I’m not certain why HBO scheduled the premiere of Tiger, its two-part documentary on Tiger Woods for Jan. 10, at the end of a big NFL playoff weekend (and up against the last of six Wild Card games, Browns-Steelers). Not to mention it’s on the night before the College Football Playoff national championship game.
Perhaps the network figures it can be alternative programming for viewers who weren’t plugged into football all weekend. And a non-sports audience might be more interested in the ugly details of his many affairs and his 2017 DUI arrest when he had several opioids and sleep aids in his system.
But Tiger is definitely worth watching and warrants being split into two parts. I reviewed the documentary for Awful Announcing:
Yet watching one and not the other avoids the full story. His childhood, relationship with his father, training to achieve at the highest level, and struggles with fame are prevalent themes that inform the entire film. They — along with insights from family friends, rivals, and media — create a deeper portrayal of a fascinating figure in sports history and make Tiger worth watching.
What feels notably missing is input from the many competitors and colleagues Woods has faced over the years. (Where’s Phil Mickelson, whom Tiger once viewed with disdain? What about rivals like David Duval, who aspired to catch Woods but ultimately fell short? Maybe Jack Nicklaus could talk about Woods’s pursuit of his 18 major victories.) And of course, we don’t hear from the man himself.
My sense is that sports fans aren’t terribly excited about this because they’re already familiar with the rise and fall of Tiger Woods as a golf superstar and public figure. Maybe they don’t want to relive his very public downfall. Yet perhaps HBO is banking on catching fans already in front of their TVs and want to wind down the weekend with a documentary.
Regardless, Tiger hits on themes many people should relate to. (With so much focus on the relationship between Tiger and his father, Earl, it would’ve been kind of a dark twist for Father’s Day if HBO wanted to save it until then.) It’s also entertaining in its pacing and sense of drama. I particularly enjoyed how Woods’s most infamous mistress, Rachel Uchitel, is introduced in the film.
Please read the full review at Awful Announcing.