As it’s the middle of the NBA Finals, you may have thought you’d already had as much news as you could handle about Miami Heat superstar LeBron James, but here’s something else entirely. Above is the teaser trailer for Survivor’s Remorse, the basketballing comedic drama that James is executive producing alongside Glee’s Mike O’Malley and a slew of other names. It’s the kind of teaser that should have a disclaimer ahead of it that says, “Do you want to learn something today?”
All in all, it gives you the facts you need to know about the subject matter behind Survivor’s Remorse without actually telling anyone anything about Survivor’s Remorse. It’s an air ball of an advertisement, but a slam dunk in the “tease” zone, and starting off with James’ name is a good move. At least, for those who don’t get riled up any time his name is mentioned, as his skills on the court make him a very polarizing athlete. (He’ll soon be in movies as well, so there’s that to look forward to.)
While the promo tells us that a very small percentage of college basketball players make it to the big leagues and achieve financial success, what it doesn’t say is that Survivor’s Remorse follows the young and mega-talented Cam Calloway (Level Up’s Jessie Usher), who signs a multi-million-dollar contract with a professional Atlanta basketball team. (But apparently not the Hawks.) He moves from the tough neighborhoods of Philadelphia to the good life in Georgia with his cousin and best friend Reggie Vaughn. The instant success starts to take its toll, and Cam finds out that making it isn’t just about enjoying life, and there are challenges involved. I’m assuming there will be family members wanting a piece of his financial pie.
The description sounds more dramatic than comedic, but the half-hour nature of Survivor’s Remorse will lend itself to a presumably lighter nature. (Though Nurse Jackie and Girls often expertly deliver dark stories in the shorter format.) Plus, the teaser uses the “whup!” sound effect when the text hits the screen, and that is a textbook comedy move. They might as well have thrown in a rubber chicken.
Whichever genre, this is a show about basketball, and it’s hard to beat the gimmick of using a net and backboard as the central motif. The game gets better as you get better, from the talent on the court to the equipment hanging above it. Starz isn’t known for its comedies, though Party Down and Head Case were both pretty awesome, and they’re even less known for shows about sports stars. Here’s hoping James and fellow producer and More Than a Game filmmaker Maverick Carter make the games feel authentic enough that the laughs aren’t unintentional.
Expect Survivor’s Remorse to hit Starz this fall.