Sunday, April 10, 2022

What I’m Watching: Winning Time

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty: Season 1, Episode 5 “Pieces of a Man” (B+)

Opening in Harlem in 1968 with Kareem’s journey through Islam was interesting, and the young man we saw grappling with talking about his faith was considerably warmer and more social than the eternally angry and cold player who gave Magic an incredibly hard time about the newspaper and orange juice he was supposed to deliver every morning. Their relationship is particularly interesting, and McKinney telling Magic that he had hoped he would be the captain of the ship led to an unexpectedly truthful and then very unpleasant interaction between Kareem and Magic. I do think that the initial comment Kareem made was meant to be a compliment, but then things got ugly. I imagine they might be able to find common ground in the wake of that bad bike accident that McKinney has gotten himself into, one that may have killed him but will surely at least leave him unable to coach, potentially thrusting Paul into the spotlight. We’re starting to see some movement in Pat’s dream of getting to be a voice with something to say, even if his initial pitch got a very cruel reception. We didn’t meet many notable new characters in this episode, though Spencer Haywood and Paula Abdul are both notable figures who might not play a huge role in this show. Claire and Jeanie really did a remarkable job of bringing their project to life, and even though Jerry was initially wowed, he quickly got distracted by the minutiae that led to him nitpicking and obsessing over unimportant details. His own mother’s unwillingness to come support him seemed like it could have been an instance of her forgetting specifics, but given what she knows about his finances, it’s likely that she’s fully aware of what he’s doing and her disapproval has legitimate roots.

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