‘Ballers’ season 2, episode 3 review: Ricky Jerret feels the love

Ballers -If there is one thing that Ricky Jerret wanted above all else on Sunday night’s “Ballers,” it was rather simple: Love, and plenty of it. Clearly, this is a man whose love language is validation!

There have been many times in which we’ve commented on how the HBO comedy does a great job of being enjoyable as opposed to funny, but we have to admit that the conclusion of Ricky’s story on this past episode was legitimately worthy of a few laughs. The New Orleans Saints offered him plenty of money and great football know-how when they offered to sign him to the team, and yet at the same time, he found himself craving something more: Love. He wanted to feel like they really valued him. This is what made the fantastic ending with the cheerleaders, the float, and the gospel singers all the better. With Sean Payton turning up for a split second, this is the right way to do a cameo. Pro athletes and coaches are not actors, so using them beyond just a minute or two is a mistake.

The story for Spencer this week was a little more straightforward: Andre was stealing his clients, and he therefore had to figure out how to fight back. His message at the end of the day here was that honesty, even if it wasn’t the preferred option on paper, really may be the best policy in the end. Eventually he and Vernon realized that as the latter admitted to the Dallas Cowboys how he hurt himself playing paintball, and Spencer also had to tell one of his clients, a famed former player, that his hotel dream was too big … even though he realized he was in danger of losing him and others to Andre. This was more in the “enjoyable” category.

The storyline this season is still trying to figure out is that of Charles Greene, who spent the majority of the half-hour struggling over a potential position change. The Madden scene was funny, but we don’t really get the sense the show knows what to do with the character now that he is back in the game.

Despite some bumps in the road, this was probably the finest episode of “Ballers” this season just because the show remembered that making Ricky into a star attraction rather than a potential down-and-out player is where you’re going to get the majority of your laughs. Also, when you’re feeling good is when you’re more susceptible to a fall. Grade: B+.

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