TV Club: Ballers: “Head-On”

For the entirety of its first season, Ballers has been teasing a deeper angst lurking within Spencer Strasmore. The show has been hinting at neurological and psychological issues. There have been scattered flashbacks to Spencer laying a huge hit on an opposing player, the whole context of the hit and its consequences only implied, never truly discussed or presented visually. That moment, that one big hit in Strasmore’s career, has loomed like a dark cloud since the very first episode. It’s been one of the few sources of promise on the show. For every underdeveloped character, sexist bit of dialogue, and horrifically paced plot, there’s been the promise of Ballers eventually deconstructing it all, showing how Strasmore’s life, and perhaps the life of a Baller, is constructed to distract from the physical and emotional scars caused by the game they love so dearly.

“Head-On,” the penultimate …

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