Pros: A story about one of the most interesting seasons in NBA history; interviews with former Chicago Bulls players, their opponents, coaches, and basketball-loving celebrities; a wealth of new archival material; dramatic editing Cons: None The Last Dance / “The Last Dance”
Genre documentary series
Directed by Jason Hehir
The series featured Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Phil Jackson, Toni Kukoc, Jerry Krause, Jerry Reinsdorf, Steve Kerr, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Carmen Electra and others.
ESPN, Netflix channels
Year of release 2020
The Last Dance is based on unique recordings made by a team of NBA filmmakers during the 1997-98 season. Then Michael Jordan gave the television crew full access to the team’s locker room and his hotel room, with the condition that the filmed materials could be used only with his express permission. After many years and many refusals, in 2016 Jordan finally agreed to the documentary filmmakers’ proposal, which allowed this series to be born.
In addition to archival materials from 1997-98. and numerous recordings from previous NBA seasons, all the way back to the mid-60s, covering the basketball career of coach Phil Jackson, the series includes many contemporary interviews with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc, Steve Kerr, B.J. Armstrong, Horace Grant – Chicago Bulls star players. However, the Bulls’ famous rivals were not forgotten; Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, who died in early 2020, appeared in the series. Kobe Bryant, Reggie Miller, John Stockton and other famous players. Moreover, in The Last Dance you will quite unexpectedly see two former US presidents, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, several television and film stars, popular singers and presenters – all of them are united by a love of basketball.
Naturally, the star of The Last Dance, like the NBA star in his time, was Michael Jordan, the series is focused primarily on him, his family, his sports and business career, his uncontrollable thirst for victory, which led all the “Bulls” . But there was also a place in the series for those without whom Jordan would never have become a six-time NBA champion, remaining only a unique player, for those who brought him balls, tolerated his rudeness and intemperance, and supported him throughout all these years. The series takes a fairly detailed look at several of the top players on the Chicago Bulls. Naturally, this is Jordan’s best friend and partner – Scottie Pippen; eccentric, crazy, but, if necessary, giving his best Dennis Rodman; accurate and reliable Steve Kerr, the NBA’s best three-point shooter despite his short stature, who, as it turns out, has something in common with Jordan.
Of course, there was also a place in the series for Jordan’s teammates on The Dream Team, and the story of the influence that Jordan had on the popularization of basketball and the NBA around the world, his influence on everyday fashion and the expansion of the American lifestyle to other countries. However, the creators of the series do not hide the dark sides of Michael Jordan’s career, speaking frankly about his gambling addiction, which the former basketball player still denies, about his rudeness with his teammates, about some actions for which Jordan is still ashamed.
However, the main thing in The Last Dance is still not this, the main thing is the incredibly beautiful basketball that the Bulls players and their opponents demonstrated during the 1991-1998 seasons. There really is a lot of basketball and beautiful shots by Jordan, Pippen, Rodman, Kukoc, Kerr and others, which is especially nice now that the NBA regular season is on pause due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Separately, I would like to note the very successful editing of the series, which several times during each episode takes us from 1998 to earlier periods to talk about the beginning of the career of a particular player, draw parallels with other games between the same opponents, etc. This adds scale and drama to the series. Even if you know exactly how the last dance of the Bulls will end, watching The Last Dance is still incredibly interesting, and in terms of tension it can easily give odds to many feature series.
It is worth recognizing that Netflix knows how to make/select good documentaries and films, especially those dedicated to sports. Formula 1: Drive to Survive, Losers, the films Icarus and A Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story – this is just what we wrote about, the list goes on. It is easy to predict that after the release of The Last Dance, interest in basketball and NBA games will only grow, as happened after the release of the first season of Formula 1: Drive to Survive with royal car racing.
Even if you’ve never been interested in sports in general and basketball in particular, we highly recommend watching The Last Dance – probably the best documentary, and maybe not only documentary, series of 2020.
This series is about the Chicago Bulls from 1991-1998. Worth watching even for those who have never been interested in basketball