HBO’s Shaquille O’Neal Doc Is Fun but Frivolous

Because nobody paused and stated, “Do we really need this?” there must were a two- or three-month length wherein they have been sitting down with a exceptional documentary crew each other day to retell the same memories about the Showtime Lakers, the Buss family and the transition from the ’80s Lakers dynasty into the ’90s Lakers dynasty led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.On a simply sensible stage — and I’m a practical guy — the 4-element Shaq is absolutely unnecessary. The 2nd and 0.33 episodes of Shaq recount the equal Lakers saga blanketed inside the middle episodes of Legacy, however with fewer voices and lots less candor and intensity. Most of the first episode is devoted to the early chapters of Shaquille O’Neal’s life and his tenure with the Orlando Magic, formerly chronicled in the center-tier ESPN 30 for 30 movie This Magic Moment.

Only the fourth episode, from his change to the Heat to his current tenure as a television talking head and constant commercial pitchman, is “new” and functions some of the more emotional factors in the series. But it covers 18 years of terrain in forty five rushed minutes, and its “Hey, Shaq have become a businessman!” revelations are near-equal, by way of design, to the similar chapter in They Call Me Magic. Anyway, it’s no longer like Shaquille O’Neal says “No” to many interview possibilities nor like he’s a cagey man or woman, so “Shaquille O’Neal tells all!” — specifically whilst he honestly commonly doesn’t — is best a confined incentive.

On a generous level — and I’m additionally a generous man — one in all my most frequent lawsuits about biographical doctors is after they take a dry, distanced method to their situation and don’t permit that concern’s persona have an effect on the storytelling aesthetic at all, and in Shaq, director Robert Alexander has surely made a documentary this is knowledgeable by way of Shaquille O’Neal’s larger-than-existence logo. Shaq the personality is bombastic and amusing, so Shaq the docuseries is bombastic and amusing, and it displays its myriad affects proudly. It isn’t the least bit revelatory and it comes throughout best as the version of Shaquille O’Neal’s existence that Shaquille O’Neal might want to have protected, however there’s amusement to be had here.“This is a real tale, advised by using Shaq. So… you already know,” reads the introduction to what’s known as “Film 1.” Shaq himself explains further, “The global knows I’m a bullshitter. Sometimes whilst you tell a tale, you wanna add a touch barbecue sauce.”

Alexander, who did comparable personality-shooting obligations on the Kid Cudi-centric A Man Named Scott, we could Shaq’s bullshit steer the documentary, using the self-mythologizing Big Aristotle’s vaunted love of and centrality in broader famous culture as a device. Certain episodes are established with cheeky animation or online game affects and interludes. Another is fueled with the aid of silent film intertitles and musical choices, albeit with none clean justification because regardless of how much Shaq’s love of comic books and hip-hop and other mainstream art bureaucracy is set up, it’s lots tougher to pinpoint what appreciation he has for silent movies or what silent films Alexander is paying homage to. As satisfactory I can discern, the silent film segments are meant to reflect how Shaq’s precise flavor of supersized heroism or unapologetic villainy — if you befell to root for any of the groups he bullied relentlessly over 10+ years — harkened back to a easier time.

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