Review: ‘Ballers’ Season 1 Episode 1 (Pilot)

Television
"Review: ‘Ballers’ Season 1 Episode 1 (Pilot)"
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BALLERS | © HBO 2015

Ballers is a HBO half-hour comedy series starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as former NFL player Spencer Strasmore. The show focuses on life after football for Spencer as he transitions from playing for the big league to signing current NFL players as a sports agent. You never know who you may run into. The opening scene is intense as tragedy struck within the first 10 minutes of the series.

It doesn’t take long to found out that Spencer has ties to the tragedy. He is not only a former superstar that had an impact on many of the former and current players, but also a fixer for many problems. It seems that everyone around him needs a helping hand. Now, Spencer may look like he has shit together, but that’s not the case. You would think a man of his caliber has the perfect life with residing in Miami, beautiful woman at home and a bubbling career. Think again! It’s only a matter of time before Spencer can pick up the pieces with his own problems and the chaos of others.

As we get to know Spencer, we meet a few faces along the way. Fellow sports agents Joe (Rob Corddry) and Jason (Troy Garity) are Spencer’s go to and always a call away when he can’t fully get the job done. Charles Greane (Omar Benson Miller) is a former NFL player who hasn’t done much with his life since leaving football. As the clock ticks, reality sets in that he is getting older and can’t lounge everyday pretending he is looking for work. Will Charles work a 9-5 job or return to the love of the game? Ricky (John David Washington) is a troubled NFL player that has the talent, but lacks discipline. He feels as if he can do no wrong and the world revolves around him. A recent club incident made headlines, which almost destroyed his career.

With help from Spencer, Ricky is in it to win and become the man he needs to be. But, can his bad boy ways change? Then there’s Vernon (Donovan W. Carter) who is young and gullible. Once he became pro, his money turned into dust with freeloaders milking all that he had. Vernon thinks because he left Crenshaw that he is obligated to take care of those who’ve always been there. Not to mention, his so called best friend is trying to make all his business decisions. With cash flow running low and borrowing a huge loan from Spencer (a risk that he couldn’t afford), can he talk sense into Vernon before it’s too late? These are just a few of the daily problems in Spencer’s life. He has a few skeletons in his closet that may be more problematic than trying to be a sports agent. The only way to find out is tune into the premiere of Ballers on Sunday, June 21 at 10 pm.

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