The purpose of this study was to explore the portrayal of myths in the first season of Netflix’s documentary series Last Chance U. A thematic analysis was conducted using constant comparative methodology to determine the presence of myths across the six-episode series. Five themes emerged from the analysis: (a) second chances, (b) escape, (c) athlete-student, (d) football as family, and (e) religion in football. The five identified themes aligned with two myths featured in sports documentaries: the American dream and the redemption story. While presented with opportunities to address larger socio-cultural and structural issues these players faced, the documentary instead centered on how they could use football to overcome these challenges. Furthermore, Netflix used this documentary to highlight the benefits of football and the ways college sports can bring players and communities together, without fully addressing the nuances of other issues that were raised, such as the focus on athletics over academics and the emphasis on winning at all costs.


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pp. 113-136
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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