Ballers Season 3 Doubles Down on Entertaining Rich A-Holes Acting Like Rich A-Holes (Blu-ray Review)

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From HBO and creator Stephen Levinson, comes the half-hour sports comedy drama series Ballers. Starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Rob Corddry, John David Washington, Steve Guttenberg, Steven Weber, Omar Miller, Richard Schiff, Donovan W. Carter, London Brown and Jazmyn Simon, the third season is available to own now on DVD/Blu-ray, while season 4 is set to debut August 12, 2018.

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After baring his soul at the rookie symposium and undergoing hip surgery, Spencer Strasmore returns with a new outlook and fresh goals, hoping to forge bonds with new players across the country while improving his relationships with existing clients. With league certification in hand, Joe Krutel and Spencer go after a jackpot deal. Ricky Jerret’s newfound discoveries affect his personal and professional life; Vernon Littlefield and Reggie accept a risky endorsement deal; ex-player Charles Greane learns that working in the front office is as rough as playing on the gridiron; and Jason Antolotti continues to orchestrate deals to satisfy both players’ bank accounts and their oversized egos. In an ever-changing business where the shelf life for stardom and multi-million-dollar contracts are short, Spencer is intent on proving that the key to successful sports management isn’t just about making money and having fun – it’s about delivering on the promises you make.


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Review

Although he certainly ain’t no Andy Garcia (whom I really miss on Ballers…), Steve Guttenberg plays one helluva dickhead. That’s what I love about Ballers – seeing all these rich assholes living it up and then having The Rock call them out for being such rich asshole loser dickheads (because The Rock is humble rich you know? not asshole rich). Much of season 3 features Spencer (The Rock) trying to negotiate a deal to bring a professional football team to Las Vegas. While Spencer is starting to learn that maybe he’s better off being a sports agent and not a franchise creator, Vernon is starting up a weed promotion which is a great idea… Ricky is wanting to start a family because that’s also a good idea considering his stability as a human being… Then Charles is making moves behind the scenes and I actually found this storyline to be the best of the bunch not involving the Vegas debacle. Omar Miller is a fantastic supporting actor and I think this season was his best work on the show to date. It’s interesting seeing how former pro ballers adapt to the cut-throat industry that seems even more vicious than the field and Miller’s performance as Charles was perfect.

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But the majority of season 3 of Ballers was all about Spencer’s quest to bring a football team to Las Vegas. That task involves swooning rich assholes like Steve Guttenberg, who has the money they need but did I mention he’s a total dick? Cause he is and I loved seeing Guttenberg really go for it here as the show’s new main antagonist. It was also very intriguing to see Richard Schiff (Spencer and Joe aka Rob Corddry’s boss) turn into a likeable human being this season. Sorta… Again, Ballers is full of so many rich asshats that it can be hard to relate to the HBO comedy series. But Schiff really came into his own this season and I really enjoy his character being taken down a peg or two, because it did humanise him to some degree.

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The performances were all fine and the writing was solid this year, but by the end of season three I’m left pondering to myself, what’s the point of this show anymore? We spent an entire season with this Las Vegas deal and all the endless nightmare hurdles it had to go through, only for several other characters and storylines to either re-set entirely, or conclude in ways I can see these characters never returning to the series. What is the point of Ballers? Is it seeing Spencer trying to impregnate some chick because he wants a kid for no reason other than to prove he’s a human being himself? Ballers feels like it’s motivated and written by rich people who have trouble relating to society and that’s kind of annoying to me at this point. Although season three was strong, I’m concerned for the overall story arc in general. Ballers is entertaining but there just isn’t enough meat here to care if it exists one way or the other and that’s depressing. Entertaining — don’t get me wrong — just… still depressing.

Special Features

There are none. Which makes owning a Blu-ray a non-issue and despite the quality of the series itself, you only need to own this set if you’re a completionist and have the other two previous seasons. Otherwise, digital is just fine for a show like Ballers.

Rating:

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