Winning Time’s Creator on Season 1’s Finale and Facing Criticism From His Heroes

Max Borenstein living in a dream. The Godzilla vs. Kong Screenwriter who grew up in Los Angeles, watches Showtime Lakers and cheers for Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Decades later, he is the co-creator and host of HBO Moment of Victory: Rise of the Lakers. But nothing can help you deal with criticism from your idol.

Based on sports writer Jeff Pearlman‘s book Showtimes: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty The hit TV series – which has been greenlit for a second season – is also a major shortcoming, at least according to many of them. Abdul-Jabbar wrote a scathing essay, while the lawyers argued that Jerry West, Hall of Fame player and former Lakers coach and general manager, has requested a retraction of the apology, and damages for alleged “falsification and defamation” of the player. West, played by the actor Jason Clarke, like an out-of-control, rabid addict. “

In a recent statement, HBO defended Borenstein and company: “Victory time is not a documentary and has not been presented as such. However, the series and its descriptions are based on extensive factual research and a reliable source, and HBO stands firmly behind our talented creators and cast, who brought this epic show in basketball history to the screen. “

Victory time ended their first season with “The Promised Land” on Sunday, in which the Magic-led Lakers ended their first season of their own with the NBA championship. To talk about the finale, the detractors, and the future, we went head-to-head with Borenstein.

Vanity Fair: When I do postmortems this season with showrunners, it’s usually “Oh my god, how did you come to this shocking conclusion?!” Here, however, any NBA fan or Google hardcore knows that the Lakers won the championship in 1980. So how did you make sure it didn’t feel offensive ?

Max Borenstein: This is double: It’s to make sure it doesn’t heat up and make sure it doesn’t climax, because this is only the beginning of the story. I think people know the generalities of this story from a 30,000-foot perspective, but that’s the same way you know the generalities of an adaptation of a good Shakespeare novel. Just the fact that you know what doesn’t mean you understand how or why. And it really freed us up so that we could still have some surprises for the audience, because there are so many things people don’t know, like about the Jack McKinneys of the forgotten world.

People tell most sports stories specifically because they have an ending. The stereotype is, you win, you lose. In our case, we’re doing something different. We’re talking about an epic that happens in the world of sports, but in many ways the real thing about it is what happens after. Right from the start, you meet characters who are entering the second act in their lives or circling hoping that they will find the second act in their lives. Jerry West, Pat Riley—Those are the people who won, and then the end of the sport comes and they stare into the abyss, asking themselves, “Now what?” So hopefully we can dramatize the episode in a way that’s surprising and engaging, while still digging into these fundamental questions, where you realize that winning itself is complex and multi-faceted. shade.

I care about your speed in both this season and the series. Is it like planning for year one, knowing that you have 10+ years of content to work on which probably wouldn’t be 10+ seasons of a show?

I don’t know if we’ll have 10 seasons, but I know how many seasons it takes to get it right. Just because people can go to the Wikipedia page and find out “what happened”, there’s no point in making a program that just recreates those events and adds a few jokes and takes you through the decade. century in a few years. By definition, if you’re spending your real estate moving quickly over time, you’re not going to be able to drill down into any characters or experiences, and those are the things that are more interesting and enjoyable for a person. with me. It became clear very early on that this exciting version of the story needed to be slowed down — and there’s still a lot going on in this installment. Every episode is filled with incidents, murders and pregnancy! [Laughs.] While the nostalgic content is a lovely aspect of doing a show about a period that people remember, if that’s all you have, you’ve got a pretty shallow pool. This is a great American epic worthy of a novel approach. Winning Time’s Creator on Season 1’s Finale and Facing Criticism From His Heroes

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