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TV Review: New Seasons of 'Ballers,' 'Insecure' Begin With Bang

by Todd A. Smith

 

 “Ballers” stars London Brown as Reggie and Jazmyn Simon as Julie (Photo courtesy of Daniel Ortiz).

 

 

The Real Big Baller Brand 

 

1/2


With all due respect to Lonzo Ball, LaVar Ball and the company Big Baller Brand, but the aforementioned family from Chino Hills, Calif. has not reached true baller status just yet.


Star athletes like Stephen Curry and Terrell Suggs have already been enshrined in the big baller Hall of Fame and along with the talented cast of HBO’s “Ballers,” season three of the hit comedy starts off with a bang.


According to production notes, “Looking to score high-profile clients to pay off his debts to Ricky (John David Washington) and Vernon (Donovan Carter), Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) hits a roadblock with Mr. Anderson (Richard Schiff), who wants to focus on the Las Vegas market by partnering with casino magnate Wayne Hastings, Jr. (Steve Guttenberg).  Ricky ponders fatherhood; Vernon (Donovan Carter) and Reggie (London Brown) eye an edgy endorsement; Larry (Dule Hill) makes Charles (Omar Benson Miller) the face of bad news at a team press conference.”


Season three of “Ballers” balls out like previous seasons because of the relatable storylines and comedic timing of the actors like Johnson.


One does not have to be a sports fan to relate to the storylines of serious medical conditions, relationships issues and financial responsibilities.


Unfortunately, one of the storylines of “Ballers” is a little outdated already because of the Oakland Raiders planned relocation to Las Vegas and the NHL’s expansion into Las Vegas with the Golden Knights.


Outdated storyline notwithstanding, “Ballers” is great because of its sleek photography, glamorous Miami scenery and the lavish lifestyles of the rich, athletic and famous.





“Insecure” stars Natasha Rothwell as Kelli and Amanda Seales as Tiffany (Photo courtesy of Daniel Ortiz).

 

 

Universal Insecurities  

 



Quirky.


Offbeat.


Unique.


Eccentric.


Eclectic.


Hip-Hop.


Perfect Black girl magic for the 21st century.


“Insecure.”


Issa Rae’s HBO comedy “Insecure” perfectly encapsulates the 21st century Black women, not afraid to show her flaws, while she tries to climb the ladder in White corporate America and find the Black love that she dreamed of since childhood.


The problem in life is that nothing happens according to our plan and timeline, and that usually produces the hilarious follies of Issa’s roller-coaster life.


According to production notes, “In the aftermath of her breakup, Issa embraces the chance to explore the single-girl life, just as a challenging new work assignment puts her burgeoning friendship with well-meaning colleague Frieda to the test.  Meanwhile, Molly’s commitment to self-improvement forces her to confront her worth and future at the law firm, while facing the complex realities of relationships.  And Lawrence makes a fresh start at both dating and his new job, but soon discovers that starting over may not be as easy as he thought.”


“Insecure” is excellence personified because it is true to the plight of all successful African-Americans in many ways from climbing the corporate ladder with sophistication to never being too far away from the “ratchetness” of the hood.


In one scene from the season two premiere, the educated ladies who are seeking love from equally educated Black men find a fun night instead with members of the Bloods street gang.


Despite the greatness of “Insecure,” it might be a little too raunchy and ratchet at times for those too “bougie” to appreciate Issa Rae’s masterpiece.

 

Nevertheless, ratchet along with quirky, honest, eccentric, offbeat and insecure is exactly what audiences need from stars so that they can see that their struggle is real and shared by many others.


REGAL RATINGS

FOUR CROWNS=EXCELLENT

THREE CROWNS=GOOD

TWO CROWNS=AVERAGE

ONE CROWN=POOR

This article was published on Friday 21 July, 2017.
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