TV Show Review

TV Review: BALLERS: Season 1, Episode 9: Head-On [HBO]


HBO’s Ballers Head-On TV Show ReviewBallers: Season 1, Episode 9:Head-On  TV Show Review Head-On is Spencer’s (Dwayne Johnson) biggest guilt trip yet, but makes him more likable when his vulnerability is really in the spotlight. Oh, and kicking Reggie (London Brown) to the curb is Vernon’s (Donovan W. Carter) most likable decision to date. I was amazed the way Spencer believed Angie’s (Angelina Assereto) story about Reggie pulling his pecker out. You just can’t treat women like objects, bro. Never mind Vernon doing coke off someone’s body parts.

No wonder she shook them down. Thanks, Reggie. You ruined it.

Nut up, Spence. Listen to your doctor, who is adorable by the way. Nut up. Go talk to the man haunting you in your dreams. In Spencer language that means fake a car accident so Dan Balsamo (Michael Cudlitz) will come tow you. There is nothing like watching men try to get along when one of them really wants it and the other one really doesn’t. Spencer’s innocent banter and Dan being put off by all the small talk are so truly the mark of a salesman in Spencer. This is where he belongs — pitching friendship to his enemies. He’s such a good friend.

Then Joe (Rob Corddry) gets called “chick-ish” by Spencer because he starts acting jealous and passive aggressive when Spencer denies him his V.I.P. box privileges at the Marlins game without explanation. These two have a rougher rapport with each other than either one wants, and it’s unclear who is acting for who. Joe is the wild one and easy to blame, but Spencer crosses lines to fit in with him. Fitting in to a fault is what got them all in hot water on the yacht in the first place. Spencer has this balance of big brother lecturing and group conformity when he should be the voice of authority and steer his people in the right direction to save a baller’s reputation, but he’s not a natural leader. Whoever he’s taking instead of Joe better have a magical vagina. I’m sure Dan’s vagina is as magical as the conversation he has with Spencer. As long as Spence is engaging with Joe, he’s not going to call him out, and he’ll keep leveraging a heartless take on women to appease Joe. Spencer has a heart when it comes to women, but Joe makes it difficult to be sensitive because Spencer can’t separate himself here. He just wants to fit in.

Spencer and Dan have a really honest conversation about the hit that could have caused Spencer’s head problems and ended Dan’s career. Spencer opens up and admits that he wanted to hurt Dan. Dan in turn, admits that he was not that good of a player and should have never been a pro. This seems like dribble if you don’t understand how important bonding is to Spencer. Missing the bond with the guy he took out of the game has been giving him nightmares. He lives for friendship. His whole career in finance stems from being a friend who can manage money and was planted by a friend, Joe, who is going to want to collect on the favor. Spencer hasn’t quite learned the bounds of transactional expectations among his peers. It is the irony of his situation in the middle of all these men as a financial advisor.

Dan gets a really nice plug and Spence lets him throw the pitch at the game. He nails a photographer in the gut and then works the crowd for attention and gets a bigger response than he ever had as a pro. Spencer stands in awe and shock at the arena and it’s bloodlust which he is finally realizing some of his friends really get off on and has probably caused some of their cultural mishaps and violent struggles in life.

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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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