TV Show Review – Ferrell Takes the Field
Rating: 2 (out of 5). HBO’s Ferrell Takes the Field follows comedian Will Ferrell as he participates in five different major league baseball games with 10 different teams during spring training to raise money for an organization called Cancer for College. The critics give kudos to Ferrell for the charity aspect but less so for the show itself.
Variety thinks that even though “Ferrell Takes the Field” is for a good cause, it is “an awfully thin construct, one that was probably a lot more fun if you happened to attend one of the five spring training games.” They say “the back-story is much better than the special.”
Las Vegas Weekly applauds the purpose behind the special, but says “that doesn’t mean anybody needs to watch a 50-minute back-patting promotional video about it, with no more substantive content than its own 90-second trailer.”
The San Francisco Chronicle thinks Ferrell “hits it out of the park” with this show.
Newsday simple states “this special is not good. Not even remotely in the ballpark of “good.” They describe it as “tired, self-amused, occasionally boorish, entirely dull and much (much) more about Ferrell than baseball, Campaneris, or those charities.”
The Chicago Tribune says “Ferrell does deliver some dryly funny moments, either interacting with the players or in his direct-to-camera interviews,” but “there’s a sort-of “Paper Lion”-like quality to Ferrell’s gambit as a 47-year-old guy, although unlike participatory journalist George Plimpton, he goes through the whole exercise playing a character, as if he’s a journeyman ballplayer with the misfortune of being traded all the time.”
The Los Angeles Daily News writes “The laughs are left to Ferrell, who delivers them mostly by being extremely serious and occasionally purposely absurd.” They say “Ferrell Takes the Field may not be overly funny, but it’s amusing, especially for baseball fans.”
The Guardian wonders “how seriously Ferrell takes it.” They write “He’s pretending like he’s a minor league player who keeps getting traded, which is why he has to continuously switch jerseys and positions. Ferrell, of course, clowns around the whole time he’s on the field, like a one-man Harlem Globetrotters, except with a mitt. Is this supposed to be Will Ferrell or something else? Is this a documentary or a mockumentary?”
The Huffington Post writes “Like the very idea for Field itself, everything about Ferrell’s performance is strenuously contrived. He gets to play every position on the baseball diamond but seems to have forgotten his own job: that of entertainer.”