This review of Netflix true crime/documentary series Bad Sport contains no spoilers.
Bad Sport is a sports meets true-crime documentary mashup and it is brilliant. It includes real, archival footage, interviews with players, coaches, and sportscasters, and re-enactments to create a decent interpretation of what happened in these games. I knew there was corruption in sports — give me an industry where there isn’t any — but this documentary has really opened my eyes to the vast amount of corruption there is.The most common scandal we think of when it comes to sports is definitely the amount of drug use. Steroids, performance enhancers, even recently we’ve seen athletes not allowed to compete in the Olympics down to illegal substances showing in their test results. However, you’ll learn in this documentary there are many ways in which the industry is corrupt. Dishonesty can take many forms: false starts, ball-tampering, match-fixing, and illegal betting are a few. Each episode is gripping and fascinating, covering all the ins and outs of the sports world.
What else is interesting and infuriating is how far back these abuses go in history. The fraud, deceit, abuse, isn’t new and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon, either. Even small incidents, things you’d think weren’t so bad, such as controlling how one side plays, are a fix. It’s corrupt and it happens way more than you’d think. The risks, the drive, the drama. The sports world has it all.
This series examines some serious incidents of cheating and dishonesty in sports. With sports being a competitive industry and business, a lot is “accepted”, “overlooked” and well-hidden. Here we can see the fine line between healthy competition between players and then bad sportsmanship where the essence of the game is lost and, like a lot of industries, everything becomes about money.
The filming, editing, music, cuts are all excellent. Interviews are conducted in appropriate settings, which are well lit, and we get a great mix between medium-wide shots and close-ups. Really emphasizing the emotion with the close-ups.
All in all, this is a great documentary to watch. Highly engaging, informative, and eye-opening. This is a series that needed to be made, to be seen, and will hopefully make a change for the future of sports. If you’re a fan of sports this will make an interesting, maybe soul-crushing watch. The series is from the producers behind Don’t F*** with Cats – so if you’re a fan of that documentary, this might be right up your alley.
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