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Ballers - Bull Rush - Review

No TV show is perfect. Even a show I like as much as "Ballers" has got its flaws. But one thing I can't ever complain about is how quickly this show moves.

I suppose I should've known, after the abrupt turn at the end of the premier episode last week, that we'd be in for some changes this season. I just didn't realize how fast those changes would come...or how interesting I'd find them. Let's talk plot for a few minutes.


Spencer and Ricky are already camping out in Las Vegas. After Spencer's wiplash-inducing proposal to start a multi-million football empire in Las Vegas last week, he's already boots to the ground, golfing with the city mayor and courting a curmudgeonly councilman to get the wheels turning.

He even ran into an old flame, Chloe, while checking into the hotel, and after a quickie with her, she's pulling favors for him to aide in his escapades. The big challenge he's facing during this episode is being seen as a "tourist" by the locals. He dispels this notion by describing Vegas as a second home to him during his football training days, and by riling up the crowd at a local monster truck rally.

Meanwhile, Ricky discovers a troubling affection for gambling. Although he starts out strong at the Craps Table, an unlucky streak loses him an awful lot of money, and instead of walking away, he signs off on another million dollars worth of chips. We all know Ricky can be intense sometimes, but this was a new sort of intensity...one that may lead to trouble in later episodes.

Back in Miami, Joe is holding down the fort at ASM. He's clearly struggling to meet all the demands of his eager clients, and while he's busy putting out a fire with Vernon, he manages to alienate another athlete named Kisan - more on him in a minute.

Vernon's endorsement deal with a cannabis company called High Powered is ruffling feathers within his team's leadership, and they call Joe to fix it. Joe and Charles head over to Vernon's with a better dollar offer to endorse Tropical Chevrolet (where Charles used to work), but Reggie throws a wrench into things by questioning the legitimacy of the deal. As he and Vernon are further claiming that they're passionately committed to High Powered for the health benefits of its cannabinoids, some representatives in the background are lighting up a joint. So the controversial sponsorship could have repercussions for Vernon in the coming episodes.

And Kisan, the player who Joe irked, is looking for a new manager. Joe sets him up for a meeting with Jason, who ends up getting robbed at gunpoint while waiting for Kisan to show up at the meeting point. Although Kisan has Jason's back in the end, and may even take him on as his manager, it's an inauspicious start to the relationship.

Finally, Charles gets some pointers from his wife about how to communicate more effectively. I want to say more about this, but honestly...there's not much else to tell. Maybe Charles will have more going on next week.


But Charles's wife, Julie, is a good person to kick off this week's discussion, I think. I've always liked her, but it's very difficult to feel genuine emotion for her - and a lot of the women - on this show. Like, I had to go look up Julie's name, because I've forgotten it. Repeatedly.

And it's a trend I notice regularly. Take Spencer's new/old flame, Chloe, who was introduced in this episode. I had to go look her name up, as well, because I didn't catch a name in the first 3 scenes she was in. Maybe it was there, but it was a throwaway - as are a lot of women on this show. What do you guys think? Are any of the other female characters more memorable for you? I always end up defining them by their relationships to the male characters instead of remembering them on their own, but maybe that's just me?

Also, should we worry about Joe being left to manage the relationships for ASM? He's awfully good at putting his foot in his mouth. I did love his chemistry with Virginia, the assistant at the office. But how many weeks do you think will go by before they lose a client and Spencer feels his attention being torn in two?

What else did you like this week? Or dislike? What are you hoping to see in the upcoming episodes? Comment below!

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