I had high hopes when I heard Netflix was producing a second season of “Last Chance U.” But after binge-watching season two, I experienced the sad reality that the bulk of it was spent focused on coach Buddy Stephens doing Buddy Stephens things.
Buddy Stephens doing Buddy Stephens things is a reminder to everyone that while you can talk all you want about change, at the end of the day your true character shines through.
For those of you not familiar with the show, Buddy Stephens is the football coach at East Mississippi Community College, otherwise known as “Last Chance U.”
Honestly, I liked Stephens a lot more in season one. So what if he cussed too much or that his players didn’t like him? I re-read my article on season one and I was honestly surprised at how much I took up for Stephens.
I enjoyed his brashness and attitude. Who cares what people thought of him after watching the show?
Apparently, he did because it felt like every episode had at least one reminder – whether it be Stephens talking about changes he has made or us being introduced to his spiritual advisor (are you kidding me?) – that Stephens had indeed changed.
Once again, Brittany Wagner’s (EMCC’s now-former academic counselor and the surprise star of season one) candor perfectly summarized what I was feeling. Sitting in her office, she says it felt as if Stephens wanted to change the outside perception of him more so than he actually wanted to change.
Stephens attempts to make you feel that he is honestly trying to improve his behavior when he catches himself just before blowing up at a coach or a player. I suspect, though, it is only his awareness of where the cameras are that is the lesson he has learned.
There were some high points in season two I wished the producers would have spent more time on.
The redemption of De’Andre Johnson
Quarterback De’Andre Johnson — who was kicked out of Florida State after he punched a woman — was a breath of fresh air after seeing John Franklin III in season one. I wasn’t a an of Franklin’s attitude, lack of enthusiasm and, most of all, his play at quarterback.
Johnson was a different story altogether.
There is video of Johnson hitting the woman at the bar, and having actual video footage of the incident paints a picture of a monster. But watching him in interviews with his mom and dad and seeing how he carries himself around the other players, a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde picture is painted.
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