It’s not often that I rate a Netflix Original so low, as usually Netflix has a minimum level of quality. But somehow, the docuseries Senzo: Murder of a Soccer Star got past the QA department. Yeah, it’s a howler.
A series for TV or internet video about soccer, football or futbol
It isn’t right that how one dies carries more weight than how one lived. Almost 30 years after he was murdered for committing an own goal at WC 1994, the life of Andrès Escobar is portrayed in the Netflix fiction Goles en contra (English title is The Final Score).
This is a heavy-hearted review. I watched Grant Wahl’s docuseries Good Rivals during the two weeks that the USMNT was playing in the group stage of the World Cup in Qatar. I had hoped that Grant would see my review during the WC. But tragically, Grant Wahl suffered a fatal aortic aneursym in the press box of Lusail Stadium, while covering the Argentina-Netherlands match. He died just a few days after celebrating his 49th birthday.
Canada Soccer’s #WeCAN World Cup Documentary Series is 7 enjoyable episodes that introduce you to the Band of Brothers who qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Fueled by his long love of Canadian soccer, Writer-Director Max Bell crafts a story of belief and build up that should convince Canadians they are destined to be a soccer-loving nation.
There was so much hype about the Welcome To Wrexham docuseries, I put off watching it until I needed the DVR space for the WC 2022 games. (It’s not like Ryan Reynolds is going to read this review.) But if you’re wondering what to watch in the deluge of streaming sports docuseries, Wrexham is unique because it is like a love child between Sunderland Til I Die and Ted Lasso.
If you did not have the energy to read the 2014 Garcia Report, the Netflix docuseries FIFA Uncovered is an excellent way to get all the facts in a very visual mode. Director Daniel Gordon interviews journalists, authors, and media experts as well as key principals formerly inside FIFA, and the Qataris who bought the World Cup.
Bravo for ‘Las Bravas FC’ (2022)
It’s a shame that shows like Las Bravas F.C. get so little traction and attention in the world of futbol. It’s a cute, entertaining series that abounds with examples and themes of diversity, inclusion, and female footballer role models. Lead actor Mauricio Ochmann is a popular telenovela star with a charisma that echoes Ryan Reynolds and with an unnerving resemblance to Mikel Arteta. But I only came across this enjoyable series while scrolling through HBO Max. So I suggest you watch it while you can.
Like its predecessor All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspurs, which focused on José Mourinho, the Arsenal series focuses on the equally good-looking manager Mikel Arteta during the 2021-2022 season. I’m not sure why anyone other than an Arsenal fan would want to watch this series.
Having reviewed so many Maradona films and series, I was sorely confused when I began to watch the Argentine docuseries Bilardo, el doctor del fútbol. In all the Maradona shows I’ve seen, coach Carlos Bilardo is portrayed as a very minor but unpleasant character, someone who calls the shots for the Argentina NT but otherwise is buried in the background. So for me, this 4-episode HBOMax docuseries is a soccer revelation that thoroughly describes the man behind Maradona’s success.
I’m grumpy. This is my first review in months, and I’m writing about Le Pogmentaire — The Pogmentary — a 5-episode Amazon series on Paul Pogba that has no purpose other than branding. Save yourself a few hours and just watch the trailer — that’s pretty much the whole show.
Before watching this Netflix docuseries on Neymar, I knew little about the Brazilian who was supposed to be the next Pelé. I’ve probably seen more memes of Neymar than I’ve seen him play.
Maradona Blessed Dream, the 10-episode series from Amazon, may hook you in its steady outpouring of sex, drugs and fútbol. It will probably be the grandest film/series about Diego Armando Maradona that will ever be made. But if I hadn’t felt compelled to review it, I would have preferred to turn it off. It just feels so distasteful and disrespectful. Do we really want to remember Maradona by the depictions of his nightlife, copulations and orgies?
Amongst many other themes, the Netflix series Maradona in Mexico is about coaching and the power of belief. British Director Angus Macqueen follows Diego Maradona, the players and the staff of Dorados de Sinoloa, a second division club that hopes to be promoted to LigaMX in its 2018-2019 season.
The Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso has had such a cultural impact, it calls for a separate review for its second season. Season One arrived as an antidote to a toxic presidency and a worldwide pandemic. Coach Ted Lasso was quoted from the pulpit of my local Presbyterian church, in whose congregation almost no one follows soccer.
Rovers is a thoroughly enjoyable comic series that only ran one season for 6 episodes. Director and star Craig Cash has a history of comedic series and successes, and it’s a shame that this show didn’t run longer.