In a world ravaged by uncertainty and doubt, football whilst unpredictable, continues to boast some comforting absolutes. Lionel Messi is good, West Ham will forever disappoint and Sunderland will always take part in a gripping documentary that chronicles an inevitably disappointing season.
Netflix has returned with a second season of Sunderland Til’ I Die and given that the first season documented Sunderland’s relegation from the Championship (following relegation from the Premier League), this time round it’s Sunderland’s ultimately unsuccessful season in League One that is on display.
Despite the dismal tale of Sunderland’s on-pitch exploits, the series faithfully encapsulates what football means to the city of Sunderland and the club's largely working-class fanbase.
Whilst, all documentaries construct narratives and toy with reality, unlike the 6-part advertisement that is Manchester City’s All or Nothing series, Sunderland Til’ I Die is an honest, unvarnished and unfiltered glimpse into modern football.
However, the much-acclaimed series isn’t just for the avid football fan. Given the relatability of both the club and the city’s struggles, Sunderland Til’ I Die makes for utterly compelling viewing for anyone …who has a Netflix subscription.
Sunderland have faced a real lesson in how it can all go wrong so very quickly. But what have we learned?
10. Documentaries Are A Bad Omen For Sunderland
Fool me once,
shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a third time?
Whilst, it isn’t shameful for Sunderland to allow documentary makers to film them over a season, it is perhaps worth raising the point that on the three times this has occurred Sunderland have been relegated twice and failed to get promotion and lost a cup final the other.
Football aficionados or simply those with too much time on their hands will be acutely aware that before Sunderland Til’ I Die, Premier Passions was the go-to viewing for a Sunderland season that incurred the fate of relegation. After gaining promotion from the Football League First Division as it was then known, Premier Passions followed the expletive laden season of Peter Reid’s Sunderland, which remains prime viewing for any diehard football fan.
Season two of Sunderland Til’ I Die, although not culminating in relegation, certainly documents a season that was far from desirable for fans, players or the board.
If a season three is to happen, Sunderland will hope to break both their Wembley hoodoo and end their documentary omen.