‘Ballers’ Ends as it Existed: Lame (TV Review)

[rating=2.00] “Flamingos”

Like a child dumping out all its toys just before bedtime, Ballers has found trapped in the corner of its bedroom just in time for the season finale. I’d elaborate further, but somehow the show was able to portray my exact feelings of this show within the opening minute.

This is where the GIF would be of Joe destroying his office if there was one. But there isn’t, because not even the internet thinks enough of this show to make the necessary GIFs of it.

Anyway, Joe destroys his office, which we learn intercut with Spencer wading through his coworkers confused and slack-jawed about the ordeal. He’s met with his new assistant, who takes him to his new office upstairs. Suddenly, Anderson has warmed to Spencer, and decided to promote him – to what, exactly, we don’t know, because the show never bothered to sketch out what his position was in the first place. But he has a bigger office, and it’s enough that he tells his boss it’s “fucking dope.”

Meanwhile, Ricky has started some kind of youth camp/little league/convenient plot point where a group of miscellaneous child extras were given “Ricky’s Runts” t-shirts and told to scream in unison. It would seem like a rushed plot point if it was, you know, a plot point. Instead it’s just an excuse to remind the audience that Ricky hates his absentee father, telling the kids “fuck you dad, it is” and smiling like there’s supposed to be some kind of vindication. Whether it’s for the audience or the character, it’s too hard for the show to figure out.

His father shows up, trying to make amends. Namely because being shunned since Ricky’s tell-all confession has made life inconvenient for him. It’s another footnote that hammered into the finale with a mallet, but at least we’re able to see that Ricky’s asshole behavior is hereditary.

Not to be completely devoid of consistency, Joe does follow up with his notion of forming his own company, along with Spencer, going so far as to put his own name second. “I’m better batting cleanup, anyways,” he muses, in one of the show’s fleeting moments of accidental cleverness. Spencer muses, before convincing Anderson (again, of Anderson Financial) to hire him back. There’s also a boat involved for some stupid fucking reason.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the Ballers season finale without the inclusion of Vernon, who’s still MIA, which is somehow supposed to be compelling because we keep getting told how important he is. Spencer and Jason find him shirking a 40 (or 45) million dollar contract so he can photograph fucking flamingos (HEY! THAT’S THE TITLE OF THIS EPISODE!) After they find him, he’s suddenly willing to put down his egregiously expensive Nikon camera to celebrate getting paid 40 (or 45) million dollars. Hooray.

This is topped off with a celebratory dinner, with all the hangers on, and Vernon being served an 18 million dollar check (side note, does the waitress who brought that to him get 15% of that?) just in time for Reggie, the closest thing to an antagonist the show was able to accidentally throw together, to smile and forgive Spencer, as Spencer does the same to him. Not since the series finale of Night Court have I been so overwhelmed by the genuine believability of the good turn of events.

And, like the same petulant child trying to force a square peg in a round hole and getting red-faced in the process, Ballers provides a lackluster, painfully uninteresting ending to a season that was entirely the same.

Ballers will be back on HBO in 10ish months for a second season, making today a day worth celebrating, as it’s the longest possible time before I have to start watching it again.

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