What do you do when your career ends?
Ballers tells the story of Spencer (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson), who is a retired football superstar trying to find a foothold as a financial manager at Anderson Financial to current and former players.
When the audience is first introduced to Spencer, he is having flashbacks to an event on the football field. That event leads him to take pain medication on a daily basis. After a friend is suddenly killed he takes his job a little more seriously. His boss Jim (Rob Corddry), tells him he needs to monetize his friendships as he was brought in for his contacts.
Throughout the pilot we are introduced to Spencer’s inner circle, which includes a talented but volatile wide receiver Ricky (John David Washington), who seeks to balance his off-field antics with his passion for the game; Charles (Omar Miller), a reluctantly retired lineman who’s finding it hard to adjust to civilian life; and rookie sensation Vernon (Donovan Carter), whose promise never to forget where he came from causes a lot of troubles. Spencer juggles each of their problems with a little help from Jason (Troy Garity), a top-tier sports agent,
One of Ballers major selling points is its cast. Dwayne Johnson is a guy who has proven he can be versatile with his roles but here’s hoping we see a lighter side to his character as the series develops. Rob Couadry’s character Jim steals the show with his limited screen time.
The series is promoted as a comedy but is much more than that. It has characters which are relatable and engrossing, that on first glance seem like your typical sports stars, but they aren’t. There are very few negatives to be found, although only half an hour episodes works both in the series favour and against it. It’s light and doesn’t require too much time, but limited screen time to cover everyone stories means there isn’t enough of some characters.
Created by Steve Levinson, the guy who gave us Entourage, Ballers shares the same feeling and that’s not a bad thing but time will tell if Ballers can be as successful and I’m betting it will be.
3.5 stars out of 5
Ballers premieres Tuesday, September 15 7:30 pm on Showcase