Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Omar Benson Miller, Troy Garity, John David Washington, Rob Corddry, Dule Hill, Jazmyn Simon
It’s definitely a lot like Entourage, which it’s been compared to. As a long time fan of Entourage, I can see the comparisons. It’s also not like Entourage, in that the main cast members are all professional athletes (for the most part), and not “friends of”, so it’s not a carbon copy. But, Ballers seems to want to focus primarily on Dwayne Johnson’s Spencer and his core group of friends. Spencer himself is an ex-athlete, looking for life after pro sports. His friends are both currently in the game (Washington) and not in the game (Miller). So there’s the balance of both worlds.
The problem is that it’s not really funny, and it wastes Johnson. Everything that we love about Johnson in his films seems to be gone. Whoever is writing this show doesn’t know how to write for The Rock. The only cast member I was even remotely connected to was John David Washington, as a James Harden clone (but for pro-football). Everyone else? We could recast the show next week and I wouldn’t bat an eye. Does Rob Corddry ever tire of playing asshats? Or is he completely cool with being type cast as obnoxious losers?
I loved Entourage from beginning to end, and its possible that Ballers might take some time to get rolling, but the pilot was flat. The Rock deserves better than this.
FINAL GRADE: C-