Netflix’s stunning docuseries about basketball superstar Michael Jordan is not to be missed
By Jack Prescott, Senior Staff Writer
With new episodes dropping every Monday, The Last Dance tells the story of Michael Jordan’s iconic career with the Chicago Bulls. But it’s so much more than that.
On the one hand it’s a ten-part profile of a gold-plated sporting icon. On the other, it explores themes of culture, race, business, politics and media. Which is to say you don’t have to be a basketball fan, or even a sports fan, to enjoy it.
The Last Dance has got everyone talking – including comedian Mo Gilligan, who we interviewed recently – and is now reportedly even more popular on Netflix than Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness. Want to know more? Here are five reasons why you should make this your next TV obsession…
1. The footage is on another level
For the meat and bones of the series, director Jason Hehir uses the footage shot by an access-all-areas camera crew during the Bulls’ turbulent 1997-98 season. From the locker room to the private jets to the press scrums, you feel like you are with the team every step of the way. This is storytelling that truly pulls back the curtain.
2. The talking heads are impressive
Present-day interviews with Michael Jordan help contextualise the action, but there are plenty of other key contributors giving their valuable perspectives. Former teammates offer their side of the story, while veteran journalists, NBA bigwigs and even former US President Barack Obama are on hand to add some heft.
3. It doesn’t always paint Jordan in a positive light
This isn’t just a glowing profile of basketball’s top dog. Yes, the series makes it perfectly clear Jordan is the sport’s greatest ever player, but it also shines a fascinating light on his flaws. That includes a high-profile controversy over his love of gambling and how his win-at-all-costs mentality resulted in tension between opponents and teammates alike.
4. The soundtrack is pure swagger
Wu-Tang Clan. Prince. Busta Rhymes. The Notorious B.I.G. The Last Dance is bursting with incredible music that gives the explosive on-court action even more oomph. Music supervisor Rudy Chung has done a stellar job in putting together an aural throwback. Because who doesn’t want to see Jordan dunking to some of the dopest beats of the 1990s?
5. Jordan’s teammates get their dues
Athletes like Michael Jordan need talented teammates to help them attain superstar status. So it’s pleasing to see The Last Dance occasionally turn its focus to his Bulls colleagues, with Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman standing out the most. The former’s battle to be recognised by Chicago’s hierarchy is a compelling subplot, while Rodman’s eccentric persona is explored with refreshing detail.
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