Untold: Swamp Kings Season 1 Review – A disappointing documentary that leaves the full story “untold”

Season 1



Episode Guide

Go Home or Go Hard
A New Chapter
Trouble in the Swamp
The Pain of Greatness


Untold: Swamp Kings is the latest in the ongoing Untold series on Netflix, this time focusing on the controversial figure of Urban Meyer and his transformation of the Florida Gators. The show equally shines a spotlight on Tim Tebow’s legacy too, including his dynamic plays and how instrumental he was to the Gators’ success over the years.

The four-part documentary follows the team’s success through the tumultuous 2005-2010 era, eventually leading to Meyer’s resignation. However, for a show claiming the title “Untold”, it doesn’t really live up to the billing. There’s an awful lot missed out of this documentary and much like the Jake Paul effort earlier this month, this very much feels like a marketable puff-piece to avoid too much controversy. Ironically, this means a lot of the juicy stories remain “untold” throughout the run-time.

There’s a lot of focus on the players’ success, which is great of course, but similarly, it fails to actually tell the full story. In episode 3, there’s a slight nudge toward mentioning the troubles some of these players got into, but it’s mostly brushed under the rug and the series moves on without much aplomb.

In reality, the 2008 team alone saw 41 players arrested at some time during or after that season. That, coupled with big scandals like the Aaron Hernandez incident or the ongoing shenanigans with the Pouncey Twins, are notably absent here. Instead, the framing and editing make this seem like a plucky underdog story; a cheap carbon copy of The Last Dance rather than a genuine attempt at telling the full story. In fact, this would have worked so much better including all the bad and ugly incidents along the way. 

A lot of the interviews here are also with big stars of the time, including figureheads like Brandon Spikes, Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer himself, so the fact these big questions aren’t asked or even explored, is a little disappointing to say the least. 

Untold’s rocky road through creating both great and poor documentaries continues with this latest effort, which unfortunately falls in the latter category. The editing and the portrayal of Meyer as a “tough” version of Coach Carter (the Samuel L Jackson movie!) certainly doesn’t tell the full story. It’s fine for what it is, especially if you’re looking for an easily consumed celebratory sports doc, but if you want the full story, including all the ins and outs of what happened to the Florida Gators during this time, it’s probably best to avoid this one.

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  • Verdict - 4.5/10

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