WINNING TIME: THE RISE OF THE LAKERS DYNASTY: SEASON ONE
Starring: John C. Reilly, Quincy Isaiah, Jason Clarke, Sally Field, Adrien Brody, Gaby Hoffmann, Jason Segel, Hadley Robinson, DeVaughn Nixon, Tracy Letts, Solomon Hughes and Tamera Tomakili
Creators: Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht
Winning Time has been mired in controversy over misrepresentations and historical inaccuracies, but here’s the thing: I could not care less. This insider look at the rise of the L.A. Lakers soars on the back of its flawless casting, 70s pastiche, and stylistic flourishes (e.g., breaking the fourth wall). Truth be told, I don’t even like the NBA (NCAA, baby!), but I was increasingly captivated by this series every week. The Any Given Sunday meets The Last Dance approach works fantastically, especially in grounding some of the wilder elements, and it makes Winning Time perhaps the best new series of 2022 so far.
Winning Time is a slam dunk. Some of the earlier episodes struggle to get going, but it finds its footing by the fourth episode. As someone who isn't a sports fan at all, I was captivated by the details of the Showtime Lakers’ first year. The style, courtesy of producer/premiere director Adam McKay, helps keep even the smaller moments entertaining and fascinating. The cast list makes for one of my favorite ensembles in years, and the series blends comedy with drama pretty perfectly. This show is definitely a winner and I can’t wait for Season Two.