Save Our Squad with David Beckham review – Becks to the rescue

November 10, 2022
Andy Punter 0
Disney+, Streaming Service, TV Reviews
4

Summary

Save our Squad With David Beckham rises above its predictable format thanks largely to the very real connection between Beckham and the kids at the heart of this charming series. 

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4

Summary

Save our Squad With David Beckham rises above its predictable format thanks largely to the very real connection between Beckham and the kids at the heart of this charming series. 

We review the Disney+ series Save Our Squad with David Beckham season 1, which was released on November 9, 2022.

Modern football gives us much to be cynical about, and indeed the impending World Cup, awarded through corruption to a host country with a record of human rights abuses, is enough to turn you off from the sport altogether. Save Our Squad with David Beckham arrives just in time to melt the heart of this jaded old viewer and remind us how special the sport can be. 

The conceit of the show is familiar enough, global footballing icon David Beckham returns to the area he grew up to provide support to a local kids’ football team that is struggling. Beckham brings with him tons of football experience and a healthy sprinkle of stardust. This sort of format is reasonably familiar by now, and largely, the success of shows like this hinges on how engaged the star turn is. In this case, Beckham delivers, taking what could be a trite exercise and turning it into something genuinely touching. 

Beckham is genuinely invested in the kids, and their lives, and his sincerity is touching. He is great with them and, coming from a similar background, is able to empathize with them and their frustrations and challenges. Beckham speaks their language, and having a former England captain who won just about every major honor in the sport take an interest in them builds these kids up in the most lovely of ways. He seems to be getting just as much out of it as the kids do. 

The producers rightly don’t overdo it with the backstories of these kids. They are all from East London and are mostly working class. It would be all too easy to make this show about how difficult it is to grow up in the East End in a post-Brexit, post-austerity Britain. Thankfully, they stay away from this terrain and present these kids for what they seem to be, normal kids living everyday lives and dreaming of becoming a footballer. 

The show is very slickly produced, and some of the editing around the kids’ matches appear to elevate the standard of schoolboy football to that of the Premier League. In some ways, it reflects how high the stakes are for the boys and their families, but for me, it slightly undermined the down-to-earth “Jumpers for goalposts” feel of the series. There are some awkwardly overdone moments, for example, a “spontaneous” interjection from a West Ham scout still reading a script, but I defy you not to be moved anyway. 

Possibly the biggest compliment I can give Save Our Squad with David Beckham is that it got me nostalgic for my own days of playing schoolboy sports. In that time, I learned how to win, how to lose, and how to do that in a team. At the heart of every kids’ sports team are the parents and the coaches who make it happen for their kids. That community is what makes sports special. Moreover, Save our Squad with David Beckham managed the seemingly impossible feat of reminding me why I am a football fan in the first place and why it’s important that we do not let corporate interests take away what is special about our sport.

What did you think of Save our Squad With David Beckham season 1? Comment below.

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