Hulu’s ‘Legacy’ Is A Winner, Sports Fan Or Not – Black Girl Nerds

I’ll give you a complete revelation: I’m not a sports fan. Also, I’m not a Los Angeles sports fan. I live in town, but when the The Lakers have won the 2020 NBA Championship, I didn’t know why people were setting off fireworks near the I-5 freeway. I’m disclosing all of this so you know there’s no bias when I say Hulu Legacy: The True History of the LA Lakers is often an extremely interesting and sometimes intensely moving docuseries.

The Antoine Fuqua-directed series covers approximately twenty years of the basketball team’s history, from the Showtime era of the 1980s to the Lake Show of the mid-90s, to the early days of Kobe-Shaq .

Divided into six parts, the series chronicles the formation of the Lakers as a legendary company. The first three episodes cover 1979-1991 Showtime era, a period so named because it was when real estate mogul Dr. Jerry Buss bought the team through unorthodox methods involving mass property liquidations and the Chrysler Builder and made the Lakers a team of breathtaking Los Angeles. From these episodes, we learn how Irving “Magic” Johnson broke into the team; how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took it as team captain; and what a series of head coaching changes, stemming from Pat Riley’s iconic tenure, did to revitalize a team in a sport that, at the time, was less popular than Major League Baseball and college football .

For people who have seen the recent HBO series Buying Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, this will all sound very familiar to you. Being one of those people, I wondered if Legacy would quickly lose steam covering such similar ground. Fortunately – and I imagine that was the point of the whole exercise – that winning time it’s missing Legacy in spades is the full participation of those intimately involved.

Everyone is there: Magic, Kareem, Larry Bird from the Celtics. And that’s only from the Showtime years. As the story progresses, we seemingly see everyone involved who can be physically involved. For later episodes, we get Nick Van Exel, Rick Fox, Phil Jackson. Shaquille O’Neal even makes a grand entrance at the end of episode 5 to mark the importance of his involvement both in the series and in the Lakers team itself.

On top of that, we get interviews with Dr. Buss’ kids, especially the older ones that Buss has kept involved in the family business of owning the Lakers. This is the second and, unfortunately, the least interesting connotation of the word “legacy” – that is, what Dr. Buss wanted to bequeath to his children.

Whether Legacy fails to maintain interest when discussing the sometimes rocky relationship between Dr. Buss’ children, it’s because winning time made the misfortunes of the family much more engrossing thanks to the latitude inherent in fiction. In archival interviews and those provided for the show, the now-adult children (in their 20s and 30s for most of Dr. Buss’s early tenure) tell us things about their relationships that barely interest us.

Jeanie Buss shines as young Buss girl prepares to become one of the few women to attend an NBA owners meeting, but her siblings fail to provide an absorbing insight into their childhood and life. their mentalities other than the fact that their father was a workaholic who wasn’t around much.

In the middle of an episode dealing with the dark days of post-Showtime, the last thing I want to know is how Jimmy really got into horse racing, but his dad wanted him to spend more long at the Forum, home of the Lakers until the Staples Center was built. The family drama, barring the Jeanie segments, ends up being the weakest part of an otherwise strong series.

As the 1990s drag on for the Lakers, we watch the players come and go, and the team can’t seem to win a championship to save their lives. This is where I, whose knowledge of the Lakers ends exactly where the first season of winning time done, I wonder how Legacy will maintain interest. Surprisingly, that’s how the Lakers felt at the time, too.

The second half of the series concerns itself with the drop in sales and player performance in the mid-1990s. How can one repeat or live up to the iconic run of a previous decade? Nothing lasts forever, and as Showtime players retired, the next generation of Lake Show Lakers had to find their footing on a track that was always going to be difficult to follow.

We see disenchanted fans. We see new coaches trying everything to get a talented team focused enough not to be swept out of the playoffs. The swing from fame to infamy is overwhelming to watch, but the pendulum swings back once the hot-headed, gregarious and taciturn Shaq determines that Kobe Bryant would join the team near the end of the decade.

The final episode revolves around Shaq, Kobe, their egos, and their eventual partnership that led to three consecutive championships between 2000 and 2002. For some reason, in a move that makes the six-hour series feel somehow sort of truncated, they never address Kobe’s passing or even his life after 2002, which included sexual assault allegations that briefly tarnished his reputation. The documentary seems to realize that stories never really end, but its choice to cut things so abruptly is perplexing nonetheless.

Legacy is gripping TV and a must-watch for anyone who wants to know what certain eras were really like for the Los Angeles Lakers. fans of winning time, a show to which it is almost impossible not to compare this series, may be shocked that John C. Reilly’s take on Dr. Buss actually changes the man from what he was – an almost prosaic entrepreneur – into an energetic and borderline childish playboy. They can finally realize what the two Magic Johnson and the creators of the HBO series have said: it is not entirely true. And that’s not necessarily the case. They decided to make a good historical fiction, not a documentary.

However, with Legacydirector Antoine Fuqua, along with co-executive producer Jeanie Buss, did it and did it.

While we wish they’d omitted some topics (the Buss family woes) and expanded on others (the Byron Scott spinoffs refusing to “condemn” the Los Angeles rioters of 1992), the overall effect makes the journey feel like it never ends, but there are definitely peaks and valleys worth traversing. I had a blast watching it. I may not know the sport, but I’m sure of a great story.

Legacy: The True History of the LA Lakers premieres August 15 on Hulu.

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