September 02, 2003


THE PISS MAN COMETH: I have to give a thumbs-down so far to "Playmakers," the first-ever ESPN original dramatic series, for a few reasons. It seems like a celebration of everything I hate about ESPN's new direction- it celebrates bad behavior by athletes, aims itself far, far away from realism, and (worst of all) does everything it can to disingenuously pander to the hip-hop audience. Much like how every white SportsCenter anchor now spends half of each show doing a bad Stuart Scott imitation- the ubiquitous commercial for "Playmakers" with that "rolling along" song was bad enough, but it got even worse when Scott Van Pelt and the rest of the Bristol White Boy Brigade started singing it over the evening baseball highlights.
As for "Playmakers" itself, if you thought the first episode was laughable (such as when a star running back stopped to smoke crack right before the game), get ready for tonight's, which is called (I shit you not) "The Piss Man." The title refers to the league official responsible for league-mandated drug testing; last week's preview began with the ominous words "the Piss Man's coming," followed by 30 seconds of players injecting themselves with various substances, concluding with another ominous warning: "the Piss Man's here." Don't tell me you didn't see that one coming...
I'll give "Playmakers" one more shot, but from what I've seen so far I can't imagine I'll be watching it for long. That is, unless they can get Christopher Walken to guest-star as the Piss Man.

Posted by Stephen Silver at September 2, 2003 06:17 PM
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