“Ah, the good old days, back before Ozzie Guillen praised Fidel Castro, before Heath Bell became a walking, talking combustible engine and before Hanley Ramirez got into a sparring match with an electric fan.
“Showtime brought us back to those halcyon days of, well, three months ago with its hour-long debut of The Franchise — the all-access show that takes us inside the Marlins’ clubhouse.”
This is the issue with sports reality shows. They inevitably become promos for the teams and its players, which is nice for a while but begs for depth in the end.
While HBO’s 24/7 has been rightly praised for showcasing the NHL before the last two Winter Classics, the first one was definitely better than the second. When it was fresh, and die hard hockey fans didn’t mind hearing HBO describe what icing was, we could take it. Then, when it became more about what Ilya Bryzgalov would say when the cameras were on him, it waned.
As far as The Franchise goes, you’d have a hard time watching any clips from Episode 1 and being able to tell where the Miami Marlins are in the standings. Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez are perfect, despite not being perfect. Miami is the best city in the world, despite all the evidence to the contrary.
It’s glorious and bright, but even Moneyball dived into baseball better, and Moneyball refused to show Hudson, Mulder, Zito, Chavez, or Miguel Tejada. Instead, Moneyball would have you believe that the Oakland Athletics won the AL West in 2002 because Scott Hatteberg hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth.
There’s also a general issue of what you can show and what you can’t show with reality TV, and while it’s fine to cut out certain shots from Jersey Shore or Life of Ryan, sports and news are real things where folks expect to see real emotions and insight. So, if you chop off a bit of what Ozzie Guillen has done, or if you sugar coat Heath Bell’s combustion, you’re not giving the viewers what they think they’re saying.
Sports, like news, requires confidentiality, but TV’s whole business is the opposite of that trait.
Regardless, we hope you enjoy The Franchise, but remember: the Marlins are only 41-44.
White Cover Staff
White Cover Magazine is the "foremost" source for "male" and "female" things in the world today. Kind of. We have Sports. Movies. Arts. (What are Arts?) Television. Music. And, of course, a critical look at everything in the world of Journalism, Sports Journalism, and News at large.
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