Bill Simmons Patriots WWE Bill Belichick Screen grab: WWE

Dubbed The Dynasty: New England Patriots, Apple TV+’s docuseries takes an in depth look at the NFL’s most successful franchise of the 21st century.

One would imagine that there wouldn’t be a bigger fan of the project than Bill Simmons, who is one of the Patriots’ most famous fans/propagandists.

But when the topic of The Dynasty came up during a discussion with Chuck Klosterman on Friday’s episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, you could hear the disdain in The Sports Guy’s voice. Ultimately, Simmons has a number of issues with the 10-part series, the first of which is the manner in which it portrays former New England head coach Bill Belichick, especially in contrast to Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

“It’s very well edited and very well done. It is so anti-Belichick and so pro-Kraft that it’s hard for me to wrap my head around,” Simmons said. “It’s the equivalent of if the HBO executive who greenlit The Sopranos and then was running HBO during The Sopranos then did a documentary about The Sopranos, and [creator, head writer, and executive producer] David Chase was just s**t on and dismissed half the time. That’s what it feels like watching it.”

Klosterman agreed that the docuseries portrays Belichick in a negative light. The six-time Super Bowl-winning head coach participated in the documentary, but answered “no comment” — or the equivalent of it — on a number of controversial subjects.

“Belichick seems to know this,” Klosterman said of his portrayal in the series. “You can see his posture during his interview.”

“I know for a fact he didn’t want to do the interview because he knew what was happening and they made him do it,” Simmons replied. “It’s 100 percent true.”

The Ringer founder went on to bemoan that the series treated New England’s second and third Super Bowl-winning seasons as a footnote in the third episode. Ultimately, Simmons’ primary issue with The Dynasty appears to be that it not only prioritizes the controversial aspects of the Patriots’ run, but does so in a way that’s convenient for Kraft and at the expense of Belichick.

“If you’re going to do a dynasty and you’re going to dive into some of the problems, you have to build the foundation of what they built in the first three episodes,” Simmons said. “All the stuff they did with the way they did it and the mentality they had, to me, is worth five minutes… you didn’t show us what they built… the real heart of this dynasty starts with the second and third episodes.”

“Even as you’re describing it to me, it seems boring,” Klosterman countered. “Like, I’m getting bored listening to you.”

While there are certainly some confounding choices made in The Dynasty — did we really need an entire Matt Cassel episode? Were the fake newspaper clippings necessary? — I don’t think the lack of focus on the Patriots’ on-field success is one of them. For one, we already know what New England built, hence the name of the series.

And while it was strange to see the second and third Super Bowl titles reduced to a montage, the series spent the first three episodes focusing on the decision to bench Drew Bledsoe for Tom Brady during the Patriots’ first Super Bowl-winning season. That was perhaps Belichick’s most notorious cutthroat decision.

Could the entire Lawyer Milloy saga have provided reinforcement to that narrative? Of course. And would a bigger focus on the 2003 and 2004 seasons strengthened the Patriots’ status as a dynasty? Sure.

But there’s only so much you can show in a 10-episode series covering a 20-year span. Ultimately, most viewers of The Dynasty are likely tuning in to learn more about Spygate, Deflategate and Aaron Hernandez than they are to re-live the glory days of New England football.

That’s not to say The Dynasty is perfect. And it’s worth noting that there are still four episodes that have yet to be released.

But if you’re counting on them to spend a lot of time dissecting the on-field aspect of the Patriots’ final three Super Bowls, don’t hold your breath. Like Simmons, you’re better off just turning on one of the team’s video yearbooks instead.

[The Bill Simmons Podcast]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.