The Hard Road to Victory: The 20 Best Sports Shows

The magic of sports attracts millions of fans to stadiums or TV screens. A sporting event is unique, and people are mesmerized by the fact that everything happens before their eyes. Victory or defeat is decided here and now. In modern TV series about sports, the fate of those who set records and win medals is told. What is hidden behind the triumph of the champions and at what price is the upward movement given to the athletes?

Racket Guys (2021)

A comedy novelty movie from South Korea is worth watching for fans of youth dramas. A teenage badminton team dreams of high achievements and high-profile victories, but due to poor preparedness and the rough nature of the players, it is not possible to succeed in competitions. The new coach – a real racket master – is trying to rally the athletes and improve the results.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original Title :
Raketsonyeondan

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
Than Jun-san, Kim Sang-kyung, Oh Na-ra…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
IMDb – 1.6


Rugby (2021)

In the new Russian sports series with a high rating, rugby, which is not very popular in our country, has become a point of intersection of two destinies. The gymnast is forced to leave the sport due to a conflict with the coach. The career of a guy who made progress in boxing and mixed martial arts was cut short due to a gross violation of the rules. Young people thrown out of their native element are looking for a new sphere for self-realization in sports and come to rugby.

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Oleg Gaas, Margarita Abroskina, Sergei Selin …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Ted Lasso (2020 – 2021)

A cheerful coach, who managed to lead the student rugby team to gold medals and became a YouTube star, receives an invitation to lead a supernumerary club from the English Premier League. The hero does not understand anything in the despicable “soccer”, but enthusiastically agrees to a new job. The killer American comedy was born from a viral video that blew up the Internet and immediately hit the top of the sports series.

Original title:
Ted Lasso

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Steven Mana…

Country:
USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.2, IMDb – 8.8


Clinging to Ice (2020)

In a motivational series about athletes, a serious injury puts an end to the career of a talented figure skater – the girl can no longer perform complex jumps. The coach invites the athlete to do pair skating. The heroine gets a problematic partner who would be more suitable to play hockey . This hooligan guy has a tough temper and a lot of bad habits. Through nervous breakdowns, financial difficulties, endless conflicts and hard training, the couple will go to the champion title.

Original title:
Spinning Out

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Kaya Scodelario, January Jones, Willow Shields…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.6


Kickbacked (2020)

An inexperienced football player from the United States moves to a well-known club in the English Premier League. The atmosphere reigning in the team depresses the American: drunkenness , theft, hazing and frankly useless management. The young player is trying to revive the team spirit and change relationships in the team, but good goals lead to disappointing consequences. The creators of the British series did not stint on toilet humor and tough jokes about national stereotypes.

Original title:
The First Team

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
Jake Short, Shaquille Ali-Ebua, Jack McMullen …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.1

Age limit:
16+


Queen’s Move (2020)

A popular foreign series about sports – an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Walter Tevis – made the world fall in love with chess again. An inconspicuous orphan from an orphanage is learning the rules of an ancient game in the back room of a boarding school. Once in a foster family, the girl continues to comprehend the secrets of the game of chess, participates in tournaments and defeats all rivals. Having matured, the heroine is moving towards her cherished dream – victory over the world champion, but craving for alcohol and dependence on tranquilizers become a difficult obstacle.

Original title:
The Queen’s Gambit

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Anya Taylor-Joy, Mariel Heller, Moses Ingram, Thomas Sangster …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.3, IMDb – 8.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Dyldy (2019 – 2021)

Due to scandalous behavior and sexist statements, a talented volleyball coach lost his job. The hero has a chance to restore his reputation and return to the big sport, but for this it is necessary to lead the female student team to victory in the competition. It will be very difficult for an inveterate rude person to find an approach to the girls’ team from the province. Moreover, some ill-wishers intend to put a spoke in the wheels of the unrestrained mentor.

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
Pavel Derevyanko, Anna Nevskaya, Daria Ursulyak …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Cobra Kai (2018 – 2021)

The list of the best foreign sports series includes the continuation of the popular action movie from the eighties “Karate Kid”. The once successful athlete, finding himself at the very bottom of his life, decides to revive the famous karate school, famous for its tough uncompromising philosophy. His former rival, now a powerful businessman in crisis, wants to thwart an ambitious undertaking.

Original title:
Cobra Kai

Genre:
Comedy, Action, Drama

Actors:
Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Jolo Maridueno…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 8.6

Age Limits :
12+


At home (2018 – 2019)

Residents of a provincial Norwegian town are looking forward to when the local team starts playing in a football tournament. But shortly before the competition, the sports club loses an experienced mentor. A brave and purposeful woman is ready to take the vacant position. The heroine immediately faces harassment and prejudice, but, despite all the difficulties, she will confidently lead the team to the coveted medals.

Original title:
Heimebane

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Eni Dahl Thorp, Axel Boyum, Emma Bons…

Country:
Norway

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.9


Weightlifting Fairy (2016 – 2017)

The top series about sports continues with a youth drama based on real events from the biography of the South Korean weightlifter, Olympic champion Jang Mi-ran. A teenage girl is not interested in anything but weightlifting. The weightlifter successfully performs at competitions and wins gold medals, and prefers to spend her free time in a rocking chair. A chance encounter with a handsome guy brings love into a girl’s life. A brutal athlete wants to become feminine and attractive for her chosen one.

Original title:
Yeokdoyojeong Gim Bok-ju

Genre:
Melodrama, comedy

Actors:
Lee Sung-kyung, Nam Ju-hyuk, Kyung Soo-jin …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.2, IMDb – 8.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Barracuda (2016)

A young working-class man enters an elite school where the children of wealthy parents study. Golden youth looks down on a simple-minded guy, but the young man has incredible willpower and amazing athletic talent. Under the guidance of a skilled coach, the hero will become the youngest swimming champion of the country and will confidently move to storm new records.

Original title:
Barracuda

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Elias Anton, Matthew Nable, Ben Kindon …

Country:
Australia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.9


Submission (2016 – 2017)

One of the best sports series about baseball is dedicated to the difficult career of a woman in the world of men’s sports. A talented female pitcher, thanks to a powerful serve, becomes a very noticeable player. A promising athlete is invited to play in a professional men’s team from Major League Baseball. The girl will have to refute stereotypes about women and lead the club to victories in important matches.

Original title:
Pitch

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Kylie Banbury, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mark Consuelos…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 7.4


Football players (2015 – 2019)

Even having hung up the equipment on a nail, a professional American football player does not intend to part with the big sport. The hero becomes a sports manager and advises his clients on the terms of contracts. If colleagues want to extract as much benefit from the players as possible, then the former athlete stubbornly defends the interests of the players. Building complex schemes at work, Spencer Strasmore also manages to have affairs with several women at once.

Original title:
Ballers

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Dwayne Johnson, John David Washington, Donovan W. Carter …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Fart (2011 – 2012)

An interesting series in the genre of drama combines themes of sports and crime. A powerful criminal is released from prison . The authority intends to regain big money and unlimited power again. As an income, an experienced swindler chooses a sweepstakes at the races and plans to turn the hippodrome into a real underground casino . Calculating cunning machinations, the hero does not forget about revenge on traitors.

Original title:
Luck

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.5

Age limit:
16+


Put out the lights (2011)

The world heavyweight boxing champion squandered all the accumulated money. The need to support his wife and three children puts the athlete in front of a difficult dilemma: either return to the ring, or help murky criminal offices to extort debts. The hero would be happy to participate in battles again, but the consequences of old injuries prevent him from making a choice in the direction of sports.

Original title:
Lights Out

Genre:
Drama, Crime

Actors:
Holt McCallany, Stacy Keach, Catherine McCormack…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 8.0


Real boys (2010 – 2011)

Comedy youth series about athletes guarantees a positive charge from watching each episode. Three guys go to university and join the college football team. The guys successfully combine sports training and winning matches with endless parties and dates with beautiful girls, and sometimes they even manage to find time for training sessions.

Original title:
Blue Mountain State

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
Darin Brooks, Alan Ritchson, Chris Romano…

Country:
Canada, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 8.3

Age restrictions:
18+


Gymnasts (2009 – 2012)

In a small American town, one of the best training bases for gymnasts is located. Future champions live there and prepare for competitions. The appearance of a new athlete is perceived with hostility. The extraordinary abilities of a talented girl can block someone’s path to the Olympics. Competitors decide to disable the rising star with various dirty tricks.

Original title:
Make It or Break It

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Isla Kell, Josie Lauren, Cassie Skerbo …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 7.5

Age Limits :
16+


Score in the last second (2009)

A professional basketball player plays for a provincial club and receives a penny salary. The spunky loser girl, on the other hand, makes a successful career as a sports manager. The insecure guy constantly postpones the wedding, believing that in order to create a family, you must first earn a lot of money and succeed. The life of an athlete changes dramatically when he meets a kindred spirit – a violinist with a stalled musical career .

Original Title :
Buzâ bîto: Gakeppuchi no hîrô

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Tomohisa Yamashita, Keiko Kitagawa, Saki Aibu…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 7.3


Friday Night Lights (2006 – 2011)

The school in a small Texas town has a very strong football tradition. Everyone is actively rooting for the local team. Loyal fans expect great victories from the new coach, but the very first game destroys all plans and hopes. The mentor will have to make difficult, non-obvious decisions, and the players will have to overcome themselves not only on the field, but also in everyday life.

Original title:
Friday Night Lights

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Taylor Kitsch…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 8.6


School of the first rackets (2004 – 2006)

The tennis academy trains future champions. Talented teenagers learn all the subtleties of the game and comprehend the science of winning. However, the life of even the most avid athlete is not limited to the court and the gym. The guys fall in love, conflict, acutely experience failures, dream, temper their characters. Life opens up to ambitious teenagers in its entirety.

Original title:
15/Love

Genre:
Drama, comedy, family

Actors:
Laurence Leboeuf, Kyle Switzer, Meaghan Rath…

Country:
Canada, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 6.6


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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