TV Shows

Recensie Prime Video-series ‘Redefined: JR Smith’

Mainly not about JR Smith (but still pretending).

Director: Philip Knowlton | Episodes: 4 | Time to play: 28-31 minutes | Year: 2023

There are pop songs that have the depth of a pancake, but that’s okay because they sound great and are unpretentious. And yet, as soon as someone takes all the fun and energy out of it with a slow piano version, it rains reactions from people who notice how layered those same pancakes are all of a sudden. That also applies to movies and series, something true Redefined: JR Smith convenient to use. But this former basketball player’s story would have been funnier as a no-nonsense good-time reality show.

JR Smith was a professional basketball player who played on various teams until no one cared about him anymore. Because Smith doesn’t like to sit still, he decides to go back to school and at the same time try to build a career in golf. A camera crew focuses the lens on this challenge. There just isn’t much to say about it. So the creators decided to broaden the scope by paying just as much (if not more) attention to the college Smith is enrolling in, as well as two other students who also want to become professional golfers: Xavier and Diego.

Smith’s intent is remarkable. It’s always good to feed your head with knowledge and there’s nothing wrong with going back to school at a later age. It’s also a smart move to make a career change when your current job has come to an end. Smith chooses A&T College in North Carolina, highlighting a campus that was once home to black students who were not welcome in white schools. That premise is tragic, but the fact that the school came to be and still exists is a great victory.

The history of A&T is well covered in all four episodes, including some interesting anecdotes. Also a lot of simulation that there is an atmosphere of commitment and that each one is your family. All of that may be true, but aside from the fact that you can’t do anything but take his word for it, it has nothing to do with JR Smith and his fresh start.

This fills in time that could have been spent on the less positive chapters of Smith’s life, which are now completely ignored. He comes to her as a tremendously talented and inspiring figure; a man with a desire to be seen as more than just an airheaded athlete. Before the start of his interview, he chooses to sit on the couch topless and asks if he’s okay.

It’s probably more of a joke, since Smith is known as the most tattooed basketball player and someone who is always shirtless. But not everyone considers it an achievement or great. Furthermore, he may have been talented, but also extremely capricious. He just did the best he could during a match when he felt like it. Eventually, his latest team got tired of this and didn’t use it again.

There was also an incident in which Smith drove a car without a seat belt and coldly ignored a stop sign, as a result of which he was struck and his co-driver was killed. For this, Smith spent almost a month in prison. All this information about him you will not get from the documentary that bears his name. This side of him doesn’t exist. redefined.

The attentive viewer will notice that Smith sometimes contradicts himself or that his words do not match his actions. For example, he claims not to have gone for fame; playing basketball was simply his passion. Even so, we see him show off with spectacular dunks and he likes to show off his tattoos. In the last episode we see the growth of him. It begins with the statement “A good coach is a coach,” followed by a flimsy excuse to shift responsibility for his behavior onto someone else.

Just wanting to show the good things about someone without a noticeable amount of deep friction with the way this documentary was filmed and edited. It’s another pancake that has received a serious makeover. But this could have been a simple reality series, like the one about the Veerkampjes or the Kardashians. That had still communicated that a former basketball star wants to make life better for her, without pretending to be a calm water with a deep bottom.


Redefined: JR Smith can be seen in first video.

Ritika Prasher

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