Netflix’s Sunderland ‘Til I Die documentary is a very different type of football show than we normally see. Most season-long documentaries track the highs and lows, usually with significant more highs that the club wants to be immortalised.
Last season, Sunderland essentially gave their fans lows, then lower lows. The cameras follow a handful of players, fans, and Chief Executive Martin Bain. Both managers get a little bit of the spotlight too, as do some staff like the chefs and physios.
This is very much a show about the community, and that’s why Bain, in particular, is an interesting point of focus. He clearly tries hard, but his goals seem to be at odds with pretty much everyone else’s. There’s one exchange where he seems to imply that losing a game with great academy players is better than winning with older ones they can’t sell on. Bizarre, especially given their position.
Seeing a club in such utter turmoil despite clearly being loved the community is impossible to turn away from. It’s a car crash in slow motion. There is a literal car crash featured too. It truly has everything. Except many wins for Sunderland, that is.