TV Show Review

TV Review: BALLERS: Season 1, Episode 8: Gaslighting [HBO]


HBO’s Ballers Gaslighting TV Show ReviewGaslighting: Season 1, Episode 8: Gaslighting  TV Show Review Gaslighting finally establishes an uproariously funny scene as Spencer (Dwayne Johnson), who is an unabashed Taylor Swift fan, celebrates the new information that his problems are psychological and not neurological. He just wants to shake it off until he actually has to face Angie (Angelina Assereto) in person.

Vernon’s (Donovan W. Carter) role is weaker than ever in Gaslighting and he serves as more of a backdrop to the dilemma between Spence and Angie, which of course started due to Vernon doing coke off the wrong women’s breasts at precisely the wrong moment on precisely the wrong yacht. Vernon is dead weight to Spence, but he has somehow convinced Spencer to save his ass. A guy without a team to play on isn’t really prime financial management client material, and he’s serving as a vortex of money coming right out of Spencer’s pocket. The unbreakable bond keeping Spencer convinced Vernon has a shred of innocence left and is worth standing up for in the shakedown is above and beyond anything reasonable that they guy has shown he is deserving of at this point. Still, Spence is wearing his hero goggles and loves ole’ Vern like a family member.

Ricky (John David Wasington) hits sexual rock bottom at Bulgari while picking out some heavy artillery for Bella (Annabelle Acosta). He is the real gas lighter in this show, but Spence is taking all the heavy heat. Men work in tandem like this. It’s real life. I’m nearly convinced that all these actors are just being themselves and there are no writers on this show. It’s just men in their natural habitat doing what they know how to do with bells on.

Juxtaposing Spence’s unshakable bond with his reputation gained by hanging with the bros he capes for, Angie delivers the shakedown, which it turns out, Spencer rightfully deserves and doesn’t really have an argument against. It’s not his fault, but his major flaw has led them to this point as a result of who his life teammates are and what they choose to do while he tries to build a career off their backs and in turn, looks the other way while they compile mistakes involving women.  I don’t believe in Karma, but it’s somehow thematic to this show.

There’s a difference between bad story writing and simply not liking the people in the story because they are larger than life and deal with themselves in ways that are obviously stupid. Ballers isn’t going to start making these guys wise up any time soon. If the show were to do that, there would be a show where men learned from their mistakes and knew how to change, women would never see it in time, and these newly improved guys would be out just the same. They hold back because it won’t matter what the truth is. They live in a world like the rest of us where words are fleeting and actions will get you everywhere, but they have no idea what it is they are doing.

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About the author

Stephanie King

I am a meticulous writer. Story is my strong suit.

I do not waste time on political "critique" or paranoid "undertones" that might have been an inspiration to a story writer, but clearly are not a main or secondary theme.

I can identify high concept, main and sub theme(s), protagonists and antagonists, secondary character roles, the turning point, the key, the antagonist's story thrust, the spine, twelve sequences, the climax, the resolution, and most importantly, the goal of any film. I am aware of the act structure which can be from three to five acts, generally.

Aristotle elaborates in his Poetics on Plato's Republic on act structure.

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