June 21st, 10 pm, HBO
Could any star have a more quintessentially 21st-century career than the Rock? From WWE to his loincloth days (The Scorpion King) to his heart-tugging Walking Tall remake with Johnny freaking Knoxville, he's a one-man pop-culture anthology. It's fair to say he's outlived any reasonable career expectations three or four times over. Now he makes his big move to drama in HBO's Ballers, which is basically a football version of Entourage.
The Rock plays an ex-NFL stud who washes out of the league — no money, no future, just a nasty painkiller habit. But he scores a new gig in Miami as a financial manager to the sports stars. He tries to advise his high-paid baller pals on how to stay out of trouble ("No more fucking Twitter!") and act like mature adults, i.e., stop having sex with bottle-service girls in the back of the club. But he has to face his own identity issues now that his jockstrap days are done. Needless to say, this involves partying on yachts with topless models.
There's a Vince, there's a Turtle, but, best of all, Rob Corddry (from Hot Tub Time Machine) takes the Jeremy Piven role, as the sleazebag suit who hires the Rock to recruit NFL clients, or "monetize my friendships." When the Rock lands a big client, Corddry responds, "Hey, would you mind if I took you in my mouth right now? The whole shebang?" And like Piven on Entourage, Corddry steals every scene he's in: "You should see my other yacht — but I loaned it to Prince and he took it to Mallorca."