Ballers is a good show for sports drama, but it is a fantastic show when it comes to the topic of temptation. The show plays on the themes of redemption and spiritual guidance: a man who burned out as a professional football player helps young players avoid the same financial pitfalls which incited his downfall, all while lining his own pockets and fulfilling his own dreams in the process.
The show’s success also hinges on money, sex, media, and fraternal bonds. Those themes are what make every “how I did it” sports memoir great, and for this reason, Ballers is a guide to fighting temptation. When you watch Ballers, you are getting better self-help than any book can offer. You are reading the Secret without ever having to consider making a vision board. ‘The Rock” is America’s human vision board. Look at him.
We see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Spencer Strasmore, a man tempted by everything in Miami, a land of plenty. His tests include past flings, his insane partner (Rob Corddry), and, most of all, wildly temptation-prone clients. As their financial advisor, he is the sole angel on the shoulders of young professional football players. He needs them to stay in line in to keep their contracts.
But, we also see the Rock play the devil, dealing with unsavory characters to negotiate cover-ups, encouraging the guys to take risky deals with higher payoffs, and having a lot of sex with his hot girlfriend in his cool office. In season two of Ballers, his dark side is sure to make a stronger appearance. Lucifer was an angel once too, right?
There is no greater good without a larger, looming evil for that good to fight, and this is why watching Ballers will make you a better person. Allow us to break down why Ballers will help you help yourself.
1. It will help you resist temptation
When you watch TTD get his friends so stoned they can’t function, or watch Ricky botch a good relationship, it’s all cathartic. You watch them screw up so that you can screw up less, and you get to watch the Rock chastise them for doing so. It is a lose-win.
2. It will take the guilt out of your guilty pleasures
There are drugs, sex, bribery, and Taylor Swift singalongs to be experienced on Ballers, and for this reason, Ballers is beautiful. Why not live like the ballers do? Why not give in sometimes, if not only to return to the non-guilty pleasure of this life, stronger, and possibly stoned?
3. It will teach you about forgiveness
If you do fuck up—and fuck up, these ballers do—you can always come home. Well, you can often come home. When the Rock and Corddry’s characters (Joe and Spencer) are at odds, they are infinitely petty. When Charles and his girl are fighting, she is Beyoncé’s LEMONADE-levels of vengeful. But they move on, and this means that you can move on, too—even when you don’t have millions of dollars. Hopefully.
4. It will help you seize the moment
Recruiting, investing, and fucking: opportunities to do be part of these activities only come but once, twice, or a hundred times a year. So what if these spoils happen rarely or often, though? Ballers teaches you that when good chances come your way, you should take them.
5. It will make you stronger
This is kind of a no-brainer, but watching Ballers makes you bulletproof against cynicism. When the show is bad, it is still good, because it is fun to watch. When the show is good, it will make you feel like the world isn’t a horrible place, because it is like Entourage, just without all the insufferable assholes. It is an uplifting series. One might even say that Ballers has become their Rock.
Okay, I say that. It’s me. Fine. Ball on.