Beckham (2023) Season 1 Review – A comprehensive look at a legend of the game

Season 1



Episode Guide

The Kick
Seeing Red
What Makes David Run


Even if you’re not a football fan, David Beckham is one of the most widely recognized footballers on the planet. A man that successfully transitioned from his time on the pitch to reinvent himself as a global brand.

However, Beckham’s life has not been all peaches and roses; crippling mental health, death threats, stress, a marriage that almost fell apart and fallouts with layers and managers alike. All of this and more is here to see in Netflix’s docu-series.

Beckham is a 4 part series on the streaming giants, one that recounts Beckham’s story, told by the man himself alongside his wife, Victoria. There’s an all-star panel of interview guests too, ranging from Sir Alex Ferguson, Gary Neville, Luis Figo and even Roberto Carlos. All of these help gain an insight into Beckham’s persona, but this is strictly a series that aims to shed light and celebrate Beckham’s career, rather than revel in the criticisms.

With David Beckham himself serving as a producer on the series, the 4 long episodes (each clocking in at around 70 minutes a piece) begins with Beckham’s wonder-goal from the halfway line during a crucial game against Wimbledon. From there, we cut back and see Beckham’s upbringing and childhood, eventually tying us back into the starting point.

Episode 2 then shuffles over to focus a lot on the awful abuse David Beckham suffered at the hands of the media and hotheaded footballing fans, with everything from bullets sent in the mail to death threats and a constant barrage of boos from those inside stadiums. There’s even a point where someone had strung up an effigy of Beckham outside their pub.

The moments with Beckham swallowing back tears and reliving these painful memories are an example of just how important mental health is. At one point,we’re told that “99.9% of footballers wouldn’t have survived what Beckham went through,” and seeing Beckham’s mental and physical transformation through archival footage is eye-opening and a damning assessment of how bad English football fans can be sometimes.

Episode 3 switches things up and looks at Beckham’s tumultuous time falling out with Alex Ferguson and subsequently heading off to Madrid. What’s particularly interesting here though is the insightful interviews with Victoria Beckham. In fact, “Posh’s” segments are arguably the best of the entire series, as we see her critique and praise her husband in equal measure. She adds a much-needed perspective to the family aspect of Beckham’s life.

All of this eventually ties into episode 4, which briefly (and I mean briefly) touches on Beckham’s affair and everything leading up to Inter Miami and Lionel Messi signing for them. However, this is easily the weakest of all 4 episodes. Everything here feels rather rushed and more like a footnote than a fully fleshed out examination. In fact, one could argue that this needs another episode to stretch the content out  to add more reactions and thoughts on Beckham buying his own club and what’s happened since.

It’s worth mentioning that Michael Harte’s editing is great, and there are some moments that are genuinely amusing. There’s a constant motif here of someone giving an interview and making a matter of fact comment, only to then cut to someone else who immediately contradicts that statement. It’s a simple trick but one that works surprisingly well.

As a celebration of Beckham’s life, Netflix’s documentary is a really solid 4 episode series. It’s an insightful and eye-opening examination of a man who went to cloud 9, fell back to earth and managed to survive being one of the most hated men in Britain, only to rise back up to the respectful place as a legend of the game, and a respectable businessman.

Naturally, Beckham isn’t quite as critical as it perhaps could have been without David Beckham in the production suite, but it’s a solid and well written series all the same.

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  • Verdict - 7.4/10

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