Sneakerheads tap into a frequently dismissed subset of style-based programming focused on the solid feeling of reality. That is the world of sneaker collecting seen in news sources like CultEdge.com. But with a short six-episode season arc, much could be done, but more could have been said. Let’s dive into it.
The show starts with Devin (Allen Maldonado), a home-bound father of two who holds the fort while his paralegal wife, Christine, levels up to become a lawyer. Devin, in his humdrum of suburban LA, belies a man recovering from a crippling addiction. Wouldn’t you know, sneaker collecting?
Devin has been on the narrow path of conquering his obsession from when he met and wed Christine. The crux of the plot kicks straight and off when Christine finds a standing web page of vintage Nike sneakers from his past. She isn’t too happy about that.
It is hard to tell from the very beginning whether one can respect the abnormal setup of the series, but soon enough, the whiplash of happiness makes you forget your reservations.
A big chunk of the season run time is devoted to chasing a legendary pair of MacGuffins known as Zeroes, pursued by many collectors. This search sees Devin and his longtime friend and sneaker aficionado Bobby travel to Hong Kong.
It additionally transforms this into an epic quest, the stuff of fantasy, for certain highly odd twists. The series focus changes over time from the throes of midlife crisis to a sort of easter egg hunt for clues as to the location of said MacGuffin shoe; it loses a portion of its prior blustery appeal.
Many supporting characters who do not relate to the craze of the sneakerhead way of life view them as sentimental zealots. Therefore, Sneakerheads position itself in an uncanny medium, attempting to engage real sneakerheads and communicate in their language while trying to remain cautious for the sake of the real sneakerheads and from the chagrin of casual audiences.
People who don’t know the first thing about sneakers are likely not watching the series at any rate. Nonetheless, the sneakerhead crowd is being paid homage to with a consistent series of guest appearances who are enormous personalities in the sneaker world, such as Jon Buscemi and Jason Markk, plus an assortment of athletes and personalities.
This is where some of the show’s supporting characters exist. Nori is a shoe seller and industrious business person who has carved a niche for herself by finding rare sneakers for wealthy customers. Surprisingly she seems to be the only one capable of utilizing the internet, which works for her in the confines of the story.
However, it makes this a bit less believable. There are also a ton of appearances – from ballplayers, kinda-sort-of VIPs, and trainers – whose names are frequently yelled out for the casual viewer’s pleasure to realize they are not ordinary folk.
In the manner of narrative building blocks, the idea of the quest is a clunky fit. It allows the series director at the helm, one Dave Meyers, to weave the story through different parts of Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
From the creator who brought you Uncle Drew, Jay Longino, sneakerheads can appeal to dynamic individuals needed. Longino’s attachment is an air of legitimacy that depicts the sneaker culture as similar to the collection of anything else.
By this, we mean similar to individuals who gather and play in the lucrative resale market where wealthy buyers pay an obscene markup from the retail price just to own a pair of shoes.
Sneakerheads does what it does for all its missteps; it embodies a buddy comedy about a guy’s love for sneakers.