If last week’s “30 for 30” was a bit heavy on the style over substance, tonight’s “Unmatched” was the opposite. No frills(*), just old rivals/friends Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova talking about their respective careers and their frequent and memorable clashes.
(*) Other than the Natalie Merchant soundtrack and the unnecessary gimmick of conducting some of the interviews in a car that sometimes looked like Martina was driving and sometimes looked like it was being towed or standing still in front of a green screen.
Much as I enjoyed HBO’s Bird/Magic documentary from the spring, watching “Unmatched” made me wish the earlier film had taken an approach more like this one. We know the broad strokes of Bird/Magic, and of Evert/Navratilova, but to hear the two of them together swapping stories about technique, motivation, break-ups, reconciliations and the rest was just fascinating. I liked, for instance, hearing them talk about how, public assumption to the contrary, Evert was the tough and ruthless one, while Navratilova was more sensitive and vulnerable (at least until Martina started destroying Evert and everyone else regularly), and the Dean Paul Martin/Desi Arnaz Jr. story was priceless.
What did everybody else think?