I do not watch a lot of TV that is not live sports. TV shows that get to trending on social media I usually ignore because I feel I don’t have enough spare time and mental energy to consume them. Do not confuse that with me thinking I would not enjoy them. I probably would, but if I did get into binge watching TV shows I’d have to give up something else I enjoy doing as an opportunity cost, like reading or getting enough sleep to be a functioning adult. Right now, that’s not a trade off I’m willing to make.
However, I ran across a show that has developed a cult following among the people I follow on twitter; Last Chance U. Last Chance U is a Netflix original series that follows the East Mississippi Community College Lions through their 2015 Football Season. The focus of the series is on several players that are at EMCC because they have Big Conference Division 1 football talent, but have had to transfer to a Community College because of grades or brushes with the law. It is their last chance to make it in football, and there is no fall back plan. Like most good stories there are several minor plot lines and characters that become just as likable as the original plot line.
Netflix and their streaming compatriots have cranked out a lot of original series in order to win subscribers. Last Chance U is the first one that I have been completely into. I mean, I watched Marco Polo, but it took me 18 months to finish a 10 episode Season 1, and I haven’t cared to look to see if there is a Season 2. I’ve watched the first two episodes of a few other shows and nothing has really made me want to watch more. By comparison this show got me going. It’s a great window into the world of a normal student athlete both on and off the field. At one point the show unlocked some memory for me and I could smell the sweat in the locker-room through the TV. It was awesome and disgusting at the same time. Not only is there the struggle against opposing teams, which often goes outside of football. There is the struggle coaches and non-football staff go through in an attempt to keep the players eligible. Not only so they can play at EMCC, but so they can transfer and play at the four year institutions that come to EMCC to recruit the players.
If you google Last Chance U you will find this is not the only space on the interwebs dedicated to this show and how compelling it is. Netflix doesn’t release it’s viewership numbers, but two weeks after Season 1’s debut Netflix announced that there would be a Season 2. Like other fans of the show I’m pretty excited about this. BUT…
As I thought about a second a season a few things hit me. Before Season 1 EMCC was a relative unknown on the sports media landscape. When you started watching you had no idea how the EMCC Lions 2015 season would go. (Although, you could certainly look it up before you finished the season.) Now, it’s likely that most people who followed Season 1 will follow the Lions this fall and know how the 2016 season went by the time Season 2 is released next summer. Sports Media Reporters will report it. I started following EMCC Athletics Twitter, along with QB Coach Clint Trickett, and Academic Advisor Brittany Wagner and others have as well. I’m sure there will be no shortage of spoilers on social media as the football season goes on.
Season 2 of Last Chance U will no doubt have plenty of redemption stories and many of the plot lines that made Season 1 attractive to viewers. I just wonder if surprise will be one of them. But you know I and other fans will tune in to find out.