE The Rock is an ALPHA BRO! BRO! - while women are just sex holes for the alphas to obtain because they're so rich.

Ok so I might have to check this out.

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#12

Berg has done some terrific work on HBO on the dangers of football with his State of Play series.  Hoping they'll work some of that in, he's about the only shot at this show having some depth, but Berg's back doing Deepwater Horizon.



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#13
ACaught both episodes. It's fine. The Rock elevates the material and turns I show I'd never watch into something I can fall asleep to on Sundays.

I do suddenly want to watch the lpga now though.
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#14

This is one milquetoast of a show.

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#15
Quote:

Originally Posted by Subotai View Post
 

This is one milquetoast of a show.



Yeah, I watched one episode (I think it was the second one) and completely tuned out.  The Rock's charm only goes so far in carrying such a complete nothing of a show.

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#16

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...of-denial/



Makes a nice tonic to this show

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#17

With my amazing powers of perception I just realized Ricky Jarrett is Denzel Washington's son...shit.

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#18
ANot only do I wish that the NFL was lying about their denials to get this show canned, I wish they had been successful.
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#19

It's a testament to The Rock's charisma that I stuck with this shit show all the way up to the first half of the second season, just to watch him.

I had high hopes for this, as I really like stories that take a behind-the-scenes peek at certain self-contained enviorments, showing the mechanisms that power them, bombarding the viewer with dialogue full of technical jargon. And the high stakes world of first league sports seemed like a interesting subject.

The problem isn't the "bro" culture that BALLERS tries to potray (which in itself can be an entertaining subject). It's that it potrays it in the blandest way possible. I mean there's nothing here other than The Rock's charisma and suit-clad frame. The dialogue is dry, the insider business plot of two rookies trying to navigate the shark infested waters of sports entertainment (which on paper should have been the show's strongest point), completely lacks any drive, and the emotional problems the characters face are laughable. After the first few episodes I wondered if perhaps BALLERS was unfairly misread by cirtics as a vapid story of idiots and their stupid problems, but was really a story about a guy trying to act as big brother figure to kids getting their life chewed up by a meatgrinder business and culture. Which seemed like an interesting idea, but that theme also ended up poorly written and half-hearted. The show is a constant barrage of "COKE, HOES, DOUGH, BLING!!!", but without a fraction of the wit, sharpness or even the entertainment factor of The Wolf of Wallstreet. 

Even weaker are the show's impotent attempts at romanticising football. Trying to potray it as this bittersweet game that gives so much, but can take all of it away if a man isn't careful, and showing how merciless this buisness is and how it chews up most of the people that go through it. Again, this sounds interesting enough on paper, but BALLERS approaches it with no true drama or autheticity. It mostly just adds up to characters spewing banalities like: "This the game that kills us", "I came, I saw, I conquered" and similar shit. What could have been an emotional center of the show, ends up unconvincing and dry. And I am talking about the stuff that's supposed to be the heavier elements of the show. Couse otherwise the most BALLERS can offer are oh such fascinating sub-plots as Denzel Washington's son purchase of a 400000 ring for his girlfriend. 

Even Corddry is wasted, as his role is basically reduced to embracing his sleazy image and constantly grinning like a creep.

Oh, and was it so hard to find young actors with a heavyweight physique? It's supposed to be a show about football stars, and yet The Rock is the only one of the cast who looks like he could succesfully tackle someone. The other guys playing team-carrying, football professionals look like children compared to him.

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#20
Bumping this thread since the Series Finale after five seasons is on this Sunday. Can't really add anything to the discussion that hasn't already been said but I would only add that over five seasons, the show never really found that second gear. It's a shame because the cast of this show can handle something with more meat on its bones. Also, I had no idea this was supposed to be a comedy. Never laughed once.
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