Preparing for the return of Last Chance U (although it is going to be a different school this time) shortly on Netflix I decided to get myself back up to speed with a watch of the All or Nothing series currently available on Amazon Prime (at least it is available here in the UK).
I’m a big fan of the Last Chance U show, particularly with the level of access that they got with the players in the team and the support staff too. It made for very entertaining viewing alongside some dramatic and tense games of football, not always ending with a win for the EMCC team.
All or Nothing is a similar idea with access to all areas of a professional NFL team and you get to see behind the scenes as this team go about their, sometimes winning, ways. The first season I watched began with the Arizona Cardinals in the 2015 NFL season. Getting to see how this team functions, how the backroom staff function and how things ultimately go on the field is really interesting and is made in such a way to keep you hooked until the final episode.
With some great insights and larger than life characters in the team it means the viewer gets a good connection with the players and the team as a whole and you find yourself rooting for them. Adversity, injuries and personalities all count towards the building stress levels as the inevitable crunch moment approaches!
Following on from the Cardinals, I decided to watch the Dallas Cowboys 2017 season (there are also seasons for the LA Rams and the Michigan Wolverines that I have yet to watch). Seeming not quite as intimate as the Cardinals season it felt more like a fly-on-the-wall documentary than an in-depth investigation, lacking the individual interviews and personal lives that the Cardinals season was peppered with. It is still a good season but there wasn’t the same level of hope and atmosphere for the Cowboys, maybe their characters weren’t as as charismatic or just lacked that personal touch that would have made them more human. The best part of this season was actually the grandson of the owner of the Dallas Cowboys playing and winning the State Championship in an amazing game of football, which kind of overshadowed the goings on of the professional team.
As an off-shoot of all this NFL action All or Nothing has branched out to also cover the New Zealand All Blacks in 2017. In this season we do get more one on one interviews, more looks into home lives and the actual personalities are there on the screen, depicting the players as real people. As such I found this one much more engaging, even if they didn’t quite manage to get the game footage and tension quite right. But then again, as the best team in world sports you haven’t got much more to gain and being a rugby fan I kind of knew the outcomes of the games they played in already.
Looking forward, there is going to be another season coming out in August, this time following Manchester City Football Club. I am really intrigued to see the inner workings of an English Premiership team, even if they are the Noisy Neighbours the team that I support! I will wait to see if the level of access and personalities are anything like those in the NFL or NZ All Blacks but as long as they take the time to focus on the individuals who make the club tick it will be an interesting watch.
All in all they are easy to watch and really interesting documentary style shows that give you access into areas that you wouldn’t normally see. If you are a fan of sports then you should definitely give this series a go.