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‘Clipped’ cuts to the core of racism in America

FX’s new drama ‘Clipped’ shows the effects of the NBA making the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Clipped cuts to the core of racism in america
Clipped cuts to the core of racism in america

The latest hardwood hot-topic to hit Hollywood is ‘Clipped’ on FX. The six-part streaming service show about the darkest days of the Los Angeles Clippers is drowned in memes like a cultural sound bite of the times.

Sure, back when the Donald Sterling scandal rocked the NBA worse than any lockout or betting scandal, memes weren’t as prevalent as they are today. Yet this Gina Welch created show uses them to great effect to show how seriously (or not so) we treat real life and world events of game-changing magnitude on the firestorm that social media has become.

Based on the ESPN 30 For 30 podcast ‘The Sterling Affairs’, this definitive drama serial sometimes plays it too safe. After all, you can stream it on Hulu’s affable affiliate Disney Plus, between ‘Bambi’ and the latest Marvel movie. With that being said, it still has something to say.

We just wonder why ESPN haven’t given us a real 30 For 30 documentary yet, as maybe the National Basketball Association wants to forget this drama as quickly as a social media swipe.

Another case of suits hiding their sins and handcuffs behind their cufflinks and noose like ties that bind?

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‘Clipped’ stars ‘The Matrix’ and ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ legend Laurence Fishburne as the great Doc Rivers. He does a good job with Doc’s trademark, one-of-a-kind, gravelly voice, too.

Although, he doesn’t nail it. Only Jamie Foxx can do that. A perfect part for the ‘Batman v Superman’ Perry White and ‘John Wick’ franchise star, nonetheless. Despite the fact that the rest of the players in this series have been trolled online.

Sure, the Blake Griffin actor looks alright, but have you seen who they’ve got to play Steph Curry?

Then again, you only have to look across town to the Clipper rivals the Los Angeles Lakers and their ‘Winning Time’ Showtime show to see that it’s not all about the look of the actors, but the depth of their performance. And this squad brings it on the floor of the courts of public opinion.

The basketball played out is beautiful as always, but in a glut of hoops commercial fare on the screens these days, ‘Clipped’ is about more than grabbing a few cheap headlines and shots. Hopefully it will capture more conversation than the characters you can put down for a post on X.

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Inspiring us all to take a long look at ourselves and the life we lead and what we let pass as we stare into the black mirror. After all, we all know what MLK said about ignorance. And if we don’t…or have forgotten. It’s time to brush up on our history.

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Donald Sterling, like his presidential first namesake, should have never been put in a position of power. He’s captured critically by likeable daytime legend Ed O’Neill (‘Married…With Children’, ‘Modern Family’). O’Neill is a charmer, sure, but he compels you with that carefree side of Sterling like a Trojan Horse. All before pulling the rug out from under you to show how bad this man really is.

Yet it’s the women that make all this man’s world work behind the scenes. Cleopatra Coleman is incredible as V. Stiviano. The ‘Dopesick’ and ‘Rebel Moon’ star gives nuance to the leaker of those infamous Sterling tapes. Motivated in two halves of the same court. One, inspired to do the right thing, offset by a desire to be a star in the La La Land city of angels with Kardashian dreams and designs.

Fellow Aussie, Jacki Weaver also rules. The legendary ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and ‘Widows’ player is like a volcano as long-suffering wife, Shelly Sterling. Not without her own sins to atone for, though. Ignorance, again, being number one.

‘Roots’ and ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ icon LeVar Burton even shows up…as himself. In steam room counsel with the Doc, that really has something to say about black lives in America. Famous or not.

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Forget about Cliff Paul from State Farm, Clifton Davis gives justice to former owner and late legend Elgin Baylor. The final scene of the series is really telling in its own foresight of things to come.

Fittingly, ‘Clipped’s banner on Disney Plus sees two small basketballs being held in the palm of a woman’s hand. LA Clipper colours painted on the nails, like ‘The Matrix’ red or blue pills that Fishburne’s Morpheus dared you make a decision on.

The only question remains in this day and age, which side will you choose?

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