“What a wonderful adventure. In our two seasons, we have launched careers, altered the genre, brought out the humanity in our characters, told stories that really mattered to us, revolutionized the way basketball is played and had a good time,” said Reggie Rock Bythewood.
It was his way of saying goodbye to Swagger, a series that had trouble breaking into the overcrowded TV conversation and that Apple TV canceled after airing its second season. And, while it is common for an author to view his work favorably, here we give some advice: don't let the cancellation prevent you from watching one of the best sports series ever made on television.
The fact that it was inspired by Kevin Durant, the NBA player, should be taken as an indicative note of the type of story that the viewer can find but not as an element that defines it. Durant, who had a reputation for being an athlete with a very well-equipped head, told Rock Bythewood what it meant to have humble origins and have to train seriously to achieve success.
Swagger, in fact, is not a biography but it has a protagonist with a similar profile. Jace Carson (Isaiah Hill) is a teenager and the coaches are aware that he can lead the school team to win the championship. In his environment, however, two elements are vital: having resources and having support, since until now she has been a mother obsessed with controlling her diet and training her.
In a present where social networks lead brands and scouts to pay attention to increasingly younger players, Jace becomes a promising basketball player. He has a life with a certain contradiction: he lives in an apartment where he doesn't have a dollar left and at the same time he is a local star.
Swagger is a series of balances. The characters are teenagers but the perspective from which their conflicts are observed is adult, following the school of the fantastic Friday night lights. The plots and their entire aesthetic sense are influenced by a certain social and demographic context, transmitting the systemic difficulties of the black community.
The choices (of the attitude of the actors, of the music, of the costumes) build the atmosphere and, when the ball moves on the court, the series dazzles. There is hardly any audiovisual fiction (whether film or television) that knows how to delve into the playing field in such an immersive way.
Knowing Jace Carson, therefore, is a must-see series. (And the credits are a gift.)