Straight from an HBO Press Release comes news of additional episodes of the sports documentary series STATE OF PLAY. HBOWatch announced the creation of that series and since only one report has aired. That piece, STATE OF PLAY: TROPHY KIDS, was reviewed. Now, here is a look at what is ahead.
HBO Sports and executive producers Peter Berg (pictured) and Sarah Aubrey team up again for four innovative documentaries from the acclaimed STATE OF PLAY franchise, debuting Tuesdays in prime time for four consecutive weeks starting TUESDAY, NOV. 11 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
STATE OF PLAY: CULTURE SHOCK, the first new film in the topical series, begins with a 30-minute cinéma vérité documentary that explores how the National Football League, America’s most popular sports organization, is confronting its biggest challenge: making the game safer. This compelling film chronicles the physical toll the game takes on its players, a subject that has taken center stage at all levels of the sport over the past two years. How does the sport of football survive and thrive with long-term injuries piling up and lawsuits being filed at courthouses? The special features unprecedented access to the halls of the NFL and its Players Association, gathering viewpoints from football’s business leaders and fans. Following the documentary, Peter Berg sits down with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (pictured) for an exclusive 20-minute one-on-one interview.
The other three STATE OF PLAY shows debut subsequent Tuesdays – Nov. 18, Nov. 25 and Dec. 2 – at the same time, with topics to be announced when confirmed. Presented by Film 44 and HBO Sports, STATE OF PLAY takes on complex and multi-layered themes in sports, exploring their relationship to larger society. Each edition spotlights a topic or person whose impact on the contemporary sports world is undeniable, opening with a brief overview, followed by a cinéma vérité documentary and concluding with an in-depth roundtable discussion that includes the filmmakers, subjects and guest experts. Berg serves as moderator of the panel discussion.
Ken Hershman, president of HBO SPORTS is quoted as saying “STATE OF PLAY launched with an exceptional ‘Trophy Kids’ presentation last December, and we are eager for HBO subscribers to watch this intriguing and engaging new collection of films from Peter Berg and his talented producers. Peter and his team dig deep for compelling stories that are contemporary, strike a chord and spark discussion.”
“State of Play: Trophy Kids,” which debuted in Dec. 2013, earned rave reviews for its penetrating report on the growing obsession many parents have with the scholastic athletic performance of their children. Variety wrote, “Going beyond X’s and O’s and wins and losses, HBO Sports’ ‘State of Play’ brings much-needed reflection and a wider lens to the sports universe — tackling a particular topic in a cinema-verite-style documentary.” New York’s Daily News observed, “Director Peter Berg delivers a compelling look at how parents put too much pressure on children’s sports,” while the Washington Times said, “As tough as it is to watch, it should be required viewing for every adult involved in youth sports: parents, coaches, educators, and concerned family and friends.”
“State of Play: Trophy Kids” will have an encore play Tuesday, Oct. 7 (6:30-7:30p.m.) on HBO. The new editions of STATE OF PLAY will also be available on HBO On Demand and HBO GO.
It is great to have this sport documentary series continue and this HBOWatch writer hopes to review each installment as they come along. Be attentive to this site for this and other exciting HBO Sports news.