Beckham: Full Series
October 16, 2023 9:40 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

This four-episode documentary series follows the life and career of Mr. Posh Spice, David Beckham. Directed by Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit, Succession, and The Cove), it is an in-depth look at his life both on and off the pitch.
posted by jimw (5 comments total)
I really enjoyed this, and I give a huge amount of credit for that to Fisher Stevens. Because he came at this as someone with minimal background in Beckham’s story and football as a professional sport, he was a great proxy for me coming in at about the same level. There were some really clever and moving storytelling devices, like cutting footage of him playing as a kid against him playing as a pro.

It’s another documentary that drives home how awful the British tabloids are in how relentlessly they pursue their stories.

It also doesn’t hurt that the Beckhams can be genuinely funny. The way David takes down Victoria’s claim to have grown up working class was hilarious.

It’s hard to explain what i mean by this, but you could definitely feel the influence of Succession on this.
posted by jimw at 7:55 AM on October 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it too, and I agree jimw, even though I wasn't aware of Fisher's other work, the outsider perspective really helped. And the device of watching someone watching old footage of themselves was quite emotional at times!

So many thoughts!

- This Guardian review pointed out this might be a bit of image re-hab after his controversial Qatar association

- They didn't really explore his relationship with his dad in the sense of it felt like his dad was living out his dreams through his son? I kept thinking I hope he (David) has had some therapy around that, but it didn't sound like it

- Plus, the lack of mental health discourse at that time so he had no help around the tabloid abuse.

- They provided context to the cheating accusations but didn't deny them, leaving watchers to assume they were true but not getting into something personal to their marriage, fair enough

- Having been a British teen girl in the Spice Girls era, I was reliving some 90s news stories as an adult and seeing now how awful they really were, for all genders

- I saw his USA debut in person in DC! It was really interesting to hear about the US soccer side of things - I didn't know all that about Landon Donovan

- It didn't really cover how his Miami thing is going? Assuming he chose Florida because of the large Latino population that is perhaps more into football than other states?

- The haircuts!!
posted by atlantica at 8:13 AM on October 18, 2023

It didn't really cover how his Miami thing is going? Assuming he chose Florida because of the large Latino population that is perhaps more into football than other states?

It surprised me that this was in the documentary, since Messi joining the Inter Miami was a very recent development (June 2023), and it sort of implied that Beckham’s involvement in this all just happened. Beckham had the option to purchase an expansion team from his original MLS contract, and the Miami team was in the works since 2013. Professional football is definitely enjoying a huge surge in popularity in the US right now, and I think it is crossing over pretty widely.
posted by jimw at 1:59 PM on October 18, 2023

Interesting! Also, I think there's a recent Ted Lasso effect (which was much bigger in the US than UK - not many subscribe to Apple here, but the shooting location has become a US tourist destination) and the Wrexham thing too (although Wrexham over here is a bit controversial...)
posted by atlantica at 11:57 AM on October 20, 2023

I've seen analysis in other football media, that Beckham's MLS contract with the option to purchase a franchise in the future, was very unusual and paid off for him massively. I think it was an option to purchase at a fixed price too - when he exercised it, he'd already made millions, because the cost of a franchise in the MLS had quadrupled in the meantime.

Getting Messi to "retire to Florida" at Inter Miami was also a genius move. Messi is by all accounts much happier being away from the pressure of the more prestigious European leagues, and he's said Miami is a good fit for him and his family being Spanish speakers.
posted by other barry at 2:06 AM on October 24, 2023 [1 favorite]

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