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Recap episode 8 of Victory Time: “California Dreaming”


Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson in 'Time of Victory.'

Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson in ‘Time of Victory.’
Picture: HBO

Since the poems, short stories and works of Henry Dumas, a specter has reached beyond the fringes of American art and correspondence – Afro-surrealism. A distinguishing feature of this genre is the self-perception that the readers, authors, and fictional characters perceive the world in which they live as far away. The term is derived from surrealism, defined as humor based on logical detours. Victory time blurring truth and fiction by existing on razor blades between the two and recent argumentative. As a show about one of the greatest and mostly BOOMlack of teams in NBA history, Victory time have the opportunity to join a group of works about the complexity of Black of identity, which has recently become mainstream by shows like Underground Railroad, Atlanta, the visual work of Kara Walker, and the films of Jordan Peele. There’s a hint of surrealism in HBO’s latest series – the characters speak directly to the audience, the animated sequences happen once in a while, and the top-notch graphics accentuate almost every scene. While the show is clearly stylistically surreal, it lacks an Afrocentric perspective.

Victory time Take the sharpest turn into the field on the left with white characters behind the wheel. In the first season, it was mainly John C. Reilly’s Jerry Buss, who broke the fourth wall the most, drawing us, the audience, into conversation. This is not to say that Buss doesn’t have something to say. His lucrative gamble put the Lakers on the path to their era. But we’ve been down this road before. There’s no need to fill the awakened quota by centering the show around fictional characters on the margins. We get enough of that from the company’s ads for Adidas and Gillette.

The shame behind this wasted opportunity is that the show may have allowed Magic and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the avatars of the show’s venturing into surrealism. It would be a more interesting story to see and hear what they were thinking, as the players playing the field game while navigating the political game off the court. But unfortunately, these moments are few and far between. The world of the BESTlack of men living in the border of the absurd. Magic, namely, constantly feels out of place and forced to confront the union and commissioner with the other Bthe lack of stars and especially the white rookie rival, Larry Bird. The working-class origins of magic are frequently used as a source of difference. The NBA is a white man’s game, and the Lakers are reluctant chess pieces. However, they must navigate their lives from beginning to end as if it all made sense, a hallmark of surrealism. But no matter how absurd the situational moments Victory time be it, racism is very real and the pitfalls of fame lurking around every corner for its Black of character.

In the episode 8 introduction, “California Dreaming,” Buss is given the ability to travel through pervasive icy times, retelling the allegory of not giving up through the story of the Englishman Roger Bannister breaking The world record for the mile run. Buss does this while walking through Staples Stadium, where the players and fans are frozen in time. The story of Banister’s history-making achievement is a strange one for the unlucky Lakers looking to make history. So why not let Magic tell it? As the main star of the series, Reilly was the highest paying and the Shakespearian character of this story, but perhaps that was a creative mistake. With all the controversy surrounding the film’s accuracy surrounding its core cast, it would have been a more interesting risk to let Magic tell this story from his point of view.

Think of the scenario – a poor, working-class African-American was stripped of his humble Michigan upbringing to become the missing piece of the Los Angeles fairy tale. It will be shown recently around Magic’s POV, with no compulsion and no hint of neoliberal virtue. The show did an excellent job of painting each character in grayscale, showcasing the qualities that make them NBA heroes and villains having their own happiness. However, it can be much more than that. That’s not to say Reilly isn’t absorbed in the role of Buss. His love triangle in this episode with his frustrated daughter, dying mother, and her nurse is a hallmark of the series. A late-night car scene between Reilly and his mother’s nurse (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) sets the line between gentleness and lust, showing just how profound his Oedipus complex is. After soaking her shirt with a tearful breakdown at his mother’s impending death, he unbuttoned the nurse’s shirt to suckle at her nipples.

We’re given brief moments of Magic taking the narrative reins, such as when he bitches to the camera about not receiving support from his teammates as an All-Star. But they are brief and not nearly the majesty or length of Buss’ soliloquies. Magic is too interesting a person, both the real version and this simulation, to be regulated to the sidelines. And this is Winning Time’s biggest error, bestowing its most personal and introspective moments to just Buss, while spreading out the crumbs to the rest of the expanded cast. To be fair, how many of us can relate to the millionaire shenanigans of playboy Buss? It’s Magic’s tragic arc, grounded in everyday good vs. evil, that feels more familiar.

At the end of the day, isn’t the NBA a star driven league anyways?



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