Jump to content

The Last Dance - ESPN's 10 part Michael Jordan Doc

Recommended Posts

We've now gotten four episodes so it's quite possible that you've heard of The Last Dance, ESPN's new 10 part documentary about Michael Jordan. The first episodes averaged over 6 million viewers, easily making it ESPN's highest rated documentary ever.


It was always going to be a unique event. Primarily following the 97-98 Bulls season, the doc features two things that make it particularly special: lots of brand new interview footage with MJ himself, and a whole lot of never before seen video shot during that historic season. The then NBA films executive Adam Silver convinced MJ and the Bulls to allow video crews unprecedented access throughout the season, but with a catch: MJ and Silver agreed that neither could use the footage unless both agreed, and until now, he never has.



Yahoo has a great article about what it took to convince MJ to do the project, but it seems that it mostly boils down to timing and producer Michael Tollin's preparation. Also, I think MJ still got final cut, so don't expect anything terribly cutting.



As someone that maybe watches a few playoff and Finals games a year, both my wife and I have been very much enjoying it. After MJ agreed, it seems they got interviews with everyone they could possibly have wanted, from players and coaches to "former Chicago resident" Barack Obama. It also seems like they had the budget to use whatever songs they wanted for the needle drops (I particularly liked the Beastie Boys playing to a clip show of Denis Rodman), and the overall production value is excellent. If nothing else, it's kinda fun to just watch clips of MJ being great.



My wife thinks the overall structure of the show is a bit convoluted. Each episode changes partial focus to another character in MJ's orbit, while also slowly working through the 97-98 season. The result is a lot of time jumps and edits, which I haven't had issues with, but I can understand if some do.



I don't think there have been any crazy revelations in the first four episodes, and I don't really expect there to be. This series isn't exposing some great secret or pushing some shocking new narrative. It's just a very well made documentary about one of the most important sports icons in history. If you have even the smallest interest in sport, I recommend watching it.


For those without access to ESPN, The Last Dance was made in partnership with Netflix, who will stream the whole series on July 19th.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...