I've seen two episodes of the 8-part series and the best I can say is that it's fairly good for an ESPN Entertainment production. It may be better than "A Season on the Brink," but I doubt that it's going to be earning any Emmy nominations.
The series tries to play off the tension on the 1977 New York Yankees among George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson, and Thurman Munson (and too many others to enumerate) and the Son of Sam murders.
So, in two hours in addition to the people named above, we've also met actors playing: Dick Howser (who has become Italian), Yogi Berra (portrayed by Joe Grifasi, who is great in the part), Mickey Rivers (who comes across as being extremely dim), Lou Piniella (who seems to be an easy-going jokester), and Fran Healy (who apparently is the sole voice of reason among the 1977 Yankees.)
There is a parallel story about the Son of Sam case featuring a variety of actors wearing suits with wide lapels. Stephen Lang plays the NYPD inspector heading up the case.
Each episode of the first two episodes seem to have two scenes of the Yankees arguing in some permutation involving Steinbrenner, Martin, Jackson, and Munson and then a scene about the Son of Sam case.
Steinbrenner is portrayed by Oliver Platt, who comes across as Oliver Platt wearing 1970s suits. John Turturro, fitted with some prosthetic ears, is Billy Martin, who, unsurprisingly doesn't get along with people well. Daniel Sunjata plays Reggie Jackson, and doesn't look big enough to hit the ball out of the infield.
The story could be very gripping. But it just seems flat. You can predict when there is going to be some argument between Steinbrenner and Martin or Martin and Jackson or Munson and Jackson. It's not like the 1977 Yankees played in anonymity. And the Son of Sam case was not exactly a murder case that flew under the radar.
So I find myself comparing the events shown in the series against events I knew already happened. And I realize that I liked the original a lot more. Such are the perils of docudrama.
Will I be sticking around to see how it ends? I don't know. I wonder how that 1977 World Series finishes....