I'm going to preface this review by stating that I know absolutely nothing about American Football but the good news is that you don't have to have a clue about the sport to really enjoy the Last Chance U documentary. While clearly it's about the game it's more focused on behind the scenes of the brutally competitive world of college football, what it takes to be the number one team and more importantly what it takes to stay there.
The documentary follows the East Mississippi Community College (EMCC) football team, also known as the Lions, on their quest for a fourth National Championship in 2015 having already won it in 2011, 2013 and 2014. Led by Head Coach Buddy Stephens, the EMCC team is primarily made up of players that have been removed from Division I rosters due to academic or disciplinary issues, and playing at the junior college level (JUCO) is their last chance to prove themselves and return to Division I from where they will hopefully go on to the NFL.
This is a fascinating documentary absolutely filled to the brim with incredible juxtapositions for example, the 5,000 seater football stadium is located in one of the poorest places in Mississippi. It's a huge facility that must have cost a fortune to build, yet it's slap bang in the middle of a town called Scooba where the only thing that seems to work is a coke machine. The players themselves will readily admit they are only there to get out as in they are only at EMCC to get back to Division 1, which they can't do if they get dropped and they get dropped for missing class and missing class/failing academically is half the reason they are there in the first place.
It's a crazy vicious circle but ultimately they can break the cycle if they work hard enough and that's what is great about Last Chance U, you root for them, you want them to win, you want them to graduate and succeed and you can get really invested in how their lives unfold. A stunning piece of filming broken into six episodes for season 1 with seasons two and three also available. There are also plenty of other great sports based programmes streaming now, including All Or Nothing Manchester City on Amazon Prime.