- 5 Seasons
Ballers is an American comedy-drama television series created by Stephen Levinson and produced by HBO, starring Dwayne Johnson as Spencer Strasmore, a former NFL player turned financial manager. The series aired from 2015 until 2019, spanning five seasons, and followed Strasmore's journey as he built relationships with his clients, navigated the high-stakes world of NFL football, and dealt with personal and professional challenges along the way.
The show begins with Strasmore struggling to find his footing after retiring from the NFL due to a career-ending injury. He decides to pivot into the world of financial management, with the hope of helping other NFL players avoid financial pitfalls and secure their futures. Strasmore's goal is to become the top financial manager in the NFL, but he quickly realizes how difficult that is in a world where every player seems to be out for themselves.
Throughout the series, Strasmore is faced with a variety of challenges that test his abilities as a financial manager and his patience as a human being. He must deal with difficult clients, shady businessmen, and personal demons that threaten to derail his career. Along the way, he forms important relationships with people like Joe Krutel (Rob Corddry), his business partner and friend, and Jason Antolotti (Troy Garity), a sports agent who often clashes with Strasmore but ultimately respects his abilities.
The show's storylines are heavily influenced by real-life events in the world of professional sports, particularly the NFL. For example, one plotline involves a fictional team in Las Vegas trying to secure funding for a new stadium, while dealing with legal challenges and angry fans. Another plotline involves the league cracking down on players who kneel during the national anthem, sparking controversy and debate among players, fans, and the media.
The show's cast is diverse and talented, with standout performances from Johnson and Corddry. Johnson is particularly impressive in his ability to balance the tough-guy persona that made him a star with the vulnerability of a man trying to find his place in the world after his career has ended. Corddry, on the other hand, brings his trademark wit and sarcasm to his role as Joe, serving as a perfect foil for Johnson's more serious character.
Beyond the main cast, the show features a rotating cast of guest stars, including NFL players, sports commentators, and other celebrities. Some of the notable guest stars over the course of the series include Charles Barkley, Serena Williams, and Mark Cuban, among others.
One of the most impressive aspects of Ballers is its production value. The show is shot on location in various cities across the United States, giving it an authentic feel that is often lacking in studio-based sitcoms. The show's set pieces, particularly the various football stadiums and high-end hotels that serve as backdrops, are impeccably designed and a joy to watch. The show's soundtrack is also a highlight, featuring a mix of classic and contemporary hip-hop that perfectly captures the vibe of the NFL world.
Overall, Ballers is an entertaining and often thought-provoking portrayal of the NFL world and the people who inhabit it. While the show's focus on financial management and high-stakes negotiations might not be for everyone, it offers a behind-the-scenes look at a world that is often shrouded in secrecy and fueled by egos. Fans of Johnson and Corddry will no doubt enjoy seeing these two stars light up the screen in their respective roles, while those looking for a smart and insightful comedy-drama will find a lot to love in this series.
Ballers is a series that is currently running and has 5 seasons (49 episodes). The series first aired on June 21, 2015.