In a quest for redemption and a national title, East Mississippi Community College once again shows that success rises to the top in the most dire of circumstances.
Last Chance U is quite simply the journey through the season for a team that ended its season in controversy and disappointment.
The mantra for Season 2 is that Buddy Stephens is a changed man. In Season 1 he was loud, angry, and obnoxious. Frankly, that’s the majority of football coaches in my experience. I’ve only watched football and football documentaries, I’ve never played the game, but that’s what you see. Buddy’s journey towards a calmer demeanor, and a more understanding approach is a definite side story to this season. I definitely came to appreciate everything he does to be a better person, and a better head coach for a team with championship aspirations.
One of my favorite characters in the show is defensive line coach Davern Williams. I don’t remember him being highlighted as much in Season 1, but he played an integral part in this year’s installment. You can tell he truly cares for the players, but also demands respect and performance from his group of lineman, and he has dreams of bigger and better things for himself just as his players do. He’s one of the few where I appreciate when he gets upset and heated, because you can tell that it is out of frustration that his players are not living up to their potential as athletes or people. Seeing where he ended up at the end truly surprised me. Not sure if it’s because of the narrative leading up to the ending, or my dream for him that I created in my own head.
And then, of course, there’s Brittany Wagner. I love her. I absolutely love her. She is the most crucial cog in the machine. Without her, that team is not reality, and the players admit that. Now, I don’t know if academic advisers are that involved at every university, but what she does astonishes me. My academic adviser in college only met with me a handful of times. Granted, I’ve never been a football player, and my grades were never at a dangerous level, to the point where I was in danger of not graduating. Ms. Wagner loves and cares for each and every player that comes into her office. She holds them accountable. She shows them compassion. She proves she understands them, and then teaches them life lessons. I love Ms. Wagner and by the end she had me close to tears.
Being a football fan, I love the characters this season brings along. Kam Carter is probably the most infuriating as a viewer because he’s so talented, but can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. My favorite is probably Dakota Allen. He made a clear mistake in his life, but he’s finding his way through it. I appreciate a comeback story like any person. I was rather shocked to see the decision he made at the end of the series. Finally, there’s Isaiah Wright, who I felt every emotion for. He’s infuriating, but you understand why, yet you want him to simple get “it.” There’s a whole cast of characters just like there was in Season 1. That’s what truly makes this series captivating. There’s a whole number of jokers in this deck.
FINAL SCORE: 8.5/10
I spent a weekend lounging around watching this season, and by the time it ended I was shocked that it was over. It’s a short season, and there are some infuriating moments, but it’s a great docuseries (yes, that’s a word) for any sports fan.
+ Great characters
+Inside look at the inner workings of a football program
+Drama filled “reality” of real life
– Tough to know what’s reality and what’s show
– Rather short series
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