So I watched the abomination that is the obviously scripted and staged DeSean Jaccson: Home Team, which debuted on BET today last night. Here’s a brief recap:
Things started off with news footage from when DeSean was released by the Eagles. The setup is obvious: Once on top, not on top, working to be on top again, but will face obstacles that can only be overcome by the guiding hand of his fame-seeking mother, Gayle.
We haven’t seen this formula before.
The framing is clearly built atop a deep hurt resulting from DeSean’s release from the Eagles. These are just some of the things he had to say with regard to that matter:
“It was a smear campaign.”
“They call me Giant killer, Cowboy killer. Now I’m an Eagle killer, too”
“I felt they definitely tried to paint a picture that wasn’t true.”
“It’s like, bro, the Eagles, they tried to blow me up– that’s how cold they did me.”
So one would assume that the following 20 minutes would consist of video evidence that DeSean is not the character he’s perceived to be, and that he’s doing all the right things to reverse the existing perception. That seems like an obvious conclusion given the early appearance of his longtime publicist, Denise, whom DeSean says is doing a “great job.”* But nope. Denise’s client is now the star of a show which features consecutive segments about his rap aspirations, partying habits, and the conundrum he faces after knocking up his girlfriend of “five or six months.” There’s no mention in the first episode of the OTAs he skipped for the second year in a row.
*This despite the fact that her client has been publicly cast as a gangster who’s not a team player and cares more about his rap career and fame than football, something that is not at all being helped by his new reality show. Yeah, she’s doing yeoman’s work.
I mean, what, on Earth, was DeSean’s camp thinking here? The questionable character traits apparent in just the span of a few minutes are staggering. They have nothing to do with him being a gangster and everything to do with him being a selfish jerk. Evidence:
– They show DeSean awkwardly kissing and professing his love for Kayla – whom he met through one of his jewelers, and of whom his family, his Home Team, supposedly doesn’t know about yet even though she gets the lead storyline in the first episode of his reality show, about his family(!!!) – and then we soon learn that he asks seemingly every female he comes across for their Twitter and Instagram handles so he can hit them up or retweet them. DeSean explains that he doesn’t know what it is, but the girls just love him. “I call myself a ladies man,” he boasts. This all seems like the basis for a great relationship and stable upbringing for Baby Jaccpot.
– Despite his mom’s best efforts to dismiss the troublesome gangbanger image – she makes sure to stress his friends aren’t in a gang when their pants are worn like those of gangsters (her assertion) – we find DeSean and his buddies standing outside the club, yelling at cops who were driving by and appeared to be doing nothing more than observing what was obviously a scene, what with the BET cameras and all. “Haters! Bye, bye!” DeSean yells at them in what was perhaps a rehearsal for yet another Ballers cameo.
– The show is about change, yet when the subject is brought up to DeSean: “I ain’t gonna change for nobody– the NFL, no coach, no owner.” Noted.
– The visuals are horrific. “You know what the downfall of every great athlete is? Alcohol. Money. And women,” Gayle declares. So here’s a shot of DeSean drinking and smoking with women:
There’s something to be said for an organic portrayal of a player who sticks guns, but in a show about rehabbing DeSean’s image, ostensibly, the images should’ve gotten his publicist fired, yesterday. Here’s DeSean doing all the things we don’t want him to do. Brilliant.
This borders so close to self-parody it almost feels like something that wound up on the cutting room floor of Ballers, or, when DeSean’s mom declares that “there’s gonna be a situation” if someone doesn’t do the dishes, like a script from Jersey Shore inadvertently got mixed in with the shot sheets for DeSean’s show, every scene of which feels painfully staged. At least Keeping Up With The Kardashians gives you the impression that they’re having real conversations with each other. More ridiculous than the themes in Home Team is the bad acting.
Episode 2 portends to focus on the situation DeSean will be in when he has to tell his mother about Kayla’s pregnancy, a revelation to which we know Gayle responds, “[DeSean] got somebody knocked up that we don’t know anything about.” All that and more next week on Home Team, the ill-conceived reality show about an NFL wide receiver with an image problem.