Last week, Adam McKay blamed a casting decision for his new HBO series about the Lakers as the reason for his falling out with Will Ferrell. Now that series, titled Winning Time, has a trailer, and, well, John C. Reilly looks f-cking amazing in it as Dr. Jerry Buss, owner of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. Could Will Ferrell have also done a great job as Jerry Buss? Probably! He’s not a bad actor. But John C. Reilly is getting it DONE in this trailer. Not saying it was worth torching a friendship over, but whoever wanted Reilly for this role, had the right of it. Hollywood Sliding Doors strikes again.
Frankly, the whole series looks great. Top to bottom, excellent cast, and excellent tone. I am slightly distrustful of Adam McKay after Don’t Look Up—review coming next week, but in short: YIKES—but it’s so hard to resist John C. Reilly. He’s never not good. Even if the movie/show/whatever is bad, HE is good. And then there’s Gaby Hoffman, who was my strong-browed idol in the 1990s, and a murderer’s row of talent including Sally Field, Rob Morgan—also reliably good in everything—Rory Cochrane, Jason Segel, and Adrian Brody looks INSPIRED as Pat Reilly. I do feel a little like I’m sticking my fingers into a mystery bowl at a haunted house after my experience with Don’t Look Up, though. I want to be all-in on Winning Time, for Reilly if nothing else, but I sat through Don’t Look Up. I don’t trust Adam McKay right now.