Wednesday, April 3, 2019

REVIEW: 'Brockmire' - Brockmire Attempts to Be a New Person While Sober and Calling Games in Florida in 'Clubhouse Cancer'

IFC's Brockmire - Episode 3.01 "Clubhouse Cancer"

As Brockmire deals with his newfound sobriety, he is introduced as the new announcer for the Oakland Athletics with his co-announcer and former softball star Gabby Taylor.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of IFC's Brockmire.

"Clubhouse Cancer" was written by Joel Church-Cooper and directed by Maurice Marable

Brockmire hit his rock bottom at the conclusion of the second season. He made the decision to try and get sober again. It was a mission he was successful with while still finding a way to keep moving up in his career. This season features him as the sports announcer for spring training in Florida. But it's also remarkable how Brockmire may be the only continuing character on the show at the moment. He had such strong support from Charles and Jules when he was in rehab. They encouraged him that he could remain sober out in the real world while mounting this latest comeback. He continues to move closer to the job that he loves so much and lost. But he still has to put in the work to ensure he isn't as big an asshole as he was when he was drunk. That could represent a significant change to the foundation of the show. This series has always thrived by Hank Azaria saying ridiculous things in that very specific announcer's voice. Brockmire has long been a depraved individual. He aspires to be better now. But it is going to remain an ongoing struggle for him. He has to put more work in then simply saying he is going to be better or writing his past actions down in a notebook. He is faced with the idea that he is a career killer. Sure, Jules and Charles would disagree with that notion because they have gone on to great success in their respective careers after working with Brockmire. But the public still has a certain perception of him. He is the announcer who frequently has breakdowns based on the most inappropriate things he could say on the air. He will be seen and heard from more people then ever before. He is only reluctantly given this opportunity in Florida. He has to do the show with a new producer and co-host. Gus immediately presents as someone remarkably different from Charles. He may not have the experience to do this job. And yet, he still tricks Brockmire into thinking he is performing live for the stadium when he is giving his grand rant about how the sports industry conned this small town into building this stadium without a team having any plans to come play games here. That is so depraved and shocking. But it's also Brockmire falling back into old patterns and routines. People are continually calling him out on it as well. Gus and Gabby have a right to fear for their careers. Gus doesn't really care all that much about what happens to him. He doesn't really have much to lose. Gabby does though. She is making her own career transition. She is breaking into sports announcing after a career as a softball champion. The people of this world respect her even though she acknowledges that as a woman of color she won't get multiple opportunities for this career to work out for her. She won't have a second or third chance. Brockmire has gotten multiple people to support him over the years. Brockmire and Gabby may just be filling in for Matt the Bat as he focuses on fighting cancer. He too comes across as an asshole just waiting to knock Brockmire down once more. But all of this also serves as a realization to Brockmire that his life isn't immediately better because he is sober. No one is celebrating him or congratulating him. He still has a reputation of being difficult. He could end the careers of anyone associated with him. Gabby is willing to make this work. She doesn't want to be friends. But Brockmire has to be honest and genuine in every aspect of his life as he attempts to mature for the first time since he started drinking at the age of 15. He has smart advice from his new sponsor. But only time will tell if he is capable of becoming a better person while sober.