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What’s Your Verdict On Being Liverpool, the Behind-the-Scenes Documentary From FOX Soccer?

 Whats Your Verdict On Being Liverpool, the Behind the Scenes Documentary From FOX Soccer?

“Being: Liverpool,” the TV documentary series from FOX Soccer has been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism in the past several weeks — most of it, to coin a FOX term, has been “fair and balanced.”

Now that we’re on the verge of the final episode of the series (scheduled for Sunday for viewers in the United States), it’s a good opportunity to share our thoughts regarding the series thus far. What have you liked or disliked about it? Did it meet or surpass your expectations? Are you still watching the series?

My own opinion is split. I personally believe that FOX made a mistake by hiring Scott Boggins to produce the series. The hiring of the veteran producer, who is best known for his work on HBO’s “24/7″ series, raised my expectations that the series would be of the quality that we expect to see on HBO, where it isn’t a glossy, fluff-piece documentary. But instead, it’s a hard-hitting series that is quite revealing and sometimes naked.

But if I base “Being: Liverpool” on its own as a soccer series rather than a traditional documentary, the show is more appealing to me. I’ve watched every episode so far this season. And while it hasn’t been a show that I’ve rushed to watch each Sunday, I’ve taken time out of my schedule to enjoy it. The show has succeeded in revealing glimpses of what life is really like inside a Premier League football club — from the inner-workings of the medical team, to the training ground, to the groundsmen and coaching staff. It has revealed what life is like for the players outside of the game. And most importantly, it has brought us into the inner sanctum of the Liverpool dressing room.

The scenes in the Liverpool dressing room are the best thing about “Being: Liverpool.” It’s not that those scenes are particularly revealing. But they do provide us with a rare look at what goes on before a match, at half-time and after a game concludes. That’s something we’ve never seen before. And while I was surprised by how silent the dressing room is (I always pictured in my mind something closer to the Crazy Gang from Wimbledon FC), those scenes in “Being: Liverpool” are worth the price of admission.

Overall, I think a lot of the criticism of “Being: Liverpool” in the blogosphere has been unfair. It’s easy to criticize. It’s hard to create. Just because the series was about Liverpool FC, the show was an easy target for laughs, criticism and derision. Had it been about Manchester United or Manchester City, the series would have been more warmly received, I believe.

FOX Soccer (and Liverpool FC) should be applauded for having the motivation and willingness to try something different. While “Being: Liverpool” isn’t what I wanted it to be, the series has been worth watching nonetheless and I hope that the executives consider continuing the series. My only hope is that they find a club who is willing to be just a little bit more open to being self-critical of itself in front of the camera. I’d love to see the series profile other clubs, warts and all.

For Liverpool and FOX Soccer, I would say the series has been a success so far. But a lot of the long-term success will be based on how Liverpool finishes this season. If Brendan Rodgers succeeds in turning around this Liverpool side that has a lot of challenges, then I believe that “Being: Liverpool” will be fondly remembered. If the season turns into a sour one and Rodgers ends up getting the sack, then the Northern Irishman’s emphatic speeches could come back to haunt him.

For FOX Soccer, they’ve improved their brand recognition across the globe and have instantly elevated the caliber of programming that it and FOX Sports produces. They’re no longer the fledgling network running its operation out of a tiny studio. They’re a force to be reckoned with. And ultimately they have raised the bar for soccer coverage in the United States.

What’s your verdict about “Being: Liverpool”? Share your feedback in the comments section below.

This entry was posted in FOX Soccer, Leagues: EPL, Liverpool. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

19 Responses to What’s Your Verdict On Being Liverpool, the Behind-the-Scenes Documentary From FOX Soccer?

  1. Marc says:

    I only saw 2 episodes but I did enjoy them. I do pefer the show on NBC Sports about Wimbledon FC, I forget the name, though.

  2. FCAsheville says:

    Big LFC fan, and as a whole it’s been OK. I would say B- maybe. It’s been better now that they are back in England, but there’s been no legitimate ‘fly on the wall’ moments. I’ve enjoyed it, kinda glad it’s over, and didn’t really learn anything new.

  3. Rese says:

    “Had it been about Manchester United or Manchester City, the series would have been more warmly received”

    Why?? everyone hates united and city are just a small club also hated now.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Rese, the number of Liverpool fans worldwide is estimated at 42 million. The number of Manchester United fans worldwide is estimated at 659 million.

      As for Manchester City, it’s hard not to like a current Premier League title winner.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Rese says:

        where this number coming from? from your arse.
        liverpool has as big fanbase as united in asia.

        • The Gaffer says:

          Manchester United has reportedly a fanbase in Asia of 325 million fans. Liverpool’s fanbase in Asia is smaller than United’s.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

  4. Ben says:

    I am a fan of the show, although I haven’t watched the 5th episode sitting on my DVR just yet. I also agree with the B- given by FCAsheville. I would’ve preferred them to gloss over the preseason tour a bit more and focus on filming the first few EPL games. With that said, I doubt we would have been shown anything but a rosy reaction even though results were mediocre and reality was setting in.

  5. jmansor says:

    I am not a Liverpool supporter, but I don’t know how you can’t like getting a glimpse of their training, game day prep and homelife of the players. Brendon Rodgers is a bit over the top, but that makes him a good subject. Sir Alex would have never been as honest.

  6. Rob says:

    I love being able to see behind the scenes of a professional football team before, during and after a game.As a Liverpool fan it makes it even better for me but I’d be watching it even if it was Tranmere Rovers.
    Sorry but I don’t agree with your view on everyone liking the current champion; they’re the new Chelsea.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Good feedback. Thanks Rob.

      I would argue that there are far more people out there that dislike Liverpool than clubs like Manchester City and Manchester United.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  7. Rob says:

    Interesting Gaffer,
    are you talking about fans in England or all over the world?
    Do you think that as there are more fans of Man Utd worldwide that there is a greater dislike for Liverpool, or do you think fans don’t like them for other reasons?
    Perhaps there are two different types of fan; in England and abroad. In England, Man Utd have more of a love/hate relationship, whereas internationally there is less hate.
    Do you remember the Bayern/Man Utd champions league final where apparently most of Germany wanted United to win and most of England wanted Bayern to win?

    • IanCransonsKnees says:

      I went to the pub to watch that wanting Juve to win the semi and Bayern to win the final. Gutted obviously.

      I have friends who are glory hunting Liverpool fans who travel in to Liverpool from Stoke, Cheshire etc in the pubs there to watch Man Utd in finals to celebrate with the real scousers should Man Utd lose! Apparently it ends up being party time in Liverpool!

    • The Gaffer says:

      I’m talking about all over the world. I think that Liverpool (the club, and its supporters) are not liked for reasons other than there being more Manchester United supporters (although that’s certainly a major reason). I don’t agree with the way that the club and fans are disliked, but it’s certainly palpable especially on the Internet.

      Manchester United is hated too. So is any club in the Premier League. But Liverpool seems to be disliked more than other clubs.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • IanCransonsKnees says:

        I’d agree with that, it doesn’t seem particularly an anti scouse thing. People over here have a lot of time for Everton. I’d say they’re equally loathed amongst those of us over here have to listen to radio phone ins with their fans with any accent other than a scouse or mancunian one.

      • Rese says:

        are you united or everton fan? why would anybody hate liverpool more then manc scums or moneybag citeh?

  8. Scrumper says:

    I totally expected in the final installment to see Brendon Rodgers canonized by the Pope and elbowing Mother Theresa out for top humanitarian spot in the Vatican. All his heart rendering “we’ll fight them on the beaches men” type stuff had us all welling up and then they went out and played horribly was just hilarious. And exactly how do players like Suarez who can’t speak English understand all his breathless drivel? No wonder a bunch of them look totally bemused every time he opens his gob.

    And this “I have three names in this envelope” nonsense was something you hear at school not a manager addressing Premier League players. The only honest piece was when he told Andy Carroll he shouldn’t play because of his hamstring and turned around and told Shelvey he wants him to lead the line. No wonder Carroll legged it down to West Ham.

    If you want to hear what real Liverpool supporters think, the people that have followed the club through generations and put down their hard earned cash every week, the people that deserve more than this dreamy slow motion of “Brendon Rodgers through the Looking Glass” nonsense then listen when Liverpool supporters call in to Talksport or a Liverpool radio station on line.

  9. Mike Mcguiness says:

    I have to say been an Everton fan,i have quite enjoyed watching this and would enjoy any behind the scence’s football team,we get the final show tonight here in the uk,i just wish Liverpool would have not had the final say on what was shown just because if anything argument wise etc had happened i would have hoped it would have been shown,good show though

  10. Garry Craske says:

    A sugar coated thirty minutes of cringe worthy dross featuring a Manager who will eventually be found out for what he is.

    Walk on……

    Walk on…..

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