‘Last Chance U’ Review: Netflix’s Fantastic Football Series Heads to a New Town with the Same Sharp, Human Focus

IndieWire | 7/20/2018 | Staff
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Much as the sports world likes to put emphasis on X factors and MVPs, it’s rarely one individual that makes a disproportionate difference on a team. Especially in a sport like football, with so many moving parts and a constantly changing mechanism of fragile psyches, complex plays, and a bevy of coaching staff members, it’s hard for a single person to rise so far above their peers. Even in the cases when a transformational talent suits up, rarely does a concentrated narrative around a sole player benefit any sort of story around the team itself.

In its third season, the Netflix docuseries “Last Chance U” reinforces that idea alongside another one that it’s explored in plenty of games on the field and countless hours of life decisions off of it: No one’s life story can be told the same way. The series has bolstered that philosophy while still taking a consistent approach to three different fall campaigns embedded in the world of junior college football. It’s a place where players are often seen as being at the likely end of their career, whether at the farthest reaches of their talent wise or potentially of personal misconduct were wet so often gets lumped into football speak as “character issues.”

Chance - U

“Last Chance U”

“Last Chance U” director Greg Whiteley balances a majority of the season tracking Brown’s efforts with the individual efforts of about a dozen Pirates players. They include former top-ranked high school QB prospect Malik Henry, Nevada offensive lineman Kerry Buckmaster and Florida transplant linebacker Bobby Bruce. Isolated interviews with these featured players happen in various places: dorm rooms, study halls, locker rooms, and on casual strolls on Independence backroads. For each Pirate, Whiteley not only tracks them through practice and their classroom endeavors in Kansas, but follows them back home for an...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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