WINNING TIME: THE RISE OF THE LAKERS DYNASTY SERIES REVIEW
Have you ever wondered how the Los Angeles Lakers became the basketball institution they are today? Adam McKay, HBO, and their creative team are here to teach you all about it in Winning Time. Adapted from the book by Jeff Pearlman, this first season follows the first year of the team’s ‘Showtime’ era after Jerry Buss (John C. Reilly) buys the franchise. Seeing that the team needed to boost their profile, Jerry assembles a powerhouse managing and coaching team to assemble a dream team of players. Among that dream team are veteran players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Solomon Hughes) and Norm Nixon (DeVaughn Nixon), along with a certain rookie named Earvin “Magic” Johnson (Quincy Isaiah). Will this team rise up to…no, let’s not kid ourselves. We already know that the Lakers become one of the best teams in the league following this. That said, does the show still keep our attention in explaining how that all happened? Justin, Melina, Frank, and Bradly decided to pass the ball to each other and give their thoughts on a show that, while sometimes factually inaccurate, still entertains and informs!
CREATED BY: Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht
STARRING: John C. Reilly, Quincy Isaiah, Jason Clarke, Sally Field, Adrien Brody, Gaby Hoffmann, Jason Segel, Hadley Robinson, DeVaughn Nixon, Tracy Letts, Solomon Hughes, Tamera Tomakili, Brett Cullen, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Spencer Garrett, Sarah Ramos, Molly Gordon, Rob Morgan, Delante Desouza, Austin Aaron, Jimel Atkins, Rachel Hilson, Gillian Jacobs, Wood Harris, LisaGay Hamilton, Michael Chiklis, David Purdham, Rory Cochrane, Mike Epps, Orlando Jones, Julianne Nicholson
Justin Zarian (Screener Squad, Eye on the Prize, Breakfast Pub, Assistant Site Manager)
Justin’s fate as a movie fanatic was written in the stars when his birth forced his parents to cancel their planned Oscar viewing party. While growing up in California, he was often seen in front of the television watching and re-watching Star Wars, Jurassic Park, classic Disney movies and a steady stream of animated shows. This eventually led to a B.A. in Film at Brigham Young University and an Outstanding Student Teacher Award for displaying a level of film knowledge so insane that even his fellow film students couldn’t compete. He received his M.A. from Syracuse University and is currently pursuing a teaching certificate, but still volunteers at One of Us every so often for the fun of it. His hobbies include non-stop film conversations, wondering how Mass Effect 3’s ending went so wrong, espousing the joys of shooting guns (but not hunting, as he’s quick to note), writing the next great American television show in his head, and anything else entertainment related. You can find him on Facebook once in a blue moon.
Frank Calvillo (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)
Born and raised in South Texas, Frank currently lives in Austin and has been in love with movies ever since his father showed him some Three Stooges shorts when he was five years old. Today he loves all kinds of film, regardless of era, country, budget or genre. He believes every film has an audience and is at least one person’s favorite movie. After writing for Sight & Sound and Slackerwood, he now writes for Cinapse where his increasingly random taste in all flavors of cinema (from Rashomon to Mars Attacks!) continues to thrive. His ultimate goal is to write a script for his boyhood crush, Michelle Pfeiffer.
Melina Eames (Screener Squad)
Melina first discovered that she carried the nerd gene at the tender age of four following her exposure to a little film called A New Hope. In the twenty-some years that followed, Melina continued to grow into her geek identity through the discovery of Batman, Mst3k, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and The Mandalorian. But perhaps her most significant discovery came at the age of fourteen when a night of YouTube mining led her to the review site of Spill.com. Melina became a devoted follower whose fandom did not end with the site’s demise. By then, it had worked its dark magic and left her with a love and appreciation for film criticism that she has yet to shrug.
Bradly Martin (Screener Squad, Eye on the Prize, Breakfast Pub)
Bradly Martin was born in the united states and grew up on a healthy diet of sports, films, and books. A rather shy lad who kept to himself, Bradly soon discovered the best way to know a person was to know what people liked. Throughout the years Bradly became a fan of many things and a fanatic of none. From Doctor Dre, to Doctor Strange and the who’s who of Whos. From Playstation to the Dreamcast and Marvel to DC. From LeBron James to James Bond and Lord of the Rings to Lord Palmerston (or Pitt the Elder if you agree with Wade Boggs) and is a huge fan of dad jokes and randomly obscure Simpsons references. Armed with a vast knowledge of comics, films, and pop culture. Bradly traveled the world making friends and sharing takes. As a young man Bradly married the love of his life young and grew older every year with each new child brought into the brood. If trends continue, Scientists predict that .2% of Canada (where Bradly and family reside) will be populated by Bradly’s children by the year 2029. You can hear him leading and listening to his favorite critics on the Screener Squad and Eye on the prize and maybe even provide some comments of his own.
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