Winning Time: The Rise of The Lakers Dynasty received a lot of press in the past week for all the wrong reasons. Whether or not HBO Max is capitalizing on the headlines about the show that broke up Will Ferrell and Adam McKay by releasing a trailer this week is anyone’s guess. Either way, the turmoil does a disservice to the trailer. Winning Time looks like the most fun McKay’s had in years, and John C. Reilly, who stars in the show, slips into the role of Jerry Buss with such ease that it’s hard to imagine Ferrell doing the same.
Regardless of the drama, Winning Time now has a trailer, and it would’ve grabbed our attention even without the backstage feuding. Shot with a grainy filter to give it some retro vibes, the series brings John C. Reilly back to 1970s Los Angeles. The actor rekindles some of that Boogie Nights energy as Jerry Buss, the charismatic and obsessive Lakers owner who set a course to create one of the most successful franchises in sports. By his side, he’s got Quincy Isaiah and Dr. Solomon Hughes playing basketball superstars Ervin “Magic” Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. There’s even a little Airplane! action from the latter.
Reilly’s energy here is hard to ignore, but the cast certainly tries to divert your attention. This is an all-star game of talent featuring Jason Clarke, Adrien Brody, Gaby Hoffman, Tracy Letts, Jason Segel, Julianne Nicholson, Rob Morgan, and Sally Field. The whole cast seems to be having a ball with the 70s aesthetics.
Why can’t basketball have the style and pizzaz of jazz, Reilly’s Jerry Buss asks Isaiah’s Magic Johnson? Well, Winning Time, with its Martin Scorsese energy and a funky soundtrack, looks to have an abundance of both.
Winning Time premieres in March 2022.