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Playmakers - The Complete Series (2003)

Omar Gooding , Marcello Thedford , Brad Turner , Bruce McDonald  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Omar Gooding, Marcello Thedford, Christopher Wiehl, Jason Matthew Smith, Russell Hornsby
  • Directors: Brad Turner, Bruce McDonald, John Bell, John Fawcett, Scott Brazil
  • Writers: John Eisendrath, Peter Egan
  • Format: Anamorphic, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2004
  • Run Time: 491 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001A79GM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,840 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Playmakers - The Complete Series" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The complete EPSN series--11 episodes with audio commentary on the pilot by producer John Eisendrath
  • Behind-the-scenes featurette
  • "On Set With Snoop Dogg" featurette on episode 10

Editorial Reviews

Playmakers grows on a viewer in the most important way a good television series should: by encouraging curiosity about the growth and fate of key characters. One might easily dismiss this ESPN original drama as a mere catalog of the problems that dog some professional football players, very often to public scrutiny: injuries, drugs, egos, criminal associations, etc. But patience rewards those who watch enough of Playmakers's 11 episodes to care about the humanity of the show's troubled athletes. The series concerns NFL contenders the Cougars, led by a hard but fair coach (Anthony John Denison) suffering from prostate cancer while dealing with a treacherous team owner (Bruce Gray), a problematic prima donna (Omar Gooding), and mid-ranked players struggling with fundamentals of the game.

Meanwhile, several Cougars emerge as major characters, among them middle linebacker Eric Olczyk (Jason Matthew Smith), a good guy psychologically impaired after paralyzing an opposing player and now trying to get both his game and life back. Olczyk's best friend, running back Leon Taylor (Russell Hornsby), is at the end of his contract and faces stiff competition for his job, causing stress that translates into a reputation-destroying act of domestic violence. Star quarterback Derek McConnell, a hound among hounds, impregnates a stranger and compels a team assistant (Stephen Bogaert) to handle abortion details. Time after time, the men of Playmakers find themselves pressured to live and function with an eye toward the team's good image and commercial prospects. Yet clean living is terribly difficult given the physical sacrifices, emotional isolation, management sabotage, and temptations foisted upon pro players. The many dramatic strings drawn out over the series come together in the very fine final episode, ending on a note of irony as outrageous as anything previously seen on television. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

What generated all the controversy about PLAYMAKERS, ESPN's daring hit series about a fictional pro football team? This eleven-episode, three-disc set lets you immerse yourself in the off-the-field lives of the Cougars from its very beginning. With its lightning-fast pace and great characters, this gritty and edgy drama is as intense a roller-coaster ride as any drama on the field.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality Ignored February 5, 2004
This is a fascinating, engaging, television show. A show of true quality that does not talk down to its viewers. That is probably why ESPN cancelled it, and that's a damn shame. The NFL should be brutally ashamed of itself for thinking that its public image would be effected by what is clearly a work of *fiction.* Why does the NFL think its public image is that high anyway? Don't get me wrong I love football, but I hardly consider the game, or its players & coaches to be paragons of virtue. Does anyone? ESPN should be ashamed (though not as much) for caving to the pressure. Hopefully, another network will pick up this fine, fine show so that we can be treated to another season. At the very least, the producers should be allowed to give the show a decent finale instead of leaving it unfinished.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
"Playmakers," ESPN's pro football drama, lasted only a single season and only eleven episodes at that. It became well known that the National Football League (read the Commissioner's office) hated the series because it provided an unrealistic (read realistic) picture of professional football. As one columnist pointed out, "Playmakers" would have had trouble putting together a second season of shows simply because it had already used pretty much every real-world NFL scandal from the past decade. But this week Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis was sentenced to four months in prison for using a cell phone to try and set up a drug deal, Terrell Owen has declared that he will be playing in the Super Bowl despite not being cleared to play by his doctor, and the Philadelphia Eagles signed veteran tight end Jeff Thomason to take a vacation from his construction job to play in the Super Bowl to replace the injured Chad Lewis on the roster. So, yes, I think that "Playmakers" could have found more things to write about.

For me the biggest adjustment with watching "Playmakers" was getting used to virtually all of the action being off the field. We were more likely to see the Cougars involved in practice than on game day, and while we recognize that staging football scenes is time consuming (and involves elements of risk for the actors), it does require viewers to make some allowances of the stories. This is because while most of the drama happens off the playing field the resolution of many of the issues can only take place during the game. But by the time you get through the first couple of episodes you understand the rules by which the series is playing and it becomes clear "Playmakers" is character driven.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow...what a great show. July 8, 2004
By A Customer
I can't believe I never watched this when it was on the air. I picked up the DVD yesterday after overhearing a few people talk about it, and WOW!, I watched all 11 hours of it already!
I am so spoiled with HBO that I hardly watch original series on "regular TV" anymore, but Playmakers is outstanding. I'm not even a huge football fan, but I was totally engrossed in this series. There is so much crap out there but great shows like this get canned. It doesn't make any sense. The NFL is stupid for forcing ESPN to cancel this show. They had it all backwards: The show actually made me WANT to watch football. And I don't even like football.
The only bad thing anyone could say about this show is that it's not "realistic". Well, of course all this stuff wouldn't happen to such a small group of people. But, you can say that about ANY show. The point is that this team represents all teams. At one point in time the stuff on this show has happened to some team out there, and Playmakers takes you into the lives of these players in a way that hasn't been done before.
I give this show my highest recommendation for anybody that likes HBO-quality dramas. Playmakers is top shelf TV. Definitely check it out.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Father's Football February 4, 2005
What an opportunity ESPN lost when they succumbed to Paul Tagliabue's "take it off the air" threat. Playmakers is nothing short of remarkable television sports drama about a fictional NFL team "The Cougars." From the get-go, things are not what they seem and we watch as owners, management, players, media and fans try to make the world of football the scrubbed up product we watch in our homes every week. What is swept up under the carpet though is the real world, which includes drug addiction, a world of crime, cancer, homophobia, sexuality, aging, rage, racial discrimination, injury and fear. Sadly that's all the NFL seemed to see in this series. What they blinded themselves to was the show was also filled with hope, compassion, loyalty, friendship, and the bond that sports can bring between human beings.

A uniquely powerful show that should hold appeal for every football fan, but also to those with little interest in professional sports.

Now, if only another network could bravely take on a second season!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great show, wishing for a season 2 August 10, 2004
By The mom
I thought this was the best series of 2003. This was the only series that my husband and I made sure not to miss each week. You can go so far as to call us "Playmaker Junkies." We were so looking forward to season 2. Now that there is not going to be one, there is nothing to get excited about for 2004. We don't have HBO, but if HBO picked up this series we would subscribe tomorrow.

To the reviewer that said he did not like the show (but he tuned in for every episode) - this was a football "drama" who would have tuned in if there were no conflicts. If you want real information about the NFL watch the sports news and talkshows. This was intended to be a sports soap opera and in that respect the writers did an awesome job.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars love!!!!#
Love this show!! Loved it when it was on...glad I purchased :-) recommend for any sports fan....wish this show never would've been canceled.... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jamie
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Deal!
I was so excited to get this series. It was a great price and the DVD appears to be in good condition. It wasn't new but had very few scratches. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Victor
4.0 out of 5 stars The Aaron Hernandez Story
If Aaron Hernandez had watched this he wouldn't have been so dumb. I literally was watching this when he was brought up on murder charges. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ryan M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved This ESPN Classic!!!
So glad I found this on DVD!!!! Loved this show and couldn't wait for it to come on. Was very disappointed when it was pulled after one season..... Read more
Published 8 months ago by dcbeamon
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this show
Excellent show I thought I wish they had season 2 it was thrilling and i truly enjoy the characters well made and the script was great I thought it is my opinion
Published 9 months ago by Cher Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars great series.
Ahead of its time and pulled from the air... ahead of its time, lol. I remember everyone packing in to the cafeteria at work around the time that this series would come on the air... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Ricky Thoroughgood
5.0 out of 5 stars Playmakers!!!!
This is the awesome pro football mini series from the early 2000's. Pure instant classic! If you don't already have it, you better get it.
Published 13 months ago by Tommie C
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
I would recommend this product to anyone who loves football. It came really close to the real life drama of football. There was also a really great cast.
Published 15 months ago by Carrie Sonders
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Playmakers
Liked the show very much when it was on ESPN. Saw that there was a re-seller making it available at a great price and decided I could have it for my DVD library. Read more
Published 15 months ago by BSchuchat
4.0 out of 5 stars Pro Football from the Inside
"Playmakers" is a drama series that looked at a season in the life of the Cougars, a professional football team. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Eric Mayforth
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