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, Andy Garcia, Omar Miller, Donovan W. Carter, London Brown and Jazmyn Simon, the second season will be available to own on Blu-ray/DVD January 31, 2017, while season 3 is set to air summer, 2017.
A superstar during his football playing days, Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson) tries to find the same success as a financial manager for current players in sun-splashed Miami. Heeding his boss Joe’s instruction to “monetize his friendships,” Spencer builds a client base of young phenoms and veteran stars alike, but his role in their lives far exceeds money management as he struggles to help them navigate the many traps that come with life as big-time “ballers.
After a mostly positive first season, Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) and his partner Joe (Rob Corddry) were due for a few more headaches… Problems arise left and right all season long, which again takes place between football seasons (I’m not sure we saw ANY of an actual game this season, it was all behind-the-scenes stuff). That’s what I love about Ballers, because I couldn’t care less about the sport, but I’m fascinated by the business of sports agents negotiating contracts and dealing with the competition. That’s our main source of frustration in season 2 – a rival agent named Andre (Andy Garcia) comes into the picture and has a nasty past with Spencer, so the two butt heads in a big way.
Johnson battles plenty of demons this year, including his addiction to pain pills, lingering injuries and dealing with the frustrations of pleasing existing clients while they act like dumbasses and hiring new clients (who also act like dumbasses – see the redneck who drives a hoverboat in the everglades). Johnson truly delivers a stellar performance this season and I think he does some of the best dramatic work of his career here. As an added bonus — If you’re a football fan, be prepared for the most NFL cameos in the history of cameos (hell a lot of these guys have very important supporting guest roles all season).
I was pleasantly surprised by Ricky’s storyline this season, which has him exploring options after he’s cut from the team. It’s fascinating to see how a seasoned veteran deals with his legacy, while he’s also trying to rebuild a relationship with his father who comes back into his life late in the game and becomes a major influence on him. John David Washington is my favorite supporting actor on this series, tied firmly with Rob Corddry (who always nails everything he does – 100% of the time). Watch for the moment when Corddry asks what’s wrong with owning a cat named Socks. “He’s adorable.” Probably my favorite line of his all season long and it happens in an episode where he chases an Alpaca around the suburbs.
Both comedy and drama were elevated this season of Ballers, making an already solid show just that much better. There are still some pacing issues and in many ways the series is a tad predictable when it comes to the overall story arcs working themselves out miraculously by the finale, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an entertaining and incredibly chill viewing experience overall.
Inside The Episode Features on all 10 Episodes. Once again, the Blu-ray does NOT pack a bunch of extras. You get 2-3 minute recaps after every episode featuring cast and crew interviews going over highlights. These are pretty cool and I do recommend watching them between episodes, but they aren’t anything incredibly essential or detailed, meaning that if you watched Ballers as it aired – there’s not much reason to owning the Blu-ray set. That is… unless you like watching rich people’s fancy ass cars in glorious high-definition. So many rich people…So many expensive cars… and pools… and boats.