Swagger – Season 1 Episode 2 “Haterade” Recap & Review

Haterade

Episode 2 of Swagger begins with Jace waking up and back on the training. Only, this time he’s haunted by the fears that he could be overrated. Jenna does her best to reassure him, telling him he’s alright. But it’s clear that Jace is not.

People online are still questioning his skills but Jace shows up early to practice. This is the best attitude he could have, deciding to try and let his fears and worries out and focus on his game.

Meanwhile, Ike thinks twice about going to the DMV Coaches’ Meeting and instead doubles down on work at the hardware store. After all, he’s got a baby on the way and he needs to focus. However, he’s also given a pretty good business proposition by Meg, one of the rival coaches for Team All Day. In exchange for financial backing, they’re going to team up together.

As we haven’t had any social issues for a while, Jenna starts driving as we hear a radio report about corona. Because of course we do.

Ike heads off to see Jace and encourages him to be more valuable in the team. There’s no ‘I’ in team of course but for Jace there is a “me”. Either way, Ike wants him to begin adding assists to his game.

The team head in for training, with Team All-Day and the SPs both teaming up together to create a super-team. There’s obviously hostilities between the lads, at least to begin with, but Royale and Jace soon patch up their differences at the barbers.

Jace is not happy about his DMV ranking dropping but Jenna encourages him to look past that and focus on his new opponent, Darius. She points out footage on YouTube and tells him to focus – but Jace isn’t. In fact, at training the next day he only makes 30% of his shots but Ike tells him he needs to focus and work on his game if they’re going to be successful.

Off the back of another tough training session, the two teams come together and come up with a new name for their team – Swagger. With this sorted, Swagger prepare to face their new opponents, fronted by Darius.

It’s an away day and 40 minutes into this episode we see the first person wearing a mask, along with a quip about the pandemic. Anyway, A.C. Elite take the lead early but Jace and Ike both realize they need this win more than anything else. So despite the message of this episode being about assists, it falls on Jace to score shots on his own. Literally, this entire footage doesn’t show Jace with a single assist. Still, they win the game and turn it around.

After the game, Jace heads out to score some hoops with Crystal while Ike reflects on his own history, including how he lost the state championship.


The Episode Review

Cool, so with all that talk about working as a team and scoring assists, Jace hilariously doesn’t get a single assist in the game. I’m not quite sure if that was the intent but it’s pretty humorous to see nonetheless.

Anyway, the biggest problem with this episode comes from the social issues crowbarred into this show. And my god are they forced. Last episode it was racist cops which does make sense in a way, given the neighbourhood that Jace is from. However, the COVID references are horrendously misplaced. We see a single person wearing a mask, along with a remark about the pandemic, before showing another scene involving a news report. It’s so ill-placed and a problem this show will need to deal with quickly because, like most series in the west now, it’s turning into message over story.

However, the basketball parts of this drama are pretty good and so far this is shaping up to be a decent watch. Whether Swagger can expand out from decent to great however, remains to be seen.

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