Thursday, June 21, 2018
Bringing Up Ballers

‘Bringing Up Ballers,’ New Series on Lifetime

I’m a little late to the party, if that’s what you want to call the show “Bringing Up Ballers” on Lifetime. I would call it more of a train wreck, but I’m sure it will last for seasons to come.

Okay, first things first. I’m not one of those people who put down reality shows and competitions. I actually have watched a lot of them — I’ve watched the Real Housewives franchise for some time, I’ve tuned into the Kardashians at least twice, and I am currently on a regular diet of Survivor, Amazing Race and Big Brother (I can keep going). The reason why is I like these shows that most people give a thumbs down to is that I’ve always loved behind-the-scenes type of shows where I get to watch people and how they interact in particular situations. What’s it like competing against others in a modeling contest? How do people act who have a lot of money? It’s skewed I know, because it’s not really how everyone acts, but I have found them all interesting and I try to watch at least one or two episodes of any reality show.

I thought the concept of the Bringing Up Ballers show was interesting, because we get to see how the parents of these really talented young men and women act as they try to get their children to the pros. Bringing Up Ballers features five Chicago-area entrepreneurs whose kids are some of the country’s most elite young basketball players. They are feisty moms who say they will stop at nothing to ensure that their boys make it to the NBA. We follow their lives — mostly the moms lives, because the boys really are the bit players in this sports version of Real Housewives.

What do I remember about it? In the first episode the audience learns that one mom (Peytyn) would sleep with anyone — including her son’s coach — if that meant moving him forward in his career. Another mom (Johanna) doesn’t give a crap about her son’s opinions and feelings when she poses provocatively. This episode focused mostly on Peytyn, who screamed at her son during his last — his last! — high school game and then told him that his playing basically sucked. The silver lining was that her son, George,’ a 6’3″ athlete who was ranked seventh in the state, stuck up for himself and told his mom that if she’s not happy with how he played, she better get happy with it because he was proud of himself. George received several phone calls from Division 1 colleges after that game. George had a big decision to make and Peytyn wants to make sure she keeps him close to home.

Remember going into this show that it’s about the moms who just happen to have these really talented kids.  You’ll hear the moms talk about who slept with who, who wants to sleep with who and how they are all gorgeous women who everyone envies. Oh and they have businesses too. I would’ve loved to hear more of why George chose the school he did and what other schools offered him an opportunity. But hey, that’s not what pushes ratings up. Flipping tables, cursing people out and sexy texts push this show forward.

Remember those games when you would hear the mom embarrassing the kids by  yelling while they were on the sidelines?  That’s this show — mom’s yell on the sidelines or in the bleachers. Some even get thrown out of games.

I’m just not into it. If you like the Real Housewives-type shows but want some sports thrown in, then Bringing Up Ballers might be your mindless entertainment. All I know is that Bringing Up Ballers is a six-episode series and I turned it off after episode 2. Here’s a breakdown of the Bringing Up Ballers’ episodes. If you missed some, you can watch them On Demand.

Have You Met Peytyn? (#101)
Airs Wednesday, March 1 at 10:02PM-11:02PM (ET/PT)
Peytyn, Nikki, Johanna and Heather are Chicago mothers raising the next NBA superstars while running their own businesses. With her son George not committed to a college yet, Peytyn does everything she can to keep him close to home. Tension rises between Nikki and Johanna after pictures are placed on social media and Peytyn reveals she knows Heather’s ex-husband, very well.

Suburban Invaders (#102)
Airs Wednesday, March 8 at 10:02PM-11:02PM (ET/PT)
Nikki’s friend Tiffany, a basketball mom from the suburbs, isn’t getting the welcome she hoped for from Johanna. Meanwhile, Heather’s oldest daughter Danyelle is getting ready for prom, leaving Heather’s ex-husband and boyfriend to get acquainted. And, when the team Nikki and Johanna’s sons play for goes up against Tiffany’s son’s team, who will come out on top?

Stop the Press Conference! (#103)
Airs Wednesday, March 15 at 10:02PM-11:02PM (ET/PT)
Nikki set-ups a press conference to announce what high school her son Nimari is going to attend, creating a rift in her friendship with Johanna. Peytyn decides to keep a school offer a secret from George, but faces harsh backlash when he finds out. Tensions boil over between Nikki and Johanna at Heather’s event.

Party Foul (#104)
Airs Wednesday, March 22 at 10:02PM-11:02PM (ET/PT)
Heather and Nikki collaborate on a joint graduation party for their kids. Peytyn confesses her feelings for her son’s coach. Johanna crashes Heather & Nikki’s graduation party and George finally commits to a school.

Playing with Fire (#105)
Airs Wednesday, March 29 at 10:02PM-11:02PM (ET/PT)
Peytyn and Heather arrange a “friend-tervention” to reunite Nikki and Johanna. Meanwhile, Tiffany’s fellow suburban basketball mom, Catrina, and her son Antoine come into the scene for Nikki’s 3-On-3 Charity Basketball Tournament.

About Lisa Iannucci

Lisa Iannucci has been interviewing professional athletes and Olympians, sports writers and film/tv personalities for more than a decade. Her book, A Film & TV Lover's Travel Guide is now available:

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