Ballers is an American sports comedy-drama series following a retired NFL player who pursues a career as a financial manager of other NFL players. The series stars Dwayne Johnson, Rob Corddry, John David Washington, Omar Miller and Troy Garity. Check out my review of Season 1 here.
Set during the off season of the NFL season, Season 2 of Ballers take place approximately 12 months after the events of Season 1. Initially, I was a little disappointed that the whole of the NFL season was skipped, but Season 2 fills in the gaps nicely and brings us up to date with the on goings of lead characters Spencer and Joe.
Season 2 kicks off at a great pace, bringing viewers up to speed quickly and introducing new characters who immediately pose threats to Anderson Financial, namely Spencer’s former financial manager Andre. After beginning to build a clientele in Season 1, the added dynamic of another financial firm attempting to poach clients from Anderson Financial works brilliantly, particularly with the added personal element to Spencer. Andre is a great character too, bringing a smugness and arrogance to proceedings and his ongoing feud with Spencer is one of the more entertaining plots in the series.
All of the regular cast from Season 1 return to Season 2 and like Season 1, Dwayne Johnson’s performance of a retired NFL player turned financial manager is totally convincing. His relationship come bromance with financial partner Joe (played by Rob Corddry) is one of the best relationships in the series and the episodes in which they come together provide for the best laughs. The supporting cast do come together and provide for some great moments throughout Season 2 too, but the narrative becomes too heavily reliant on Dwayne Johnson and Rob Corddry.
In my review of Season 1, I said that you didn’t need to be a hardcore American Football fan to follow the series, sadly this isn’t quite the case in Season 2. Some of the most confusing scenes (to us amateur NFL fans at least!) come with Spencer and his latest rookie recruit Travis Mack, particularly when the series goes into depth about the NFL ‘Combine’. Despite all the NFL terminology, there are some great American Football inspired scenes which even amateur fans will enjoy. One of my favorites is the episode following Spencer’s NFL Draft party, where all of Spencer’s clients get together which has a really authentic feel to it.
Season 2 of Ballers is enjoyable, it just doesn’t quite match the quality of the first season. There are a few changes to the situations of the recurring characters, like Charles’ new job as a coach of the Dolphins and Ricky’s spiritual search for a new club, but none of these storylines are intriguing enough to drive the series. I love the concept of the ensemble cast and how each character is at a different stage in their career, but Season 2 makes it evident that Dwayne Johnson is the glue holding everything together.
Season 2 of Ballers suffers from second season syndrome, with a slight dip in quality from Season 1, as the second series becomes too heavily reliant on its lead character.