Swagger

Swagger

TV-14

appletv

Combining impressive athleticism, relevant social themes, and heartwarming performances, Swagger is a noteworthy entry in the sports drama genre

The Very Best

8.0

TV Show

United States of America
English
Drama
2021
Caleel Harris, Isaiah R. Hill, James Bingham
56 min

TLDR

All I’m saying is there are plenty of mediocre shows Apple TV+ could’ve scrapped instead of the promising, energizing Swagger.

What it's about

Loosely based on executive producer and NBA star Kevin Durant’s childhood, Swagger follows basketball prodigy Jase Carson (Isaiah Hill) and his coach Ike Edwards (O'Shea Jackson Jr.) as they navigate youth basketball and all the razor-sharp competition and tricky politics that come with it.

The take

Swagger could’ve easily been a generic sports drama about an ambitious prodigy who, against all odds and through sheer determination, makes it to the top. It is that, but it’s also so much more. Swagger offers biting commentary on race and economic realities, as well as heart-warming and relatable stories about family, love, and coming of age. It’s finely acted, with everyone from the kids and their parents to the coaches offering lived-in and realistic performances. The show is most reminiscent of the 2000 film Love & Basketball, which would make sense since the latter is directed by Swagger director Reggie Bythewood’s spouse, Gina Prince-Bythewood. Swagger and Love & Basketball have unique differences, of course, but both deeply understand and powerfully speak to the Black experience.

What stands out

There is so much talent to take in here. All are competent, but first-timers Hill and Solomon Irama, who plays Hill's teammate, stand out for their impressive athleticism and natural charisma.

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