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Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty – Season 1 Review

by HBOWatch Staff
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The basketball drama Rise of the Lakers Dynasty just came back this August, but many of us are still talking about the first season of this top-level show! Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty is an audacious and fast-paced show, filled with powerful moments and well-developed comedy bits. So, let’s develop things a little more and see why we recommend this show.

What We Thought of Winning Time Season 1 

The slam-dunk series Winning Time began by showing us a dramatized version of the 1979-1980 NBA season championship – and quickly followed with the Lakers’ Showtime era. Created by Max Borenstein (The Terror, Godzilla) and Jim Hecht (Robots, Ice Age 2), we knew this series was going to be good. But, in all honesty, we didn’t expect it to be this great!

Winning Time is essentially fun and has some pretty powerful acting. Of special note are Jason Clarke and John C. Reilley (who played Jerry West and Jerry Buss respectively). They are both hilarious, dramatic, and possibly accurate. What’s better, we also get to see a ton of backstories that most directors would not think to include. For example, we learned about Kareem’s jazz collection. Oh, and Jason Clark, with his angry coach depiction, will surely catch your attention as well. 

From a basketball point of view, the series is also fascinating. There are impressive in-game sequences and great practice sessions, and each episode is well-paced and works cliffhangers pretty masterfully. In short, season one was entertaining, engaging, and pretty inspiring, too. At times, though, we also feel this very praisable attempt to tell the stories of all main players results in too many storylines. 

Criticisms of Winning Time Season 1 

We know that Kareem Abdul Jabbar wasn’t entirely happy about the show, though. He apparently sent a letter (addressing the public) explaining how people who are no longer with us were disrespected by the series. In fact, the Lakers produced their own documentary to coincide with the release of Winning Time

There’s one thing we can’t be certain of, and that’s how realistic the characters are. We simply were not there when the events happened. However, even though there were criticisms around the portrayal of Kareem and Jerry West, from an entertainment point of view, they are actually the best thing about this show.

What We Can Expect for Winning Time Season 2

We’ll have a lot to uncover in the new season, including the first professional rematch of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. The show is about a dynasty, though, and we know that with every dynasty comes many challenges. Especially when we’re talking about the 1980s!

The sophomore season is on now), so we’ll find out soon enough whether it is as good as season one has been. We’re crossing our fingers! Are you watching? Find it on Max and HBO. 

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