'Last Chance U' (Basketball) TV Show Review: It's All or Nothing

by Brad Miller

Features Editor


“Excuses are tools for incompetent people to build monuments of nothing.”


“Last Chance U (Basketball)” couldn’t capture the highs and lows of playing a sport any better than it already has. Blood, sweat and tears build brotherhood even among the most unlikely individuals.


It’s fun, engaging, and relatable throughout its run, and it’s sure to be a must-watch by many basketball fans.


Overview

Former East L.A. player and Head Coach John Mosley attempts to get his first championship with East Los Angeles College and help his players earn scholarships regardless of their backgrounds.


Was that so hard?


Sports media and action films often have one massive turnoff in common, and that’s not giving the audience what they want. If I’m watching a show about basketball, I want to see basketball being played, not everything besides that.


Action films fall into the same category. Often when a fight scene occurs, there are so many rapid cuts that I can’t even see what I came there for in the first place.


“Last Chance U” executes the action perfectly. There are breaks from basketball, but whenever the players are playing, the angles caught are generally the best they could obtain.


It never gets old when you see a player go up for a dunk or send a shot into the stands just because of the way it’s captured on screen.


These are people like you and me.

One of the best aspects of “Last Chance U” is that these players are just like everybody else. They may have made mistakes to end up where they are in the show, but don’t we all? They’re human, and the program goes out of its way to show that.


Getting to know Mosley and his players, especially Deshaun Highler and Joe Hampton, was a great experience. Each player/coach got his time in the spotlight, giving more depth to the entire cast.


For some of them, basketball was the only thing that helped with whatever they were going through. These kids worked hard to get where they are, and you’ll want to see them pull it through in the end.



Brotherhood

Not everyone is excited to be at East L.A., and you can tell by the opening minutes. There’s tension, thrown chairs, and everything in between. However, through pain comes friendship.


With each experience the players go through, you can see how much closer they get to one another.


If you’ve ever participated in sport or on a team, “Last Chance U” will bring back memories when you see them bond as a unit. Some of the show’s best moments are just the breaks from basketball and the team all together having a great time.



Even if you can’t relate personally, these moments the players share with their coaches might just bring a smile to your face.


Conclusion

“Last Chance U” gives its audience exactly what they want to see. Basketball at a college level that doesn’t shy away from the dunks, 3-pointers and blocks that make basketball precisely what it is.


The camera work isn’t too shoddy either: it’s honestly one of the show’s best technical aspects.


Following East L.A. for a season allows the audience to meet players with all sorts of differences and backgrounds who come together on a team, eventually becoming brothers.



Their victories as a unit will make you happy. They just have something about them that makes you want to root for them.


It’s a fun show for basketball fans, and it will undoubtedly make you reminisce about your fondest team experiences. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of sports, it’s worth giving a shot.


Verdict 9 out of 10 Stars. Now streaming on Netflix.

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