HBO’s new show Ballers has been called boring, said that it gets football wrong, and is snarkily mocked. But if we peer beyond the gratuitous cussing and nudity, could there also be a message behind it all?
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays a retired football player turned financial player who tries to smack some financial responsibility into his former colleague team. Also, he flexes his biceps. Also, there’s lots of boobs.
One thing Strassmore tries to do is impress on these young men that buying houses, luxury cars and elephants will leave you busted and begging before you’re 40. And if you didn’t take advantage of the actual college education your scholarship gave you, then your options get sharply limited.
Instead, we’ll see the screw-ups and the fools, and the hangers-on and bloodsuckers that prey on them. But there’s a pathos under it all, a message once whispered into the ears of Roman conquerors, that “All glory is fleeting.”
The tag line of “Ballers” is “Legends don’t retire. They reinvent.”
It’s a change from what you usually see on shows like this, where they celebrate the excess of being a celebrity or … trying to be a celebrity regardless of whether or not you can afford it. Any show that even attempts to teach a younger generation about being smart with your money, even if it’s done subtly, is welcome. We’ll give “Ballers” credit for that.
Plus, The Rock flexes his biceps. And there’s boobs.