TV Review - Losers Season 1

"I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me," is a question once asked by Beck. Well the answer is simple. Sometimes the loser is more interesting, or more important than the winner. Sometimes, the loser becomes the winner. Netflix set out to prove that with a series of short documentaries on some of the biggest losers in sports in their series Losers.

Each individual episode focuses on a loser. Sometimes the loser never comes back to win like Michael Bentt. Sometimes they go on to win so much the game has to evolve around them like Pat Ryan. Sometimes they say screw the big leagues and do their own thing like Surya Bonaly or Jack Ryan. But, before they could do any of that, they had to lose first. Everyone lost for different reasons but it made them better.

Losers doesn't just focus on popular sports, so sometimes you have to watch a detailed explanation of how curling works. Still, every episode does a great job of breaking down moments in history that may seem insignificant or small in the grand scheme of things; then explaining why they had a huge effect on the world. Pat Ryan losing a curling match in overtime, to create a super team that dominated the game and forced a rule change which eventually led to curling being an Olympic sport is actually a pretty good story.

I won't lie and say every episode is wonderful. I didn't care for "Lost in The Dessert" or "Aliy," but you might get something different from those than I did. My favorite episode is probably "Judgement," which looks at the career of Surya Bonaly a black figure skater, unheard of at the time. Repeatedly she was given second place despite outperforming her competitors. The phrase "anything you can do, I can do better," literally applied to her performances. In one instance she refused to accept a silver medal and left the ice. When the next Olympics rolled around, she went onto the ice, and did a backflip, an illegal move. A move, none of her competitors could do. She knew it was illegal, but she had grown tired of the racism behind judging in figure skating community. She went on to become a professional performer and skate for another decade, refusing to compete any more. She now speaks with minority communities about pursuing figure skating. She was asked by a young black girl if she was upset she never won a gold medal in a world competition to which she replied:
A medal is nice, but it is not what matters. It's superficial, it's not real
The episode following Michael Bentt is another favorite of mine. Bentt never wanted to be a boxer, but his father beat him until he was a four time Golden Glove boxer. When he was old enough, he still hated boxing, but turned pro as a way to earn money and escape living with his parents. Undefeated at that point, he lost his first professional match by being knocked out. The events that followed led him to contemplating suicide. When he finally put the gloves back on, he won every match until he got to face the champion. Refusing to be knocked out again, he won. In his first title defense, he was knocked out and placed in a coma for three days. His father did not care if he lived or died.

In today's world if you're not the best to ever do it, you're garbage. We also live in a world, where there are no losers, and everyone gets a participation trophy. But, the world kind of needs losers. Losing really does build character. You either get better like Pat Ryan, find a new lane like Michael Brentt or force them to make a lane for you like Surya Bonaly. Someone has to lose, and there's no shame in losing. Torquay United has been losing forever. They'll probably keep losing, but they do it in style, and they don't quit. A win is a win, but you don't learn anything from winning and it doesn't force you to change. A loss is a loss, it doesn't mean anything if you don't learn anything from it. But, if you do learn something from it, it can make all the difference in the world.

You can check out some of my fiction at 12 AM Fiction or follow my web serial Exsanguinate and of course hear me on the Powerbomb Jutsu podcast.
TV Review - Losers Season 1 TV Review - Losers Season 1 Reviewed by Darrell S. on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 Rating: 5

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