Michael Vick's docu-series debuts on BET
Michael Vick's 10-part docu-series, "The Michael Vick Project," debuted on the BET network Tuesday. The Times' television critic Robert Lloyd recently reviewed the show; here's an excerpt:
["The Michael Vick Project's"] game plan is laid out clearly in the opening narration: "Against all odds, one man escaped and uplifted a family. But his humble beginnings led to a very tragic ending. But from darkness he saw the light. Blessed with a second chance, he must once again rise above to heal his family, his community, his legacy." (Heal his legacy?) It is a redemption story, couched in religious terms: "I'm Michael Vick," Vick says over the opening credits. "My fall from grace was tragic, but it was all my fault, and I'm on a mission to get everything back. Not the money and the fame, but to restore my family's good name."
You can decide for yourself whether this process is already, for all intents and purposes, complete. That Vick's Philadelphia teammates recently voted him the Ed Block Courage Award, for players who "exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage," seems to indicate that it is, as does a BET online poll in which 85% of those responding agreed that the quarterback had already done enough to "repair his image." It also indicates that the likely audience for this show is already on the star's side.
Indeed, there are plenty of people in this world who would not regard Vick's adventures in dog fighting as anything to apologize for in the first place -- nothing to go to prison for, anyway, as he did. Many humans are insensitive to the sensitivity of other species. (For that matter, many humans are unconscious of the humanity of whole classes of other humans.) And though Vick admits here that his treatment of his dogs was "inhumane and barbaric," the bloody specifics of his operation are avoided, including the fact that his partners -- and Vick himself at times -- would kill dogs that did not perform well, shooting them, hanging them, drowning them.
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Photo: Vick visits the BET network on Feb. 2. Credit: Jemal Countess / Getty Images