Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers season 1, episode 1 review – the premiere explained

By Ricky Valero
Published: August 15, 2022
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While the pieces are here, the first episode of Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers is overly unfocused, which causes it to be a bit all over the place.

This review of the Hulu documentary series Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers season 1, episode 1 contains spoilers. 

Access the reviews, news, and recaps for Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers.

Hulu is dropping a docuseries about the Lakers, one of the most storied franchises in the history of sports. The docuseries is called Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers. Today, we kick off our weekly review of the series. Will this be worth a weekly watch? Let’s dive in.

Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers season 1, episode 1 review

I’ll be the first to say that I am cautiously optimistic about the length of this series. The series will be unfolded in over ten parts. I know there is a lot to unpack with the history of the Lakers, but ten parts? How will this not overstay its welcome? However, I am excited because they got all the pieces from different generations to talk about the team’s history.

The first episode kicks off in 1979 when the Lakers had been eliminated from the playoffs. While things weren’t going as planned, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the star they paid a lot of money to get on their roster and took a bunch of the heat for why they weren’t succeeding. Next, we transition to everyone talking about Jerry Buss buying the Lakers when the NBA wasn’t at the top of everyone’s radar. All the other sports were rising and leaving the NBA in the dust.

Next, if you watched Winning Time on HBO, we see the infamous coin flip that the Lakers ended up winning for the 1979 draft, which led to the drafting of Magic Johnson. Once he was drafted, we get the story of Jerry West leaving the Lakers as a coach. We discovered that he couldn’t correlate his playing days with his coaching to execute appropriately. So West was like the character he complained about in Winning Time? Interesting.

While we all don’t love the idea of an absent father, Jerry Buss knew he wasn’t a great father. So he came up with an idea to at least try to make up for it by bringing them into the fold for the Lakers, which was something I can appreciate. Next, I was blown away to see how Buss made the Lakers the premiere event in the era. From creating Showtime to being the first team to have cheerleaders in the NBA, he was creative and innovative.

One of the things that clicked right away for me with the opening episode was seeing that found footage of all the events that happened back in the day. We didn’t have these reenactments or some fake footage it was authentic. This made it more exciting to hear the stories. But then, you factor that footage in with the players, coaches, and principal people talking, and you have one heck of a first episode.

However, the structure of this first episode is a complete disaster. With this being ten episodes, I figured we would get the story of Buss followed by his purchase of the Lakers and, of course, everything that followed in an episode-by-episode movement. Instead, we got a first episode that was completely all over the place. I can’t stand what they did in this first episode with the lack of structure. I hope this isn’t how the rest of the series will be.

Overall, you have a blend of bad and good that makes this an uneven first episode that leaves you wanting more. The creators know we want to keep going, but any more episodes like this and folks might stop watching.

What did you think of the Hulu documentary series Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers season 1, episode 1? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Hulu.

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