Looking to continue the success of ESPN's acclaimed "30 For 30" series, the WWL has released a Fall schedule of seven additional documentaries from ESPN Films. If you're anything like me, there were some "30 For 30" docs that you knew right away were must-see tv (Pony Express, The U), while some were just suspect (Marion Jones, Fernando Nation, etc). The same looks to be true with the announcement of ESPN's latest set of original documentaries. Hey, if there's anything I'm alright with making a premature judgement on, it's movies and documentaries. Let's take a totally subjective look at the new "30 For 30" documentaries and gauge the watchability of each based on what we know so far...
(1) Catching Hell - Sep. 27
-The story of Steve Bartman and his fateful night in 2003 finally takes the small screen after many had suspected it would be part of the original 30 For 30. Full disclosure, I am a Cubs fan, so I was very much looking forward to examining Bartman's role in the famous Cubs collapse and how Cubs fans have treated him in the years since. It seemed like the doc would be a healing experience for Cubs fans, examining their own shortcomings and exploring the unique connection between fan and team.
That is, until I read that director Alex Gibney was going to use part of the documentary to examine his own anger against Bill Buckner as a Red Sox fan. GAG! Typical ESPN to have a tie-in to one of their darling teams, the Red Sox. I will be extremely disappointed if the Sawx take over this Cubs documentary. If the Buckner aspect is minimized and well done, it could certainly add to the Bartman story, but knowing ESPN, I won't hold my breath.
Watchability Scale: Reluctantly, with one eye open
(2) Renee - Oct. 4
-This documentary examines the story of Renee Richards, a transgender tennis player in the 1970's. Personally, this story just doesn't appeal to me. I'm certain ESPN will handle the matter gracefully and with care, but I'm just not that interested. There's way too much controversial subject matter for me to even attempt a lame joke at this stage, so let's just move on, shall we?
Watchability Scale: Be my guest
(3) The Dotted Line - Oct. 11
-Director Morgan Spurlock of "Super Size Me" fame takes a look at two professional sports agents (Peter Greenberg and Eugene Lee). Now, if I'd ever heard of the two agents being profiled, maybe I'd be more interested. The only hook for me would be the intrepid Spurlock, or if he actually catches the agents breaking NCAA rules on camera.
Watchability Scale: (shrugs shoulders)