Documentary: Being Liverpool – Episode 1

 

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Given how often it happens in other sports, it’s surprising that embedding camera crews inside soccer clubs is still a relatively rare thing. Nearly all American sports have danced this sordid two-step in recent years: “Hard Knocks” shows us the manufactured drama of the NFL preseason. Every big boxing match comes with a pre-taped hype machine in which the two fighters reiterate that yes, they’re going to beat the other guy in between dramatized sessions at the speed bag. And yet, soccer has always had a force field around its teams’ most inward moments. Whenever the lens has broached upon such hallowed ground, the results have been shuddering and hilarious: to wit, John Sitton’s epic and profane halftime rant (Google it) with his Leyton Orient side 3-0 down to Brentford. This is because what normally links clubs willing to provide such access is a lack of anything to lose. Manchester City’s revelatory 1981 doc showed a club “in crisis,” while Barcelona’s “The Inside Story” chronicled lawyer/politician Joan Laporta’s cavalier takeover effort of a club, mired in rising debts, that he soon set on the road to greatness. It can’t get much worse, so why not let the cameras in? Conversely, there’s a mystique around great clubs, players and managers that is enhanced by keeping critics and/or observers at arm’s length. So, in John Henry’s infinite wisdom, comes “Being: Liverpool,” a six-part documentary series that will serve the Reds in myriad ways. Namely, an obvious publicity boost and a chance for Henry and FSG to tell their (heavily edited) side of the story. Let’s get to the show.

 

Continue reading James Tyler’s “Live” blogging ‘Being: Liverpool,’ ep 1

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