NetFlix: Bucking Bulls and Broken Bones

“Superlatives fall like thudding hooves in the Netflix documentary series Fearless available on Friday. Bull riding is definitely the most dangerous sport in the world. It’s the fastest-growing sport in America. Professional Bull Riders, whose 2015 season the series chronicles, is a global phenomenon.” M. Hale, The New York Times

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Excerpt: Netflix’s ‘Fearless’ Explores the World’s ‘Most Dangerous Sport -By Mike Hale

“Between the entertainment-sports conglomerate WME-IMG and Netflix, the deep-pocketed streaming service, there was probably a lot of money available to produce four hours of television (across six episodes) about bull riding.

Fearless, directed by Michael John Warren, looks good and moves smoothly. The graphic design and music are several levels above those of the cable reality series in this genre.

Native Dakota Louis rides Maverick.-pbr

Native Dakota Louis rides Maverick.-pbr

There isn’t quite enough content to fill those four hours, though. The wary but amicable relationship between American and Brazilian riders provides some diversion.

Yet the competitions, including the season championship, aren’t terribly dramatic, except for the somber moments when paramedics have to be called into the ring.

But Fearless has one great ace up its sleeve. Nothing looks quite like the slow-motion footage of those eight-second (or shorter) rides.

Kaique Pacheco in “Fearless,” a new documentary series on Netflix that explores bull riding. Credit Alberto Gonzaga:Netflix

Kaique Pacheco in “Fearless,” a new documentary series on Netflix that explores bull riding. Credit Alberto Gonzaga:Netflix

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The riders become rag dolls, their bodies jerking and folding in seemingly impossible ways. Often there’s the grisly bonus of seeing them fly off the bulls’ backs and desperately try to avoid their jackhammering hooves.”

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