Posted on Thursday, April 30th, 2020 by Jacob Hall
(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Series: 30 for 30
Where You Can Stream It: ESPN+
The Pitch: It seems like everyone is watching The Last Dance, ESPN’s incredible 10-part documentary series about the final year of the Chicago Bulls dream team. But with only two episodes being released each weekend, you can fill the time between Sunday evenings by exploring the network’s 30 for 30 series, a library of some of the best sports documentaries ever made.
Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down the sports industry, which means no packed arenas and no games to watch. For some folks, this is devastating. For people like me, who casually follow a handful of teams, I’m doing just fine. However, these two groups can meet in the middle with 30 for 30, the ESPN documentary film series chronicling some of the biggest, strangest, and most important moments in sports history. The best of these aren’t just exciting and/or horrifying and/or devastating and/or triumphant chronicles of players and teams – they’re extraordinary documentary films that showcase unique voices and tones in addition to simply being informative.
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For Emmy Award-winning director Jason Hehir (Andre the Giant, 30 for 30), completing the ten-part documentary series The Last Dance has been a Herculean task – and he’s still not finished. He likely won’t be totally done with the project until hours before the final episodes air. Talk about pressure.
But like Michael Jordan, the primary subject of the documentary, Hehir seems to thrive when the game is on the line. His series, which chronicles Jordan and the Chicago Bulls during the 1997-1998 season as they try to win their sixth NBA championship, was scheduled for a summer release before being moved up to fill the world’s sports-sized hole during the coronavirus pandemic. The show has already broken viewership records for ESPN, generated a mountain of memes, and seems to be one of the few pieces of pop culture that the country is consuming at the same time in an era when that kind of water cooler entertainment is increasingly rare.
I spoke with Hehir by phone earlier this week, after the premiere of the third and fourth episodes, and Hehir told me about how he decided to shape the show’s timeline, his top three Michael Jordan moments, how he and his team had a staggering 10,000 hours of footage to whittle down, and much more.
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Last weekend, ESPN debuted the first two episodes of the anticipated documentary series The Last Dance, a chronicle of NBA superstar Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls as they made a run for what would become their final championship season. The premiere was bumped up to April from June since ESPN is desperate for programming due to the lack of sports happening around the world, and it worked out rather well for them since it’s now their most-watched documentary ever. Read More »
This weekend brings the debut of the ESPN documentary series The Last Dance, chronicling NBA superstar Michael Jordan and the rest of the multi-championship-winning players of the 1990s Chicago Bulls as they head into their 1997-1998 season when they would win their final championship together.
Before the series premiere, ESPN has released a couple The Last Dance clips that recall what made the Chicago Bulls so great as they went into this season. For a time, it was unclear whether the team would even be back in full due to contract negotiations that still needed to take place. But once everything was settled, the game was on to make history yet again. Read More »
Even though most of the news these days is terrible, every now and then something good comes out of the coronavirus pandemic. In this case, since ESPN doesn’t have any new sports to air right now, they’ve bumped up the premiere of the 10-part Michael Jordan documentary series The Last Dance. Originally intended to arrive in June, the series will now begin in April, and a new trailer has just arrived. Check it out below and find out when you can start watching The Last Dance on ESPN. Read More »
ESPN is debuting The Last Dance, a 10-part documentary series on the Chicago Bulls during their legendary 1997-98 season, Michael Jordan’s final season as a Chicago Bull and the team’s last championship run of their dynasty. The Bulls granted a camera crew unprecedented access for the entire season, as the team went for its second three-peat. Watch The Last Dance trailer below.
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The Karate Kid is one of the most beloved sports movies of all time, and like many properties from the 1980s, it made a modern comeback in the form of a new television series. Cobra Kai follows the exploits of a grown-up Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), who still have some bitterness between each other after their famed karate tournament match-up in the 1984 film. But for those of you who may not be as familiar with the drama and tension of this rivalry, ESPN has given the 1984 All-Valley Karate Championships a 30 for 30 documentary short. Read More »
Earlier this year, we learned ESPN and Netflix were teaming up for a 10-part documentary series looking at the life, career, and legacy of Michael Jordan. However, a new trailer for the series paints the project at being about much more than just the legendary basketball player. Instead, the documentary, titled The Last Dance, will chronicle the 1997-1998 season of the Chicago Bulls as they marched towards the final championship this epic assembly of players would win together.
Watch The Last Dance trailer below. Read More »
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With LeBron James continuing to dominate the court during the NBA Finals, the debate about whether or not he’s better than basketball icon Michael Jordan continues to rage on. Next year, a new documentary series might have some new insights to keep the argument going strong.
Netflix and ESPN Films have announced a joint production called The Last Dance, a 10-part documentary series looking at the life, career and legacy of Chicago Bulls point guard Michael Jordan, believed by many to be the greatest professional basketball player of all time. Read More »