Big Shot [Advance Review]

(Please note that this review pertains to the first three (3) episodes of Disney+ Big Shot.)

The moment I saw the trailer for Disney+ Big Shot, I just knew I wanted to watch it. Yes, it seemed cheesy from the trailer and a typical sports tv show, but I didn’t care. It combined two of my favourites, basketball and John Stamos. I am not a difficult person, give me two of my favourite things and I will be happy. After watching the first three episodes of the show, I can safely say that I will continue watching because I enjoyed this show a lot. It’s not perfect but it is exactly what I wanted it to be and by the third episode, I was rooting for these girls.

After getting ousted from the NCAA, a men’s basketball coach is given a chance for redemption with a coaching position at an elite private high school. He soon learns that the teenage players require empathy and vulnerability — foreign concepts for the stoic Coach Marvyn Korn (John Stamos). By learning how to connect with his players, Marvyn starts to grow into the person he’s always hoped to be. The girls learn to take themselves more seriously, finding their footing both on and off the court.

Big Shot follows the typical formula for sports movies and tv shows but it doesn’t matter, because that formula works so well, at least on me. The first three episodes establish the dynamics really well, letting the characters grow but also introducing them in a way that each feels different. Yes, most follow tropes and stereotypes of sports films but because I found myself liking every character, I didn’t care. Sometimes, sticking to what is known works, and for Big Shot it does.

Stamos is one of those actors that even in bad roles, I can’t help but love. But with this one, Stamos gets to have fun with it. What Stamos does greatly with this role is being able to nuance Coach Korn’s personality. You can see him opening up as the episodes progress. His rapport with the youngsters as well as Jessalyn Gilsig who portrays assistant coach Holly makes his character to be more than the grumpy old coach who doesn’t want to be there. The show does a good job at showing that there’s a reason why he is this way, exploring the why a lot in the first three episodes.

Now, I know I say that every time that I write about sports, but basketball is my thing. I played it for years, I am an avid watcher of the games and I talk about it too much (ask anyone who knows me). But, I will say that when it comes to basketball content from television and films, I am harsh at times because too often the game scenes just don’t feel real to me. The plays don’t work, the shots always make it clear that no one is playing or at least comfortable with a ball, but Big Shot at least makes sense. Yes, I know that these actors are probably not basketball players, but I believed they could be. They have the size and the basketball games are believable. 

Sometimes a show presents itself to be exactly what it is. A show that wears its heart on its sleeve can sometimes be cheesy and too much, but Big Shot seems to know how to balance it out. It has stories that had me intrigued and looking forward to seeing where they go. In just three episodes, I got some favourites in the group and I was rooting for these girls to win. I know, it might not be the most original or interesting show out there, but it is exactly what I needed.