Ballers: The Complete Series                  review by Bobby Blakey

The busiest actor in Hollywood Dwayne Johnson wrapped up his hit HBO series after five seasons and most still try to figure out when he had anytime to do it at all. The show blends comedy and drama all wrapped in the world of football and financial investing to perfection. Now HBO is not only bringing the fifth and final season home to complete your collection, but also the complete series for those looking to bring it all home.

Ballers follows ex-superstar Spencer Strasmore, who has reinvented himself as a financial manager for today’s players in sun-soaked Miami. In the final season of the series Spencer is settling into retirement and reflecting on his past, when an offer that's too good to refuse comes his way and sends him back into the lion's den, this time as a team owner. In the wake of his split with Spencer, an ambitious Joe gambles aggressively to make Sports X greater than ever with the help of his new partner, Lance. Meanwhile, Ricky has a startling setback that forces him to consider a new kind of future and tests his physical, mental and emotional resolve; Charles learns that being a general manager means getting your hands dirty; Vernon shifts his focus to his love of professional gaming despite Reggie's wariness; and Jason decides to take his career to the next level.

Like most people these days I am a big fan of Dwayne Johnson but did not

know what to expect when this series originally premiered. It ended up offering up equal parts drama and laughs to deliver a really great show that is perfect for him and all the rest of the cast. Every season shook things up and took a lot of the characters and story arcs in some great new directions while keeping all the same drama and fun intact. Once we get passed the first season and every character here is fully fleshed out the show just got better and better. This is a character tailor made for Johnson and his onscreen partnership with the always great Rob Corddry is the heart of the show and with the issues between them this time around made it all the better. The ups and downs of their relationship keeps things interesting right up until the satisfying ending to the series.

The rest of the cast area all great as well, with John David Washington and Omar Benson Miller getting some great story arcs and moments. Washington has had a breakout role here not only being great on the show but branching out into some great features as well including Blackkklansman and the upcoming Tenant. As a whole this show delivers so much with each thirty minute episode that you will be eager for more at the end of each of them. Every season ends leaving you wanting more and changing the game for all the characters. While the show is billed as a Johnson vehicle this is very much and ensemble with everyone getting time to shine throughout. Initially they were all connected through the work of Johnson and Corddry, but it didn’t take long before they went their own way with their growth.

I loved this series on all fronts. It bought everything you want in a show and packed so much into each short episode. Every season it offered up a ton of great cameos as well with some of them becoming more regulars my personal favorite being Russell Brand who was perfectly cast. It’s a bummer they brought it to an end, but glad they got to finish it out and see satisfying conclusion to our journey on the field with these characters.

Grab your copy of Ballers: The Complete Series as well as the Fifth and Final Season in stores on January 28th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

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