Last Chance U season 4 is entertaining but for unprecedented reasons, as we witness another season of the Indy Pirates.
What we witness in Netflix’s Last Chance U season 4 is what we usually see on TV but beneath the surface, where cameras are always in the changing rooms. If you are a supporter of a sports team, you will appreciate the stress and heartbreaks that come from religiously following an outcome that you cannot control. It’s the relationship that is formed with the team that keeps your passion alive. Season 3 was a whirlwind of dreams for the community and Independence Pirates’ Coach Jason Brown brought everything that he promised: talent, money, goals, but more importantly, wins on the field.
And that’s what makes Last Chance U season 4 unprecedented. The Netflix series has a trend of bringing the best out of young players who needed that last chance. Season 4 opens up with high expectations; this is the year where Indy win the Nationals — they have the star “out of state” players, the coaches, the new facilities and the money to mount a challenge to go one further than the previous year. And it appears they have it all figured out.
It’s hard to adjust to the new theme of Last Chance U season 4 — Indy Part 2 feels more like a nightmare than a symbol of hope. Ironically,Coach Jason Brown renames the program #DreamU, taking the Netflix series title and giving his own self-made, self-indulgent title. We can’t blame his confidence, but as audiences will witness, sometimes dreams come too early. Part 2 doesn’t feel as serious as the predecessor — the players feel more relaxed; the coach seems distracted. It’s almost like they became a victim of their fame — damn you, Netflix.
But then again, without Netflix, series like Last Chance U would not have been possible. As much as I toiled over whether the publicity of these young stars is morally reasonable, I reminded myself that for some of these players, the Netflix series most likely saved any chance they had for a football career. Last Chance U season 4 shows how desperate it gets for a young teenager trying to play for a flailing team, but wanting to secure a scholarship at the same time. The usual theme of getting good grades as back-up rather than as part of a process is driven into their brains over and over again.
But talking of brains, Last Chance U season 4 does a sterling job in raising awareness surrounding concussions in the sport. There are many instances in the latest season where the physio is dealing with returning players from a head clash. It’s well documented that the game is experiencing an epidemic of brain traumas. These kids care about playing football and making the top dollar – they care less about feeling dizzy.
Locals and investors are also in the spotlight. Last year with the investments working out for the town, there was not much to grumble about. This time it’s different, public opinion is rife, and money is in the question.
Last Chance U season 4 routinely hones in of some of the player’s profiles; their upbringings, their community and the tragedies that have bestowed their lives, bringing them to Independence. Interestingly, with the failures surrounding the season, the Netflix series narrows in on the coaches, and the pressures they are facing in a season of turmoil. It’s easy to forget the management when you are winning, but losing is a different story.
Audiences get the usual flavours from the Netflix series, but season 4 will require an adjustment. It’s a disaster, and that’s putting it nicely. The ultimate breakdowns between the players, the coaches and the community are entertaining but oddly shocking. It’s hard to consume at times, and as I write this, I’m still not sure whether this type of entertainment is necessarily a good thing. This is the futures of young teenagers we are witnessing.
You can read the recap of episode 1 of Last Chance U season 4 by clicking these words.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.