Last Chance U’s New Season Takes an Unexpected, Sad Detour


Laney College wide receiver RJ Stern’s unusual living situation is the focus of ‘Greyhaven.’
Photo: Netflix

From the beginning, the Netflix docuseries Last Chance U has been many things: beautifully made, occasionally uplifting, often tragic, and thoughtful about race, poverty, masculinity, mentorship, and opportunity. It’s also always been a series about community college sports (mostly football, although it will be pivoting to basketball in future seasons). Although the show has always encompassed a fairly broad view of the sources of trauma in many of its subjects’ lives, that trauma tends to get woven back pretty quickly to the main topic at hand. Which, again, is sports.

So it was with some initial surprise and dawning sadness that I watched the fourth episode of Last Chance U’s new fifth season, an episode called “Greyhaven.” It’s still about football, sure. But mostly it’s about the incredible and nightmarish generational trauma still reverberating through the family of well-known fantasy author Marion Zimmer Bradley, told through the experience of her grandson, Laney College wide receiver RJ Stern.


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