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HBO’s Ballers | Episode 1 Recap


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Rob Cesternino and Antonio Mazzaro take a look at the first episode of the new HBO comedy (drama?) Ballers, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

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  • Ricky

    I enjoyed the show and was glad to see you two had something to say on it. I really liked that Antonio brought up Silicon Valley, because I think the 30 minute episode limits what both can do. I also get the sense that we are going to have to suspend reality from time to move the plot in this show like they have to do on Silicon Valley (ie How does he have exactly $300K and who signs a player after exchanging two sentences).

    The pilot felt a bit rushed to hit all of the characters which makes sense and I hope as the story moves we can focus on different characters and give them more attention. The time limitations left holes in all of the characters stories.

    – Where exactly is Ricky in his career and how did he go from, “you are late, get off my dock.” to “You are on my team, get on my boat.”

    – What was the Rock’s thought process on handing over $300K to a guy who is burning money and when he says he doesn’t even know these people why don’t the discuss that?

    – The relationship between Charles and wife seems really interesting as a contrast to the guy in the opening car crash’s marriage. She is definitely the catalyst to him turning the page, but it happens instantly.

    Overall it has potential to be great, but the odds are more towards just entertaining or a disaster.

    • Anna

      I thought the Silicon Valley thing was interesting because I have never really thought of that show as a drama. I actually have no vested interest in the dramatic part of it and I watch it solely for the comedy. I think Richard’s storyline has been stretched out so far that I really don’t care anymore.
      I recently watched Transparent, which I thought was a good example as well. It’s listed as a comedy and is 30min but I didn’t find it to be all that funny. Definitely found it to be much more dramatic than comedic

  • Zack Coffman

    I felt like Rob was really close minded in his viewing of Ballers. He couldn’t imagine a serious show being 30 minutes just because he hasn’t seen it before and he couldn’t get over the similarities with Entourage.

    Credit to Antonio for taking a more professional and impartial approach by acknowledging the potential, while also admitting that it might fall into a pile of less interesting lifestyle glamour shows.

    Rob every critic and his mother is of course going to criticize this show because it looks like entourage. I like you because you are just a really cool person who reviews TV shows I like. Don’t become a sheep.