When Last Chance U first came out, we all figured it was going to be like Hard Knocks but for this corner of the college football landscape that hadn’t been covered enough. The first two seasons were just that. It was absurd, but for anybody that played at a competitive level know that in itself, there wasn’t anything unbelievable about EMCC. There’s plenty of asshole coaches and lazy superstars.
Now what we have in season 3 is something completely different. Yes, there’s the asshole coach and the lazy stars. But holy moly is this season something different. The lack of self-awareness is something we haven’t seen since the early days of Jersey Shore.
First, you have Malik Henry. Some see arrogant former superstar who has yet to understand why someone as talented as him is in a place like Independence, Kansas. What I see is the comic relief. Episode 3 and 4 shows that best. Running off the field at the half, the referee tells him to stop saying the N word or else he’ll be ejected. To which Malik chimes back, in the softest voice you’ve heard, “whatever bro fuck yourself”. Next game/quarter (the episodes are blurring together and should really just be an 8 hour movie instead of an episodic show but that’s for another day), after the winning touchdown Malik tells the other team quote “I’m giving all your mamas backshots tonight. All your mamas”. One of those lines that should go into the reality TV hall of fame.
Then you have Coach Brown, who is like one of those people on Survivor who they pull out of the depths of the country. Someone who, if it were a scripted series, you would yell bullshit. A white guy from Compton who tells a story every 15 minutes about somebody who got shot or their car stolen in the middle of his high school football games. I’m halfway through the season and he’s already tried to fight an opposing coach, every one of his coaches, and multiple players. Never has a human being used more motherfuckers per sentence than Coach Brown. Makes that bum from EMCC look like Caillou.
And then there’s all the tertiary characters who seem scripted, but you don’t know how to prove that they are. There’s the English teacher who they’re trying to make into Brittany Wagner. Every conversation involving her is portrayed as the climax of a Shakespeare play. Like it’s that very moment that’s going to change their lives. Or you have the Cali bro QB coach that lives in a shoe box, makes no money, and looks like he hasn’t slept in 5 years. Like a filler character in Friday Night Lights, he pops up more often than is necessary, but somehow seems like the only genuine one in the crew.
I’m strong rambling, and probably should’ve waited until I finished the season to write this. Nonetheless, my points stand. Last Chance U has drifted away from documentary, and into the realm of reality TV. And I’m 12,000% here for it for the rest of eternity.