I know this is only the second episode, but it’s safe to say
Ball In The Family is one of my favorite television shows to date. The very things that made episode one such a hit–the camaraderie between the Ball brothers, seeing the softer side of Lavar, and witnessing the strength that is Tina–is still there plus all of the things we didn’t know we wanted to see (except Gelo, we knew we wanted to know more about the elusive middle child). This episode picks up with Melo entering high school, Gelo at UCLA, and Zo preparing for Lakerdom. Forging their separate paths but still entwined, the show goes on.
Fathers don’t have favorites (at least that’s what my dad says when I ask him) and the same remains true for Lavar but Melo is the most like Lavar. He loves attention, he’s fearless, and he loves to teeter the line between comical and inappropriate and then say, “huh?”when questioned. “Melo will test you,” Lavar proudly beams, and you know that even when the youngest Ball brother does cross the line, LaVar doesn’t mind too much. We also get to observe Gelo in his element a little more this episode. The UCLA freshman is moving into Zo’s old apartment, and has no issues taking his older brother’s digs. LaVar points out how the apartment is a secret location and is good for focusing on academics and sports, but Gelo just seems grateful not to have to live in the dorms. Even when he gets to his brother’s old apartment that is still full of pictures of Zo and his girlfriend Denise, clothes, and funk, he doesn’t seem the least bit phased or dejected. LaVar, however, calls Zo and Denise to come clean up so that Gelo can have suitable housing.
Lavar likes Denise, considers her family, and thinks she’s good for Zo. Denise’s best friend’s feelings aren’t so strong for Zo. Apparently, Zo has lied before to Denise, which isn’t uncommon for a high school boy, a first year college student, and a draft pick–all of which Zo has been in their three year relationship. Enter a flashback picture of them at prom, and a present day date filled with laughter and those type of jokes that are based in truth and comfort with your partner, and you root for the couple. The fact that Denise isn’t looking for a come- and still holds Zo accountable despite his athlete status is also commendable, especially in the age of
Ballerwives, Basketball Wives, Wives of Baller, Sidechicks of Wherever, and Girl Just Call Yourself a Gold Digger and Go reality shows.
It also helps that Zo has a tangible example of what love looks like from his own parents. Still recovering from her stroke, we learn Tina also has Titanium in her head. LaVar, parallel to Zo in his relationship with Denise, makes a joke about her always being a little hardheaded and loopy. He wants to take her healing in his hands. Offers of speech pathologists and physical therapists from professionals are turned down because he has what they do not have, love for his wife.That has been the key ingredient to make what others deem to be impossible possible for the Ball’s so I see no need to doubt him now. Tina’s mother also trusts Lavar and his vision, but most importantly, his conviction and faith.