HBO’s Familiar Storyline For 24/7

Have you seen HBO’s 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic?

I didn’t have the heart to watch the premier, having just watched the Caps lose in overtime, but I checked it out last night.  Beautifully shot and made for great drama.  But please, enough with the Pens-as-America’s-team and Caps-as-the-villians.  Been there, done that.  Just thought HBO would not be so lazy, that they would dig into the stories more and create a true window into these teams – and the sport.

I should note that the Pens happened to be on a record-setting streak and the Caps on the opposite end of one, so all couldn’t look rosier for Pittsburgh and glummer for Washington.  The juxtaposition of stories is telling:  Pens gather around with their families, i.e., lots of adorable tots on skates to celebrate Christmas;  Caps have a virus going around the locker room, and they can barely field a team.  Pens joke and play games together;  Caps sit glumly – and oddly alone – in the locker room and look like they are about to cry. Sid raves about his coach and how he always looks on the bright side of life.  Boudreau drops the f-bomb even more times than I can – clip after clip.

The first episode was filled with gorgeous shots of Pittsburgh – I know, is that even possible?  But nary a shot of DC, our skyline or neighborhoods.  Can I also note that the Pens locker room must be outdoors, it’s filled with such golden light and airiness.  While the Caps locker room must be in the bowels of Hell, given its dark, dank, closed in feeling.  And what’s with all the shots of Ovie sitting by himself in front of his locker – is the locker next to his empty?  Did Flash occupy that one?  Then there’s one shot of Carly where he looks like he’s been punched in the stomach and is about to puke.  Come to think of it, lots of them looked that way.  Maybe it was the flu.

So where does this leave me with this four-part series?  I’ll give it another shot – maybe episode 2 will be more Caps-fan-friendly.  I certainly hope the Winter Classic will be!

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