TV Review: Pitch Series Premiere

PITCH: L-R: Dan Lauria, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Kylie Bunbury in PITCH coming soon to FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw / FOX

FOX

I was on board with Pitch all the way up until the end. Except for the parts where Ginny Baker’s father is unusually quiet while sitting in the stands of Ginny’s first Major League game, I was surprisingly enjoying Pitch. Then the show had to go and kill Bill Baker in a flashback scene, and while that went a long way explaining Bill’s odd behavior in the present day scenes, it also makes the show fall into some weird questions about what the rest of the show is about.

To me, this show was always really only about one thing — the first woman to be called up to the Majors, as a starting pitcher no less. That’s the story right there. With the reveal that Ginny sees and talks to her dead father quite often, I can’t help but wonder if this is going to steer into a psychological drama. Whether that’s the intention of creators Dan Fogelman and Rick Singer or not, the ending leads some amount of credence to it.

Oh, I was liking it. Kylie Bunbary as Ginny Baker is really great. She exudes confidence, strength and a can-do attitude in every scene. Despite that, however, what really makes her memorable are the moments where you see her take a step back and take in everything around her — the screaming fans, the little girls who look up to her, the media. The moments when it all becomes too much, like being alone in the bathroom, or when she smiles after hearing her male teammates talking about her and one compliments her; Bunbary knows how to deliver the big moments, as well as the small moments.

The dialogue is snappy and the characters, maybe a little one-note at the moment, still hold a lot of potential. Such as Ginny’s agent Amelia Slater (Ali Larter), Ginny’s friend Evelyn Sanders (Meagan Holder), and catcher for the Padres Mike Lawson (Mark-Paul Vosselaar).

Besides Ghost Bill Baker, the other issue was the pacing. Things happen fast. We start out with Ginny’s first game, during which she throws 10 balls and wants to be taken out. It’s only after a couple of pep talks that Ginny starts another game, and wins. Did this triumph have to happened so soon? Quite possibly. It’s a way to show that Ginny can, as a woman, pitch in the Majors and still win. Leaving room for the rest of the season to explore how consistent she can be.

So we get back to the question of what this show is really all about. Pitch is made in conjunction with the MLB and even features many sports broadcasters as themselves, broadcasting the ceremony surrounding Ginny’s first game. As a native to Kansas City, and living in a house full of Kansas City Royals fans, seeing announcer Joe Buck being in a major role here broadcaster wise did not please me. Is this show a precursor to what is to come? Will it be a psychological drama, with Bill Baker haunting Ginny during every game?  I certainly hope not in regards to that last one. For Pitch to succeed, it needs to go beyond the “first woman to pitch in the Majors” headline premise to something much deeper, but I don’t think Bill Baker is the answer to that.

Rating: 7/10

Pitch airs Thursday nights at 8 pm CT.

Katey is a writer, now with an official degree to prove it. She hails from the great Midwest in Kansas City, MO where she is hanging out until she gets a paying job. Until then, she writes reviews for film and television and is an advocate for Mad Max: Fury Road winning Best Picture at the Oscars. Who cares if this year's Oscars was months ago. Mad Max and George Miller won in Katey's world. She also loves anything to do with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, except for Thor, and is indifferent about the DC movie verse. But DC television is pretty cool.
  • Tony The Tank

    COULD SOMEONE TELL ME HOW IS THIS SHOW GET ON THE AIR. GIVE ME A BREAK ALREADY.

    • Katydid

      Jeez, how do you think? It’s one giant agenda driven thing that will never happen. It’s a completely unrealistic warm and fuzzy. And you’re not being hard on the show or anything. Wander around – read other reviews. It’s silly.

      • Katey Stoetzel

        But I think it has the potential to not be silly. If it does away with the drama not involving baseball, i.e. her dad, then it will have a better chance at telling a relevant, more interesting story. Right now, a lot of the drama feels manufactured, which in turn does make it feel a little silly.

        • Katydid

          I guess I don’t see how a story would develop that does not include the side drama. We’re going to watch her pitch every week? And then …

          If this series is to be taken seriously, then the 90s movie Rookie of the Year, where the boy breaks his arm, then when it heals he can pitch in the majors, could happen, too.