Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty: What Is and What Should Never Be
September 18, 2023 11:07 AM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

With the NBA Finals, the tensions between Lakers and Celtics reach a new peak in 1984, and between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

Recap, recap. This seems to be the series finale, as HBO will not be doing a third season. That's game.

(All episodes of Winning Time are streaming now on Max. The show is based on Jeff Pearlman's book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.)
posted by box (5 comments total)
I don’t think I’ve been more disappointed in a series finale.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 12:24 PM on September 18

Yeah, it brings me no joy to say it, because I really like this show, but that ending was on some ‘Poochie went back to his home planet’ shit, and the second season didn’t even get ten episodes. I don’t know if I’m directing my disappointment accurately, but I would’ve thought HBO/Max would’ve had a little more patience for something that mostly got positive reviews even if it wasn’t as popular as they’d hoped for.
posted by box at 6:09 PM on September 18

I thought this would have been a very strong season finale, and then my wife and I were sort of flabbergasted by the wrap-up slideshow

it's so clearly built as at least a second-part-of-the-trilogy thing that I can only assume they'd mostly finished shooting before it was cancelled out from under them?

so strange. what a shame. this was a really fun show with some great performances and I'll still remember it fondly
posted by Kybard at 4:33 PM on September 20

Yes, absolutely heartbroken at the cancellation. Clearly they intended to go at least one more season to see the Lakers beat Boston. They could have kept this going for a long time, too.

Don’t forget that this is the show that drove a wedge between Adam McKay and Will Ferrell.
posted by jimw at 9:44 PM on September 20

Thinking about it some more, I'm still wondering what happened.

While I'm sure that a period show with a large ensemble cast starring John C. Reilly and Adrien Brody was not inexpensive to produce, HBO had enough confidence in this thing that someone produced a tie-in edition of Pearlman's book.

I remember when letting creatives tell the stories they wanted to tell (the end of The Sopranos, the fifth season of The Wire...) was kind of HBO's thing. I feel like moving away from that would be really bad for the brand (and, not insignificantly, might damage their relationship with Adam McKay), but what do I know, I'm not a TV executive.
posted by box at 5:25 AM on September 21

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