Hoops (TV series)

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Hoops
Hoops (TV series) Title Card.png
Genre
Created byBen Hoffman
Voices of
Music byScott Hoffman
Opening themeBen & Scott Hoffman
Ending themeBen & Scott Hoffman
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10
Production
Executive producers
Producers
  • Aubrey Davis Lee
  • James Merrill
EditorAmy Blaisdell
Running time23–26 minutes
Production companies
DistributorDisney-ABC Domestic Television
Release
Original networkNetflix
Picture formatHDTV 1080p
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseAugust 21, 2020 (2020-08-21)

Hoops is an American adult animated sitcom created by Ben Hoffman for Netflix that was released on August 21, 2020.[1][2] In December 2020, the series was canceled after one season.[3]

Premise[edit]

Hoops follows Ben Hopkins, "a hot-headed, foul-mouthed high school basketball coach who thinks turning around his God-awful team will take him to the 'big leagues' and turn his miserable life around."[4]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Jake Johnson as Coach Ben Hopkins, a quick-tempered, foul-mouthed basketball coach at Lenwood High School. He is Shannon's ex-husband, Ron's best friend and Barry's estranged son. Ben's main goal is to turn his team's poor reputation around, but his attempts to do this often end in chaos and failure (with the exception of the episode "The Sponsor", in which he encourages each member of the team to treat the competition like their respective father, which leads to a rare victory for Ben's team). Aside from basketball, Ben wants to rekindle his relationship with Shannon, and is also obsessed with the 1991 film Little Man Tate.
  • Ron Funches as Ron, Lenwood High's assistant basketball coach and Ben's best friend who is dating Ben's estranged wife
  • Cleo King as Opal Lowry, the principal at Lenwood High and Ben's boss
  • Natasha Leggero as Shannon, Ben's estranged wife
  • A. D. Miles as Matty Atkins, a seven-foot-tall 16-year-old who is on Lenwood High's basketball team
  • Rob Riggle as Barry Hopkins, a legendary former basketball player who is now the owner of Hopkins Steakhouse and Ben's father

Recurring[edit]

  • Nick Swardson as Scott, a gay teenager who plays on Lenwood High's basketball team
  • Sam Richardson as Marcus, the only African-American player on the basketball team. He is often the team's voice of reason.
  • Ben Hoffman as Time Bomb, a redneck player on the basketball team who is possibly from an inbred family
  • Eric Edelstein as Kirk, one of Ben's friends
  • Mary Holland as Connie, a prostitute whom Ben knows
  • Gil Ozeri as Isaac, a Jewish player on the basketball team
  • Steve Berg as DJ, an overweight player on the basketball team. He wears goggles with orange lenses while playing and speaks with a lisp.
  • Max Greenfield as Lonnie Seymour, an ethics teacher at Lenwood, who is not fond of Ben

Guests[edit]

  • Guy Fieri as Himself
  • Damon Wayans Jr. as Damian Chapman
  • Hannah Simone as Dr. Brooks
  • Will Forte as Dawa, an anger management therapist who is a Zen master. In "Zen", he helps Ben to manage his anger and reduce his selfishness, only for the former to reappear later in the episode when Ben sees three gay students bullying Scott for apparently being straight, and the latter in the following episode.

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release dateProd.
code
1"The Pilot"Pablo SolisBen HoffmanAugust 21, 2020 (2020-08-21)1AZB01
Ben Hopkins coaches a basketball team made up of a below-average-height group of teenagers at Lenwood High School. After suffering a mental breakdown at his latest game, Ben is told by principal Opal that he must win his next game or risk being fired. Because of this, Ben attempts to recruit Matty, a seven-foot-tall 16-year-old, into joining his team. After attempting to pay a hooker to sleep with Matty, Ben is arrested. On the day of the game, Ben is released from prison and learns that Matty has joined the team. The team loses the game, but Ben congratulates Matty as they only lost by 16 points.
2"My Two Dads"Ron RubioAnnabel SeymourAugust 21, 2020 (2020-08-21)1AZB02
Believing he has seen his ex-wife Shannon cheating on his best friend Ron, Ben decides to investigate. He finds out that Shannon has been hanging out with his dad, Barry, as her "second dad". The trio attends a wedding, where Ben reveals that he himself got a second dad, a random old man he found in Shannon's old home. After the old man dies, Ben and Barry attend his funeral. Meanwhile, the basketball team attempt to bond with Matty and successfully do so after getting drunk in his basement.
3"Ethics"James KimAri BerkowitzAugust 21, 2020 (2020-08-21)1AZB03
After learning that he will not be able to play basketball if he does not pass his ethics class, Matty informs Ben about his situation. After multiple failed attempts to pass Matty, Ben decides to frame Matty's ethics teacher, Mr. Lonnie, with false claims about child abduction. As Matty declares that this would be unethical, Lonnie catches Ben in the act, and surprised that Matty said no to Ben, passes Matty in his class, allowing him to play in his team's next game.
4"The Sponsor"Mollie HelmsEvan Mann & Gareth ReynoldsAugust 21, 2020 (2020-08-21)1AZB04
Opal informs Ben that his basketball team has received a sponsor, only to learn that it is his dad's restaurant. At his next game, Ben is informed that Barry has promised to give everyone in the stadium free steaks if Ben's team wins the game. Using their individual hate for their own dads, the team manage to win the game, to Barry's surprise.
5"Matty Gets a Girlfriend"Pablo SolisMike GibbonsAugust 21, 2020 (2020-08-21)1AZB05
After Ben causes Matty to break up with his girlfriend Wendy, Ben and Matty visit Shannon's house to watch a tape of Ben's "proposal" to Shannon. To get even with Matty, Ben decides to use his persona, Pill Ben (which he can only access by getting to sleep using sleeping pills), to get Matty back with Wendy. This results in Pill Ben entering Wendy's house and vandalizing it. Meanwhile, the rest of the basketball team attempt to get girlfriends themselves by driving a Bang Bus-themed van around town. In the end, Ben, Matty, and the rest of the group all end up in jail. After all of their charges are dropped, Wendy and Matty get back together; Matty having made a "proposal" video similar to Ben's.
6"Zen"Ron RubioBen HoffmanAugust 21, 2020 (2020-08-21)1AZB06
After Ben causes an opponent's team mascot to fall down a flight of stairs, he is advised to visit an anger management therapist. He manages to pass the therapy class after getting high on frog poison. After the experience, Ben changes his behavior and begins to act calmly with the people he talks to, surprising almost everyone. Meanwhile, one of Ben's players, Scott, is bullied for being gay (though he is teased by the Gay Mafia as they think he is straight). This causes Ben to snap, come back to normal, and yell at the Gay Mafia.
7"The Strike"Mollie HelmsSteven J. MurphyAugust 21, 2020 (2020-08-21)1AZB07
Ben prepares his team to face Coach Chapman, a rival he has played against for several years. Finding out that his chances of winning the game are slim to none, Ben is advised to join a team of teachers going on strike so that he will not have to attend the game. In the end, Ben manages to lose any possibility of the teachers getting their demands and his team loses the game, causing him to get the lyrics of Smash Mouth's All Star tattooed on his back after making a bet with Chapman prior to the game.
8"Death"James KimEvan Mann & Gareth ReynoldsAugust 21, 2020 (2020-08-21)1AZB08
After the deaths of a teacher and a food delivery guy, Opal hires a grief counselor, Dr. Brooks, to help students and teachers mourn the tragedy. Multiple flashbacks show Ben meeting Shannon for the first time, Ron proudly killing people in the Iraq War, Shannon deciding to divorce Ben, Barry raising Ben as a single father, Opal working as an flight attendant before becoming a school principal, and Dr. Brooks meeting her husband. In the present, Dr. Brooks dies in a car crash while talking with Ben and Shannon.
9"The Road Game"Pablo SolisM. DicksonAugust 21, 2020 (2020-08-21)1AZB09
After his team is invited to a prestigious basketball tournament in Cincinnati, Ben declares that anyone who is not present at the school on the day of the trip will be left behind. After oversleeping on said day, Ben decides to drive to the tournament with Shannon. During the drive, Ben and Shannon decide to stay together. Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, the rest of the basketball group accidentally cause the tournament to get canceled after filing up a pool with foam made up of poisonous chemicals.
10"The Scout"Ron RubioCharla LauristonAugust 21, 2020 (2020-08-21)1AZB10
After a few days of breaking up with Ron, Shannon breaks up with Ben. At school, Ben learns that Matty is being given an offer to play basketball at a prestigious prep school, and after a failed attempt to convince Matty not to leave Lenwood High, Ben is also given a similar offer to coach at the school. While driving Matty to the college, Ben's car gets a flat tire, leaving the pair stranded on the road.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On October 3, 2018, it was announced that Netflix had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes. The series was created by Ben Hoffman who was also expected to executive produce alongside Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Seth Cohen, M. Dickson and Jake Johnson. Production companies involved with the series were slated to be Bento Box Entertainment and 20th Television.[4] The series premiered on August 21, 2020.[1] The official series trailer was released on August 6, 2020.[5] On December 8, 2020, Netflix canceled the show after one season.[3]

Casting[edit]

Alongside the series order announcement, it was confirmed that Jake Johnson was set to star in the series.[4] In July 2020, it was announced that Natasha Leggero, Rob Riggle, Ron Funches, Cleo King and A. D. Miles were cast in starring roles.[1]

Reception[edit]

The first and only season of Hoops received generally negative reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gives it an approval rating of 14% based on 14 reviews, with an average rating of 3.71/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Crude, rude, and aimless, Hoops's first season throws nothing but bricks."[6] Metacritic, another aggregation site, gives it a weighted average score of 35 out of 100 based on 9 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[7]

Caroline Framke of Variety described the series "isn't half the joke machine it would need to be in order to justify its total lack of nuance".[8] Stuart Jeffries of The Guardian described it as a "puerile comedy ... perfect for Trump's America" that is more "toxically retrograde" than Love Thy Neighbour, noting its sexualized portrayal of women, an overabundance of penis jokes, and a cast of mostly stereotypical token characters.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Pedersen, Erik (July 20, 2020). "'Hoops': Premiere Date & Teaser For Netflix's Adult Toon Series; Ron Riggle & Others Join Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 20, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  2. ^ Evershed, John (2020). Adult Animation Finally Breaking Free of its Comedy Shackles (PDF) (Report). High Concentrate, LLC in Squarespace. p. 28. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (December 8, 2020). "'Hoops' Canceled at Netflix After One Season (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (October 3, 2018). "Netflix Orders 'Hoops' Adult Animated Series Starring Jake Johnson From Ben Hoffman, Phil Lord, Chris Miller & 20th TV". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 3, 2018. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  5. ^ Adams, Tim (August 6, 2020). "Hoops: New Girl Cast Reunites in Foul-Mouthed Trailer for Netflix Adult Animated Comedy". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on August 6, 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  6. ^ "Hoops: Season 1 (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  7. ^ "Hoops: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  8. ^ Framke, Caroline (August 20, 2020). "'Hoops' Review: Netflix's Unabashedly Ridiculous Cartoon Wastes Jake Johnson's Comedic Voice". Variety. Archived from the original on August 24, 2020. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
  9. ^ Jeffries, Stuart (21 August 2020). "Hoops review – puerile animation is perfect for Trump's America". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 31 August 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2020.

External links[edit]