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Playmakers - The Complete Series


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DVD 3-Disc Version
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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 (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001A79GM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,019 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

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.

Amazon.com

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

Customer Reviews

Playmakers was by far the best football series ever created.
Michael Bellamy
The show addressed drug-abuse, domestic violence, homosexuality, infidelity, health & fitness...all issues that affect everyday people.
D. Bostick
The drama and the acting are outstanding, the actors fit their roles perfectly, especially Omar Gooding was an excellent cast imho.
Markus Riegler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mr. the mister-dude on February 5, 2004
Format: DVD
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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 2004
Format: DVD
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 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 28, 2005
Format: DVD
"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.
Read more ›
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By G P Padillo VINE VOICE on February 4, 2005
Format: DVD
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 By D. Bostick on June 30, 2004
Format: DVD
I was not interested in watching this show at first, but after the first episode, I was a "playmakers" fiend. The show was right on target. It tackled modern day issues that not only affect athletes but also non-athletes. The show addressed drug-abuse, domestic violence, homosexuality, infidelity, health & fitness...all issues that affect everyday people. The main characters had their own private drama, but all of it was dealt with in the locker room, bar room, and on the football field. The team truly functioned as a team and offered support whenever possible (well, they didn't care much for the whole homosexualtiy issue). I was pissed when I heard that the NFL complained about the show, thus forcing ESPN to cancel the series....whiners and wimps!! It would be great if another channel, like HBO or Showtime would pick up the series; these channels are definitely not afraid to air/produce shows that touch on gritty, but real life topics.
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