Hulu's 'Behind The Mask' Is Incredibly Endearing
True story: I'm not a sports fan. In fact, most ball-related, hoo-rah TV shenanigans are generally a business better left to someone else — if I can avoid coming into contact with it (outside time spent as a high school "athlete" for gym credit), I will. But Hulu's new comedic docu-series, Behind the Mask , has won me over. The show takes a hilarious and endearing look into the oft-unconsidered lives of athletic team mascots, and should definitely be added to your TV-viewing repertoire.
Premiering on Oct. 29, the 10-episode series is the brainchild of Josh Greenbaum — director of kid golf competition documentary The Short Game, produced by Mr. and Mrs. Justin Timberlake — and takes a look at what goes into the crowd-hyping antics of mascots. There's high schooler Michael (Lebanon High School’s Rooty the Cedar Tree), collegiate 6th-year Jersey (UNLV’s Hey Reb!), minor leaguer with aspirations of greatness Chad (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins' Tux), and the über-professional Kevin (The Milwaukee Bucks' Bango). And let me tell you — you'll be blown away by the honest-to-goodness emotion-stirring and insta-investment you develop for the four men involved.
Theirs is an unrelenting sort of optimism that feels both familiar yet larger-than-life, given the ongoing antics of the mascots involved. There are fireworks, ladder dunks, and even a pie to the face. And it's funny to think that such an outlandish career path has such heightened secrecy: Most mascots will not confess their career (or which mascot they are). And don't even think about trying to catch a glimpse of them half-in or half-out of their costumes. Shit be strict.
But, eventually, Greenbaum got them to come around, and the results — having seen the first three episodes — are enthralling. Take a peek at the trailer and make sure to tune in when the whole series goes live on Tuesday.