The 10-part ESPN documentary dissecting Michael Jordan and the Bulls’ six championships has provided some much needed sports during the pandemic, roping in even sports haters with a mix of game highlights and behind-the-scenes drama.
Brian, Erica, and Mark are joined by Seth from The Partially Examined Life to interrogate the event: Was it actually worth 10 hours of our time? Did its time-jumping structure work? Its its treatment of Jordan really “hagiography” sanctifying the man, or is the picture of grudge-holding ultra-competitiveness actually pretty repulsive? Why was he like that? Why are sports amenable to creating cultural icons out of its heroes in a way that, say, physics isn’t? Are we going to see many more of these long-form treatments of sports heroes?
For more discussion, here are some articles we looked at:
- “I’m Not American and Not a Basketball Fan, but I Watched Michael Jordan’s ‘The Last Dance’ — And It Was by Far the Best Sports Documentary I’ve Ever Seen” by Barnaby Lane
- “‘The Last Dance’ Left a Little Room for Nitpicking” by Matt Lagone
- “Michael Jordan’s Yellow Eyes Are Never Explained by ‘The Last Dance,’ Concerning Fans” by RIck Thomas
- “Why Michael Jordan Didn’t Allow Film Crews into His Real Mansion for ‘The Last Dance’” by Luke Norris
- “Did Utah Pizza Give Michael Jordan Food Poisoning and Was It Intentional?” by Rob Schaefer
- “A Masterclass In Leadership: The Last Dance” by Don Yaeger
- “‘The Last Dance’ Director Defends Creative Choice To Flash Forward To 2046” from The Onion
If you enjoyed this, check out our episode #25 with sportscaster Dave Revsine.