Everyone In Canada Is Watching This Netflix Series, So Why Aren’t You?

Welcome to “What’s Good,” a weekly column where we break down what’s soothing, distracting, or just plain good in the streaming world.
Photo: Courtesy of Andrew D. Bernstein/Netflix.
What’s Good? The Last Dance On Netflix Canada
Who It’s Good For: If you were old enough in the '90s to remember Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls glory years, you’re going to want an intravenous drip of The Last Dance. It’s also for fans of sports docuseries like O.J.: Made In America, Last Chance U, Cheer, or ESPN’s 30 for 30, and anyone who loves basketball, DRAMA, very handsome men, incredible storytelling, and being in-the-know about the things Twitter is obsessing over. 
How Good Is It? You know that feeling when you unexpectedly find an old photo album and each picture is a welcome shock to your system, a reminder of memories you’d forgotten and emotions you had pretended to outgrow? The Last Dance feels like the warm exhilaration in the pit of your stomach that comes with reminiscing about your most-formative years.
Personally, Michael Jordan is the first real-life superhero I can remember. His posters were plastered on my big brother’s walls. His talent seemed too extraordinary to be true. His charisma and good looks were intoxicating. His commercial jingles (“I wanna be like Mike”) and Space Jam lyrics are seared into my subconscious. His persona was bigger than basketball. He changed the way athletes were considered in the zeitgeist. He became a celebrity, a myth, the G.O.A.T.
The character of Michael Jordan — family man, upstanding leader on the court, Good Guy — was so overpowering that the real dude, the one who is sometimes kind of an asshole and once punched sweet Steve Kerr in the face (the 10-episode series hasn’t addressed this — yet), has been the subject of rumours and whispers that have only gotten louder since he retired for good in 2003. Now, we finally get the story behind the legend.
The Last Dance airs Sunday nights on ESPN in the U.S., but Canadians don’t have to choose between Insecure and re-watching the NBA’s short shorts years. New episodes drop (two at a time, so far) every Monday on Netflix Canada. The show premiered last week with back-to-back installments that tracked Jordan’s early years growing up in North Carolina with an impossibly strict father, supportive mother, and competitive brothers. In fact, we have MJ’s older brother Larry to thank for the legend’s obsession with winning. (Ah Michael Jordan, the classic overachieving middle child.) It’s anecdotes — like how MJ’s drive to step out of Larry’s shadow led him to greatness — that make The Last Dance more than a retelling of the Chicago Bulls dynasty, but a rumination on what it takes to make a superstar. 
Last week, The Last Dance also shed light on Scottie Pippen’s shitty contract and his years-long battle with Bulls' late general manager and the series’ definitive villain, Jerry Krause. Pippen is the Robin to MJ’s Batman and the overlooked prince who stands at the right hand of the king. Because of this doc, Pippen is finally getting his due.
This week, it’s Dennis Rodman’s turn. Rodman’s story is one even the casual basketball fan will remember. He’s the bright-haired, face-pierced, wedding-dress wearing, flamboyant bad boy of the Bulls who partied as hard as he played. This is where I make the case for non-sports fans to give The Last Dance a chance. There’s a scene in which Jordan recalls Rodman asking for a 48-hour vacation to blow off some steam in Vegas. “Phil [Jackson, coach of the Bulls] calls me in and says, ‘Look, Dennis wants to tell you something.’ And when Dennis wants to tell me something, I knew it’s not something I [bleep] wanted to hear,” Jordan says. COME ON. That is just good gossip. Period. Also, if you're wondering why Carmen Electra was trending Sunday night, we've got Rodman and The Last Dance to thank.
For the basketball heads, come for the untold nuggets from the greatest team to ever play the sport (no disrespect to my beloved Raptors) and stay for unearthed game footage that will hold us over until the NBA returns for real. For everyone else, The Last Dance is basically a historical drama with an endearing cast, a villain you will love to hate, and the water-cooler conversation-starting quality of Game of Thrones — but with a better ending. 
Things that are also good:
·  The insanely GOOD Selah and the Spades on Amazon Prime
·  When “dressing up” for a Zoom meeting means putting on your nice sweats
·  High Fidelity on Crave (my kingdom for Zoe Kravitz’s cheekbones)
·  Eating popcorn and drinking wine for dinner like you’re Olivia Pope in Scandal and having ZERO REGRETS
·  Stella Meghie’s Jean of the Joneses on CBC Gem
·  Another documentary about icons from a previous era, Beastie Boys Story on Apple TV+

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