I just got finished catching up on all the Playmakers episodes for this season. For those of you who don’t know, this is ESPN‘s first attempt at a dramatic series and I have to admit, it’s pretty good.
Of course, I do have a soft spot for football and, ahem, football players, but regardless, the series is compelling. At first, the storylines and the main characters we follow seem a little formulaic, but the show takes advantage of the appeal movies like Any Given Sunday have. It shows the exciting part of football that we usually see and love– the actual playing of the game and all the athleticism that goes with it– but it also shows the challenges the players, like all professional athletes and ultimately, people, face. Early episodes of the show revolved around Omar Gooding’s character, but frankly, watching him get high got old real quick. More interesting are plotlines like how they handled the domestic violence issue (it really was an accident!) and more recently, addressing the dangerous situation homosexuals face in professional sports. And at the end of the day, mixed in with all the soap opera drama, there’s still good ol’ football and inspiring stories of players overcoming challenges while playing the game, like Olczyk’s big play at the end of the latest episode.
I don’t know if I’d watch a show about professional baseball players. Maybe one about basketball players (let’s not even talk about the Kobe situation). But I’ll keep watching this one, especially if they keep showing all those very large, very good-looking men in the locker room.