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Ballers - Yay Arena - Review




While I was watching the season recap, I realized that there was a fundamental question about this season's story arc that I never got answered: if Spencer got his dream deal, how does that benefit him? Yes, they kept talking all season about making a lot of money. And yes, Spencer's clearly thinking about preserving some kind of legacy for himself. But truly, in the day-to-day reality of Spencer's dream come true, how would life be different for him?

It doesn't look like we'll ever know the answer to that question. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

RECAP

So Spencer's big pitch to the owners of the NFL is finally happening. In the previous episode, his principal financial backer (and provider of HUNDREDS of acres in prime Las Vegas real estate) switched over to a competing bid, leaving Spencer's measly little team of himself, Joe, and Brett Anderson.

But Spencer decides to get into bed with Anderson's older brother, Julian, who can throw considerable private funds at the building of a new arena - while the competition relies on public funds to supplement the project. Spencer also pitches the idea to keep the Raiders where they are, in a marketers' haven, with a considerable fan base eager to fight for them. The NFL owners like the first part of the pitch, but don't care so much for the second part.

In a fit of moral outrage, Joe and Spencer decide to pull out of the messy NFL deal all together, and return to ASM. They claim that the staff (who they recently let go) will get to stay, and expand into other sports and territories at their discretion.

Meanwhile, Ricky decides he doesn't want to chase any more football contracts until he gets his head straight. Apparently that means a trip to Los Angeles, where his baby mama is shacking up with the baby grandma. After a quick reconciliation, Ricky submits a video post claiming his retirement from football, despite the objections of his father and his friend (whose name is TTD - anyone know what that's short for?).

Charles travels to L.A. alongside Ricky to interview for a General Manager position with the Chargers, and after briefly trying to "fit the mold", he decides to go with his gut and give an impassioned speech about how the football team isn't just the players, it's the administration, too. We don't find out if he was hired, but he does get to keep at an interview that he thought he'd lost, so I guess we'll see where he ends up next season.

But oddly, I think the most interesting "see what happens" moment came from Vernon and Reggie. Reggie's always seemed ambitious, and eager to solve Vernon's problems. If a bit misguided, and possibly riding on ASM's coattails a bit, he earns the attention of another player who's got a potentially damaging smartphone video with a sexy lady. Reggie reassures the new player that if things hit the fan, they'll be able to handle it.

DISCUSSION

Honestly, I found this finale pretty dissatisfying. Perhaps it was silly of me to think the show would depart from its core storylines about sports financial management, but after a whole season of watching Spencer push and shove and fight for the Raiders deal, it's disappointing to think of things going back to a smaller scale. I guess I'll have to get used to it.

One thing I think we won't see next year is a continuation of Spencer and Chloe's relationship, and I'm kinda relieved about it. After her completely emotionless expression of anger at him in this final episode, I'm ready for Spencer to make a genuine connection with a new woman. Have you noticed that pretty much all of his love interests are women he knew already? When is he gonna connect with a woman in the here and now, who knows him as a buff manager instead of a buff footballer? We'll have to tune back in next season!

Also, I want to circle back to Ricky's friend, TTD. I seriously never picked up his name before this episode, and I had to go look it up on IMDB, but I find myself really looking forward to seeing more of him in the future. He's been a steady source of support and humor in Ricky's storylines, and he's never overacting or hammy. He's a great supporting cast choice. Any other great supporting cast choices you can think of?

And since I'm into the question section of this post, I'll end with a few biggies: What were your thoughts on the finale? What are your hopes for next season? Any unexplored territory that you wish they'd covered? Comment away, Baller fans!



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