A promising start to say the least.


The professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties – a team that defined an era, both on and off the court.


JOHN C. REILLY – I am a big, big fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. I’ve been looking forward to this show for months upon months now. To me, THE key element of the show’s success would be within the role of the person who was going to play one Dr. Gerald (or Jerry) Hatten Buss, The freewheeling playboy owner of the Los Angeles lakers. He is a man with a very storied reputation. Everything that this dynasty became in the ’80s really does begin with him, and if you’re going to start the show off right, you have to get somebody that embodies the charisma and really comedic timing mixed with a sense of dramatic panache. A person who was going to break that fourth wall in a way that only Adam McKay projects tend to do, and immediately earn your trust and your attention.

This was a role that was supposed to go to Will Ferrell supposedly, and with all due respect, I’m glad it’s Reilly. There is an earnestness that is being portrayed that I’m not too sure Farrell could have hit. It’ll be very interesting to see where he goes from here.


THE AESTHETIC – I’m pretty sure there’s going to be many people that will negatively talk about the way that this show is filmed. It’s going to throw some people off given how grainy and how retro the vibe looks. To some it will be distracting, but to me it’s an ingenious move. Every time we see a member of Magic Johnson’s family for example, it really does help to see their 70s clothes and lingo matchup with the overall aesthetic of the show. I wish more period pieces like this did things in this way.

THE FINALS MVP MONOLOGUE – For those of you who aren’t aware, Jerry West is the only man to win the MVP of the NBA finals on a LOSING team. This is something that sports pundits glorify when speaking of the man to this day. And of course he’s never went on that length about how being the best player on the floor while having his team lose to a HATED rival felt.

This monologue fully encaptures what could have been the shame in achieving such an honor. Jerry West lost a lot of championships, and he’s also known for that as much as anything else. It makes sense how much pain there is behind this monologue, and it makes a lot of sense. Jason Clarke is an amazing actor, he’s proven that over and over again. I’m really excited to see what he does in this show.

NIXON VS MAGIC – There are many stories that many people tell about what actually happened during that pickup game at the Playboy Mansion between Norm Nixon (wonderfully played by his real life son Devaughn Nixon) and Magic Johnson (played by Quincy Isaiah) that they cover pretty well here. But one of the things I couldn’t help but to notice that was dramatized for dramatic effect was the moment that Nixon steps over Isaiah in a disrespectful manner, pushing him to the ground while doing so.

From what I understand everything that follows that moment is completely improvised… the crowd reaction, Nixon’s reaction, and most importantly the absolute Kobe Bryant level DEATH STARE that is on Quincy Isaiah’s face. Had I not known that was improvised through things that I’ve read about this show, I probably wouldn’t have caught it. But I did, and it is some pretty intense television to watch.


“I don’t care who you are.. if you’re black white or polka dot, if you’re a human being with two eyes and a heart, that kid… (Magic Johnson) makes you feel good”

-Jerry Buss-

If you’ve ever seen him play, then you know…


EVERYTHING INVOLVING KAREEM – I understand that to tell the story of this team you have to start with Magic and Jerry Buss, and I understand Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s historical relevance as an iconic figure has many other chapters than the Showtime Lakers. I hope (and completely have faith) that they will explain why he was considered to be the greatest basketball player who’s ever lived up until the mid-90s or so. His presence in this episode is very underutilized, and I understand we have many more episodes to go. Hopefully he’s not subjugated to having a season-long subplot.


In closing, I understand that sports shows are going to have a niche audience. I understand that sports fans who are not fans of this very WIDELY despised basketball franchise (especially Boston Celtics fans) might not be interested in it either. But it is important to note that every single one of the players and coaches being portrayed in this episode are now very REVERED figures in the world of sports to this day, no matter how they come off here. There’s a reason for that.

And I trust that Adam McKay can show us why over the course of this show.  


Eli Brumfield

Eli Brumfield in an actor/screenwriter from Seattle Washington, living in Los Angeles.

He is the host of the RV8 Podcast.

He hates the word cinefile, but considering how many films he consumes in a week...and how many films he goes out of his way to see, no matter the genre...he kinda seems to be one.

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