Playmaker: © ESPN/Courtesy Everett Collection
Gillian Flynn
June 18, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Playmakers: The Complete Series

Current Status
In Season
Omar Gooding, Russell Hornsby, Snoop Dogg, Jason Matthew Smith

We gave it an A-

Daddy issues, crack addiction, spousal abuse, and decrepit twentysomething bodies are but a portion of the problems visited upon the fictional Cougars pro football team — anchored by nemeses Hornsby and Gooding (Cuba’s little brother) in Playmakers: The Complete Series. These nasty dramas infuriated the NFL, prompting ESPN to drop the show after one season — but heck, what a season. Eleven daring episodes cover such varied story lines as Gooding’s excruciating visit to a depraved urologist before a drug test (let’s just say a greasy tube and someone else’s pee are involved) and Hornsby’s gentle comrade-ship with his best friend and teammate (Jason Matthew Smith), who’s on antidepressants after paralyzing an opponent. The result: TV’s first truly macho soap. EXTRAS Guest star Snoop Dogg chats about acting; creator John Eisendrath reveals that he…loves his cast! They’re all skippable.

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