February 28, 2024

Six Nations: Full Contact 2024 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online

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Six Nations: Full Contact 2024 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online

    Which sport will get the glossy documentary treatment next? Since the global success of Formula 1: Drive to Survive, the team behind the engine-revving, helmet-throwing hit has turned its access-all-areas cameras to tennis (Break Point) and golf (Full Swing). Croquet, curling, table tennis and tiddlywinks could be next on the Netflix hitlist. Or maybe dressage. Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of horsey disco?

    First, though, rugby union gets its turn with Six Nations: Full Contact, a thick-necked, cauliflower-eared series about the 2023 Six Nations Championship. It’s the oldest tournament in international rugby, full of fierce rivalries – mainly meaning everybody hates England. The gladiatorial nature and sheer physicality of the game should make for compelling screen spectacle.

    Unfortunately, this formulaic eight-parter feels like a sports doc by numbers. The blueprint is familiar by now. Talking heads sit in front of stark black backgrounds. Drone shots and portentous captions establish each location. Immersive sound design thrusts viewers into the action. Ticking clocks and swelling music crank up the drama. Its po-faced tone means episodes are titled Let Battle Commence, On the Edge, Agony or Ecstasy and This Is Really Quite Important You Know. I made the last one up – but you get the idea.

    Its decision to give equal airtime to six squads across two months means the series feels overcrowded and lacks depth. It frequently seems like a glorified match highlights package which is desperately dated – with the in-built problem of trying to create tension when we know the outcome. Five of the six teams now have new captains. Jet-heeled Welsh winger Louis Rees-Zammit features highly, despite defecting to American Football last week. Players discuss the buildup to the Rugby World Cup. You know, the one that happened last autumn.

    A lack of colourful characters doesn’t help. Too many talk in bland sporting cliches. Wales’s Warren Gatland might be an all-time great coach but he’s like a sad-eyed spaniel on camera. England boss Steve Borthwick is even more of a charisma void. These are men better suited to a tracksuit than the limelight. The setting lacks the glamour of motorsport and the grit of football. Nor are there tears and tantrums like Drive to Survive or Break Point. Rugby players are too phlegmatic for that. You sometimes get the sense of a better story happening off-camera.

    Forget those show ponies in the back line. Here it’s the prop forwards who provide best value. The most engaging personalities are Ireland’s Andrew Porter and England’s Ellis Genge. A big softie beneath the Viking hair and tattoos, Porter opens up about his mental health struggles following the death of his mother. Genge discusses his troubled youth and feeling like an outsider in the public school-dominated sport.

    Italian flanker Sebastian Negri recalls the previous year’s Six Nations, when he was knocked out cold and started choking on his own tongue. He credits Genge with saving his life on the pitch, an event which formed a warm bond between them. Ghoulish replays of wince-inducing head clashes show why there’s such a concussion problem in rugby but this issue isn’t even mentioned. Footage instead revels in what Genge calls “bone-on-bone” collisions.

    The series is more about vibes than journalism. Admittedly they’re pretty good vibes. The Irish enjoy the craic. The Scots have rousing sing-alongs. Motivational team-talks stir the blood. Camaraderie is palpable. There’s copious iron-pumping and eating. It turns out that barrel-chested behemoths need a lot of calories.

    There are welcome flashes of humour. Emerging from a cryotherapy chamber, the England full-back Freddie Steward notes “My nipples are rock hard.” French centre Gaël Fickou – who emerges as a total dude – asks a cameraman to “zoom in on my biceps”, not realising his mic is on. Italy’s coach Kieran Crowley effs and jeffs to industrial levels. One training exercise, he thunders, “turned into a shit-fart”. A closing montage confirms that Crowley’s contract wasn’t renewed. A shame for the subtitler if there’s a second season.

    Pleasingly conforming to stereotype, the French are more cultured. They attend squad mindfulness sessions. Fickou plays piano. Les Bleus’ coach Fabien Galthié, all chic suits and statement specs, speaks of “arabesques and parabolas”, comparing rugby to “virtuous combat, like Napoleon cutting across fields with his armies”. You wouldn’t get that from Big Sam Allardyce. Defence coach Shaun Edwards’s Wigan-inflected Franglais accent provides extra amusement.

    Drive to Survive gave a sizable bump to F1’s profile. Full Contact having a similarly transformative effect feels unlikely, not least because rugby’s rules are so baffling to newcomers. The latest sporting series to join the scrum might satisfy fans but it won’t convert many newbies. Now hear me out, Netflix. Imagine how cinematic slo-mo tiddlywinks would be …

    Six Nations: Full Contact 2024 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online