“Rally Cap” and “Winning Streak”
Season 1, Episodes 1 and 2
This is a First Look Review of IFC and Funny or Die’s Brockmire starring Hank Azaria. Amanda Peet and Tyrel Jackson Williams.
Keeping it Brockmire.
Web series turned full shows aren’t a novel concept nor are they expected to last long. Often times their style doesn’t transfer well to screen. Broad City works because the conceit is easy enough to make approachable for the small screen. The same can be said for Drunk History, Idiotsitter, Children’s Hospital, Burning Love, and High Maintenance. Those shows were able to translate well because of their believability (or outlandishness) and their ability to keep the comedy alive. But a show like Secret Girlfriend works on one level and only one level. It was a one joke wonder whose premise gave away said joke in the logline. That’s why IFC and Funny or Die’s latest attempt at TV is somewhat a surprise. It took an easy, predictable joke and made it above average. Brockmire is often funny and careless as much as the sullen baseball announcer after whom it’s titled.
Hank Azaria takes on the role of dour Jim Brockmire after he recovers from a ten year jaunt around the world post an at work freak out. He’s off of his game but ready to get back into baseball announcing. He’s recruited by Amanda Peet’s Jules to call games in a small town where the sport battles it out entertainment wise with meth. To aid in his new digital presence (read memes), Brockmire is given young Charles whose claim to fame is that he has the most followers in town. The three have one goal: raise attendance at the baseball games. While they do so by the second episode, it’s no easy task. The team is made up of MLB rejects and overweight smokers. But Brockmire, Jules and Charles don’t care. They really don’t.
And that’s the magic of this show: hate and malice in a lot of the jokes. It’s not as overt as Always Sunny nor is it as dry as The Office UK. But it’s noticeable. Creator and writer Joel Church-Cooper captures a good balance of disparity and comedy in the character of Brockmire. He offhandedly tells Jules that he wants to kill himself multiple times. Then he turns around and says “baseball is the reason I exist. You’re the reason I want to live” after the two hook up during a win streak. He’s charming but vile; a functioning alcoholic; a jackass; an asshole. Yet he has the same level of human attraction that Kenny Powers and Eric Cartman have.
Should you watch Brockmire?
Brockmire is good. There’s no doubt about that. And, whether you watch it or not, IFC sure does love it. Give this show a chance. It fits nicely into the genre.