Wednesday, May 8, 2019

REVIEW: 'Brockmire' - Gabby's Life Completely Implodes with Brockmire as Her Only Friend in 'Placed on Waivers'

IFC's Brockmire - Episode 3.06 "Placed on Waivers"

After Gabby finds out that she is pregnant and then walks in on her wife cheating on her, Brockmire goes out of his way to be a good friend and to comfort her. She and Brockmire share their experiences of being cheated on while calling the game.

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 next episode of IFC's Brockmire.

"Placed on Waivers" was written by Jenny Lee and directed by Maurice Marable

This season has presented Gabby as a person who has her life together but who is forced into working with Brockmire in the announcing booth. It's been a subtle commentary on how straight white men can be imperfect but still get multiple chances while people of color have to be perfect all the time in order to succeed. And yet, this episode takes that one step further in showing that there are some life experiences that can transcend identity. Brockmire can help Gabby through the worst experience of her life because he has gone through the exact same thing. He has aspired to be a better person this season. He is working the program and figuring out how to remain sober while climbing the ranks of sports announcing once more. He has this opportunity and doesn't want to screw it up. He doesn't want to ruin it for Gabby either. Sure, he has been inappropriate with her in the past. He has had a fascination with lesbians in general which means he's also asked some horrible questions of her. But he does present as a true friend now. He helped her with the hormone injections. And now, he is there to celebrate with her when she learns that she's pregnant. That's such happy news. But it's also paired with Gabby's life imploding because she finds her wife cheating on her at home. That forces the realization that she may not have her entire life figured out at all. This relationship may have just been built out of convenience. It was the easy thing to do and for a long time they have just been ticking things off life's checklist of what to do next in order to present as normal and functioning adults. They stayed together, got married and are having a kid. And yet, none of it presented as a conversation where both were treated as equals who respect the needs of each other. That's startling. It means that Gabby is in a major depression for most of this episode as she finds herself crashing at Brockmire's apartment. She is pushed even further into his world. She finds the freedom to challenge herself into doing things she has never been capable of doing before. But that mostly amounts to eating fast food. That's as far as she takes things as she is just feeding the depression. That's not healthy. Brockmire calls her out on it. That gets her back to work. But it's also so potentially damaging for her to talk about her wife cheating on her during the broadcast. Brockmire and Gabby have been a successful pair in the past because of their analysis of the sport and the personal commentary they provide along the way. And yet, there are still portions of Gabby's life that she has kept away from her professional identity. The listeners don't even know that she is gay. That too shows how she felt the urge to project this perfect image of who she is because she will face so much criticism no matter what she does. She won't get another chance at this career. More importantly though, her life doesn't implode further because she talks about the graphic details of her wife's affair. Brockmire has learned that lesson. He is passing it down to his friend in her time of need. That means they have a thoughtful conversation that may still be wildly inappropriate to whomever is listening because of the frank details they offer. But the audience is never suppose to react with fear. Instead, it's all suppose to be about love and compassion. Brockmire understands what Gabby is going through. He helps her cope. And then, it's just a peaceful sight seeing them out on the field looking up at the stars. It's so simple but so moving. It also does so much to prove just how much Brockmire has changed over the course of the series. His efforts to better his life are working and this is the proof.