WE ARE HOMETOWN NEWS.

I’m sure it has become obvious with some of my previous columns that I am a gigantic New England Patriots fan. As such, I was excited to watch the “Dynasty” series that recently wrapped its 10-episode run on AppleTV+, however, having watched all 10 episodes, I almost wish I hadn’t.

For those who don’t know, the series promised an in-depth look at the Patriots’ 20-year run with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, and for the most part you do get that, although it is mostly from the perspective of Robert Kraft, the owner of the Patriots.

I think the first five episodes of the series are a great look at the Patriots’ first three Super Bowl wins, leading to the devastating loss of an undefeated season at the hands of the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. To this point, you get to see the highs and the lows that shaped the early 2000s Patriots as the juggernauts we know.

I thought it was really interesting to see behind the scenes footage of what it was like back in those days, from Brady getting his first apartment in the area, to former safety Lawyer Milloy taking Belichick’s hotel room ahead of Super Bowl XXXVI, and I wish there was more of this later on, instead of a focus on controversy.

After this point I think the documentary starts to take a turn into a borderline hit piece on Belichick, orchestrated by the Kraft family, firmly slamming the door behind him after he was effectively fired in January.

I think one of the biggest issues with the documentary is some of the parts that it rushes through and skips over. After Brady’s missed 2008 season, the documentary fast forwards to before the 2013 season, when Aaron Hernandez is pulled in handcuffs out of his home before being charged with murder — more on that later. While the series discusses the changing of the guard with legends like Tedy Bruschi retiring and drafting new legends like Devin McCourty, I feel like there is a huge gap in that time frame.

There were some difficult losses for the Patriots in that timeframe that I think deserve a closer look or could have been exemplified to show what that gap between the two multi-year Super Bowl runs looked like. For example, I think a look at notorious collapses like the Wild Card round loss to the Ravens in January of 2010 or the Divisional Round loss to the New York Jets the following year.

I also think discussing what happened to former quarterback Drew Bledsoe after he was replaced by Brady in 2001 was worth a look because nearly the entire first episode is dedicated to building Bledsoe up as the “hope of the franchise” and all this flowery support of him. What should’ve been included was an update on what happened to him and how he had one more decent season and then eventually ended up stinking because there were quite a few questions posed about Belichick deciding to move on from him in favor of Brady.

Circling back to the situation with Hernandez, I think this was really poorly handled overall but also tried to place blame at the feet of Belichick. There was no real new information presented about Hernandez, who was found guilty of the murder of Odin Lloyd before committing suicide in 2017, other than former teammates discussing his erratic behavior. What was presented was a regurgitation of the reporting done by the Bost Globe’s Spotlight team at the time, and a question about why Belichick did not trade him to a west coast team, as Hernandez requested.

As always, Belichick tried to get the most out of a talented, but troubled football player and dismissed the trade request. In the show, both Robert Kraft and his son Jonathon Kraft question that decision, when as the owners of the team if they had perceived that as a situation they needed to follow up on, they would have.

Moving on to one of the stupidest situations in Patriots’ history — “Deflategate” — the Krafts made sure to frame the conversation, so it showed that Belichick tried to absolve himself by essentially laying the blame at the feet of Brady. To an extent, Belichick did throw Brady under the bus — but let’s be real his texts with someone claiming to be the “deflator” are damning — however, immediately after the accusations about balls being underinflated during the 2015 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts Belichick conducted a press conference detailing how those balls could have deflated because of weather conditions and other factors, something completely omitted from the series.

I was discussing this recently with Staff Writer Ryan Feyre, but he also astutely pointed out that in each episode, Kraft always had the last word, so clearly this is the message they wanted to send about their historic run.

While I certainly disagree with the way some of the discussion around Belichick was handled, he is not without blame for some of the biggest headscratchers in the piece.

Starting with the draft in which the Patriots took Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round, Belichick made a point to say that he wanted to find a successor sooner rather than later to Brady and successfully found him. Garoppolo was later traded as Brady continued to play at a high level, and was reported to have been done because of the Krafts. What I would have loved to see was what that discussion was when Brady was leaving and it was obvious that the team needed a quarterback, but instead waited a full year after Brady left with the selection of Mac Jones, a complete disaster. I have to imagine if it was not included, the Krafts may have had something to do with not finding a true successor. It makes me scratch my head they were ready to find a successor when Brady leaving was not imminent, despite qualms from Belichick that his play had declined.

One thing I will completely give the blame to Belichick for is the decision to bench Malcolm Butler against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, something I am not sure we will ever get the answer to. For years the question has been dodged and those hoping for an answer did not get one. Instead, we were treated to the same response from players and coaches that they did not know what happened and Belichick outright refusing to answer the question. The only nugget we are given is that Kraft called it a “personal decision” between Belichick and Butler.

I also took umbrage with the fact that Kraft had the audacity to come out and say that if Belichick were not the coach in 2020 — when Brady left to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Brady would’ve stayed with the Patriots. I think that is disingenuous to everyone involved.

I could go on and on about the way certain events were portrayed like the debate around Belichick, Brady and Kraft’s relationship with former President Donald Trump and how it strained a locker room even though the team hoisted it’s fifth Lombardi Trophy immediately following the election, but I will stop there.

In the last episode, Brady makes the comment “It was perfect, and that was all it ever needed to be.” Unfortunately, with the way the Kraft family decided to frame this docuseries, it begs the question if that is how they feel about it.

If you dislike Belichick, love the Krafts or enjoy watching dysfunction in action, “Dynasty” could be worth the watch, but I’ll continue wishing that it was a better presentation and hope that Belichick claps back with some kind of book or series of his own.

dhackett@thereminder.com | + posts