Miami Dolphins Not Central To HBO’s Ballers: Review


HBO premiered it’s new 30 minute show “Ballers” last night at 10:00 and like many who subscribe to the service Ballers’ premier became a must watch for Miami Dolphins fans. So how did it live up to the hype? Well for starters most of the hype has surrounded the use of the teams name and logo. Once you get past the fact that you are not actually watching a show about the Dolphins you settle into the show itself and realize that Miami is not the central component to the show.

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While the Dolphins were predominantly talked about and will continue to be referenced throughout the series the focus of the story is an ex-football player trying to make the adjustment in life after the game has ended. Dwayne “Rock” Johnson is believable in his role as Spencer Strassmore. Cameos abounded in episode one as DeSean Jackson, Antonio Brown, and Steven Jackson among others made appearances but it was two former Dolphins that stole the show.

As Ricky Jerret played by Denzel Washington’s son John David Washington approached the large fishing boat owned by the Dolphins head coach, he is met with two very familiar faces. Late as he typically seems to be and coming off an off-field incident that got him cut from the Green Bay Packers, Jerret is met not only by the coach but by Don Shula and Larry Csonka who were about the boat for a fishing trip.

“You are an asshole”, Shula said to Washington’s Jerret leaving him somewhat speechless. Csonka chimed in repeating, “Bad life choices man”. It was comical but to be honest it was more or less a tip of the hat to two great former players. As a Dolphins fan I could appreciate it.

Overall, Baller’s was worth watching but it leaves me wondering if the series will keep my interest as it moves along. Once the realization that the show is not about the Miami Dolphins it becomes just another TV show. Albeit a really well acted and directed show and with HBO behind the wheel it has a more realistic feel.

The show itself wasn’t bad but I wouldn’t necessarily give it the four stars it currently has on IMDB. Maybe more like three stars with the possibility of getting better or worse. After one week and 30 minutes it’s hard to really connect to any of the characters as there were far too many cameo’s. Even Rob Corddry who appears as “Joe” who works for an agent service seems a bit out of place, and I like Corddry.

I will watch the 2nd episode next week but that’s because I still have HBO for another few weeks after Game of Thrones ended. It’s not a show that I will devote paying $16.00 a month to watch. Make no mistake, I will watch the rest of the series unless it totally loses my interest but HBO on Demand can take care of that when I opt to sign up for it again down the road.