Contemplating that consecutive episodes of the HBO sequence “Profitable Time” ended with the exclamation, “[Expletive] Boston!,’’ Celtics followers might be excused for chuckling on the timing of the present’s abrupt ending.
The sequence, primarily based — with a lot inventive license — on creator Jeff Pearlman’s insightful and meticulous guide “Showtime” concerning the Magic Johnson-era Los Angeles Lakers was canceled by the community, a sufferer of myriad circumstances: the continuing writers’ strike, so-so viewership numbers, government impatience, and a big, star-studded solid that should have swelled the finances past perception.
Its Season 2 finale final Sunday as a substitute grew to become the sequence finale, the present surviving 17 whole episodes.
And so “Profitable Time,” which started with the 1979-80 season and appeared to have broad designs of lasting at the very least till Johnson’s announcement Nov. 7, 1991, that he had examined optimistic for the HIV virus, as a substitute ended with these dastardly Celtics successful the 1983-84 NBA championship, with a disjointed “Right here’s what occurs to those zany Laker people” epilogue tacked on.
Celtics play-by-play voice Sean Grande, as he has been identified to do, put it greatest.
“As a lot as I liked the present and am actually disillusioned within the determination,’’ he wrote on Twitter/X, “ ‘Profitable Time’ mysteriously ending with the Celtics successful the ‘84 NBA Title is as on model as there may be for Pink [Auerbach] reaching out from past.’’
I wholeheartedly second all of Grande’s sentiments — notably about loving the present and being disillusioned that it’s achieved. “Profitable Time,’’ for no matter flaws it had — and an pointless diversion from or exaggeration of the reality was a big one — was excellent leisure.
I genuinely appeared ahead to a brand new episode dropping each Sunday night time, even realizing that there was a good probability that it will finish with this effective metropolis being stubborn out by a gaggle of fake Lakers. Now I suppose I’ll simply watch Season 2 of “The Bear” one other dozen instances, chef.
I ought to observe, earlier than I return to Globe tv critic Matthew Gilbert’s nook and get a bit extra into the attraction and frustration of “Profitable Time,’’ that the present had an unique, interesting adjoining media angle.
Via Pearlman’s journalism-focused Substack (“Jeff Pearlman’s Journalism Yang Yang”) and podcast (“Two Writers Slinging Yang”) in addition to with brief movies posted on social media, he took viewers behind the purple-and-gold rope, passing alongside perception on the actors and behind-the-scenes expertise, the compelling trivialities of constructing a tv program, and shared particulars on the lengthy means of how a guide is customized for tv.
His most satisfying tales concerned private anecdotes — his and his spouse and youngsters’s expertise showing on digital camera in small components, or the enjoyment of taking his children to the premiere.
When, over the past a number of months, Pearlman started pleading on social media for individuals to observe the present as a result of it was in peril of getting canceled, it was straightforward to sympathize with him when it truly occurred, even when it wasn’t a complete shock.
Anyway, I wished to write down about “Profitable Time” for some time and figured I’d have extra time. So permit me to at the very least acknowledge some pluses and minuses of the present. Listed below are three of every, although there have been many extra of the previous than latter general.
Pluses — If Adrien Brody’s portrayal of Pat Riley wasn’t the perfect efficiency, it’s solely as a result of Quincy Isaiah was a blessing from the casting gods as Magic . . . Sean Patrick Small, the actor who portrayed Larry Chook, mastered the mechanics of Chook’s shot. I can’t recall seeing a sports activities present or film the place an actor truly acquired the athletic facet proper for a legendary determine . . . Former Lakers guard Norm Nixon was performed by his son, DeVaughn. It’s a task he unknowingly was getting ready for his entire life, I suppose, however he was wonderful, perhaps the perfect actor amongst these portraying gamers.
Minuses — It’s been stated elsewhere that Jason Clarke’s model of Jerry West made the Lakers icon look like Yosemite Sam. Yosemite Sam was extra refined . . . It should have been a problem to search out individuals to play lean and ridiculously tall NBA gamers, however manner too lots of the actors appeared like they’d been known as up from an over-35 males’s basketball league and dressed up as Celtics and Lakers. James Lesure, the actor who performed Julius “Dr. J” Erving, turned 53 on Thursday . . . Positive, I’ll say it. John C. Reilly peaked as Chest Rockwell.
Anyway, I’ll miss all of it. Yeah, it’s a riot that the Celtics are champions on the finish of a present concerning the Lakers, however the full story of the groups’ rivalry — notably the bond Magic and Larry developed through the years — would have been entertaining to observe play out on this unusual tv world of fictionalizing a well-recognized story.
It is a robust loss. The ultimate buzzer sounded on “Profitable Time” manner too quickly.
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