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Last Chance U Season 2 Review

Season 2
Jason Bahr/Getty Images for SeriesFest

With the exception of the Empire Strikes Back, few sequels can ever match the original. Sadly, Netflix’s Last Chance U Season 2 falls far short of the groundbreaking original series.
To be fair, it would be tough to capture the unfiltered magic of Coach Buddy Stephen’s passion for the game at East Mississippi Community College, Brittany Wagner’s frustration with working to get her kids eligible and the bluntness and humor of Ronald Ollie.
How can you top a first season where two football teams clear the benches not to play the game, but to fight one another?
We begin this season with Buddy promising to be a ‘kinder gentler’ version of himself. The reviews from Season 1 had an impact on the entire cast. What makes reality TV so compelling, is when the cast doesn’t realize what’s recorded.

I knew we were in trouble when Buddy told us on camera that he would not swear as much as last year. I’m sure he wanted to be portrayed in a positive light. That’s a harsh portrayal considering the subject matter: JUCO Football. These kids although talented are academically and have issues with law enforcement sometimes.

Season 2 did provide us a more concrete glimpse into the lives of EMCC players. Some come from multiple parent families, others have been incarcerated. We rarely see the inside world of big time college football during Gameday or CBS Sports’ SEC Game of the Week.
The darling of Season 1, Brittany Wagner, appeared to have changed from her hard charging self. She captured the nation’s heart with her relentless approach and unconditional love for her students. This year, Wagner seemed more focused on complaining about Coach Stephens than doing her job, which is to get EMCC Players eligible.

Her lack of professionalism, looking for a job in front of her students, illustrates my point. It’s not about me; it’s about us, Wagner missed that one. She looked like she wanted to get out of Scooba faster than her players.
Most of the mainstream pc press will go after Buddy. Their righteousness is misplaced. Coach Stephens is a flawed man who has the courage to expose himself to millions of Netflix Viewers. It’s easy to sit back and second guess his methods. However, look at how many kids have moved on from EMCC to the pros or a four-year school?  Even Darth Vader would be impressed.

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