When Showtime debuted its "All Access" program for the Miguel Cotto-Austin Trout fight, it was clear the network had upped its game. Now, they've taken their pre-fight series to another level with Floyd Mayweather and Robert Guerrero.
Writer Brian Arndt was a perfect fit for narrator Common and the piece was beautifully shot. If the goal is to match HBO's landmark "24/7" series, they are certainly getting there. It helps that former HBO boss Ross Greenburg is now on board at Showtime. It also helps when you can build a show around Floyd Mayweather Jr.
It's worth noting that Mayweather was given an executive producer credit at the end of the episode. It's not known whether that means he has editorial input or whether Showtime gets more access. We did notice, however, an Emmy in the background of one of Mayweather's interview scenes.
We caught a sneak peak provided to the media. The show airs every Wednesday until the May 4 fight on Showtime pay-per-view.
Some thoughts on Episode 1
Best Spoken Line, Mayweather: "What I do is not reality TV. It's not a reality show, because a reality show is watered down ..."
Best Spoken Line, Guerrero: "You have the biggest athlete in the world, the biggest, the highest paid, acting the fool."
Best Written Line: "Eight months removed from the darkness of prison, Floyd Mayweather, boxing's pound-for-pound king, steps into the safest place he's ever known - the spotlight." And this was a nice one a little later on, "to face the ghost of a new generation."
The Scenic View: Shots of Gilroy, Calif., Guerrero's hometown.
Training Days: We've seen the double-end bag hit vertically, but never horizontally. Pretty cool.
Best Supporting Cast: The inspirational Casey Guerrero.
* Incredible contrast between the homes and gyms of Guerrero and Mayweather.
* Great scene when Floyd pulled up to his boyhood home in Grand Rapids, Mich. He said his first heavybag and his 1996 bronze medal were inside the home. Would have loved to seen them, but for some reason, the cameras never went past the sidewalk.
* Not sure how to feel about Floyd imploring his grandmother to drop an F-bomb for the cameras. Not sure how to react when she actually did it.
* Very funny when Floyd was in the car with his young daughter. She asked to go see a Rihanna concert. Floyd's repsonse was priceless, "Um. She's a little 'R' rated."
* Newsday videographer Casey Musarra was caught on camera interviewing Guerrero during a New York City press stop.
* Nice work to get the footage of both Mayweather and Guerrero during their arrests.