Netflix produced and released Last Chance U, an American documentary streaming television series. examines the football program at East Mississippi Community College, which includes many collegiate athletes who have battled with finding stability in their lives.
The reviews for this season show that this feeling; the last year was a dead end of Saturday’s last year in a recent ranking of its seasons on the school football site called “vanilla” and “average.”
The season, which was in a new university with a new coach and strange players, came on Netflix last month unannounced and took up the minimal mood. This series feels like a breath of fresh air. It takes place at Laney College in Oakland, which does not place its entire self-worth in the national popularity of its football team.
There’s a tale to be told about gentrification and how it drives out the people who built a city’s soul, but it’s relegated to the background in favor of a simplistic story about an average-to-good team doing the best they can game by game. It’s a much shorter story than we’ve seen before, with considerably lower dramatic stakes.
Everyone has a story to tell pic.twitter.com/CVnlCnmyxF
— Last Chance U (@LastChanceUAlum) March 15, 2021
This year’s school is also not a residential one. The team isn’t made up entirely of kids who exist in a bubble of their own success. This influx of students all have to commute to school, which can take up to two hours each way, and work part-time to help pay the bills. Some of them even have children.
There is an element of motivation present in the players. Where you used to bang your head against the wall, hoping they’d take their academic positions more seriously, now you’re just fascinated by their commitment.
That’s one of the things I enjoy about this season of Last Chance U. It appears to be a correction, intended to rekindle interest in college football. It’s a bizarro-world version of the show in which everybody maintains some semblance of sanity. This is the first year that hanging out with some of the main characters isn’t a hassle.
Season five of Last Chance U has been a smooth landing after a bumpy ride. Taken on its own, it’s a bit of a snoozer. It’s stunning and life-affirming as the final chapter of a story that’s been half a decade in the making.