Season 1 (part 1)
Season 1 (part 2)
Saints and Sinners
Fairytale in New York
One Last Chance
When Break Point dropped on Netflix back in January, it effectively showed that the Drive to Survive formula could work quite well when applied to a different sport, albeit in a way that certainly presented some teething problems.
Split into two bite-sized five episode chunks, the first part looked specifically at the Australian Open and the Roland Garros (French Open), and in doing so shined a spotlight on the various different personalities in the sport. While Nick Kyrgios is undoubtedly the most memorable and charismatic of the bunch, Ons Jabeur also stood out too, while players like Felix Auger-Aliassime didn’t quite do enough to really elevate the spotlight shining on them at that time.
The second half of Break Point’s run effectively takes everything that worked in the first part and heightens the tension considerably, while also falling into the same pitfalls that haunted the opening five episodes. The segments covering Serena William’s final match in the US Open, and the crazy turn of events leading to the Wimbledon final (for both the men and women) are easily the highlights of the entire series. And of course, it also showcases that tennis can be a very exciting sport.
However, all of this is somewhat derailed by a pacing that doesn’t quite work as well as it could, and a similar tunnel-vision approach to just following individual athletes rather than an entire tournament, means a lot of highlights from each tournament are cut. In fact, the final episode doesn’t even show the ATP Final match! We literally cut to Djokovic lifting the trophy. This was something we mentioned in the first part review and it’s disappointing to find the same thing here too.
The editing also doesn’t help matters either, with numerous jump cuts to the crowd and seeing reactions from family members during crucial parts of games. Did Taylor Fritz make an incredible shot? Sure should have been nice to see that rather than seeing his family shocked!
Part of what made Drive to Survive so exciting was being up close and personal, seeing these segments play out. And it’s even more frustrating because Break Point can (and does) do that on occasion. In fact, alongside those aforementioned matches earlier, one of the best moments of the series comes off the court. Seeing Ons Jabeur behind the scenes, hugging her coach after an emotional match is one of the best parts of this whole show.
Break Point part 2 is ultimately both better and somewhat worse than its predecessor. It certainly has better matches and a few moments that surpass everything from the first part, but it also slips up with some sloppy camera work, lots of jump cuts and a jarring pace. There’s definitely potential here, but like Kygrios on court, these flashes of brilliance are undermined by big issues that hold this back from being the best it could be.
Verdict - 7.5/10