Wednesday, March 25, 2020

REVIEW: 'Brockmire' - Brockmire Begins Making Minor Changes to Baseball as Commissioner in 'Three Year Contract'

IFC's Brockmire - Episode 4.02 "Three Year Contract"

Jim is trying hard to enact change in the league but the owners don't seem to care or want it.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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.

"Three Year Contract" was written by Jason Belleville and directed by Maurice Marable

Jim Brockmire didn't move to New York City to become the commissioner of major league baseball. He took the job in order to remain close to his daughter as she left for film school. Throughout the first three seasons, his love for baseball was the only thing stronger than his love for drugs and alcohol. His addictions compromised his ability to pursue his greatest dream. And now, he finds himself at the top of the organization not really caring about anything that happens to the sport. He doesn't see himself as someone who can effectively bring change to it. He certainly implements some ideas throughout this episode. They just aren't exciting. The premiere made the case for why he should be hired for this position. He still brings a sense of excitement and uncertainty to the game. The fans have largely gone away because the game has become too agonizing in an era of climate change. His celebrity stature could welcome a new era for the sport. Instead, his changes are new and complex rules about bat selection. The games drag on even longer. In fact, it almost seems as if this final season has actual contempt for the sport that has been at the center of its stories for the entire time. It once gave purpose to Brockmire's life. Instead, that has been filled by Beth. She came into his life and he found a new outlet for his love, passion and obsession. It wasn't exactly healthy. That is simply how he is as a parent. It's probably what everyone expected him to do in the situation. He doesn't see his behavior as strange or unhealthy either. And yet, it really hits home when his daughter starts to drift further and further away. She wanted this break when she first graduated and wanted to leave town for college. She has been yearning for distance for awhile. She has had to demand it. But that has also triggered a growing sense of contempt for her father. It has gotten to the point where they are essentially estranged from one another. Brockmire talks about Opening Day as the big holiday in their family. It is an occasion that allows them to have their own traditions. At first, she can give him a sensitive and personal gift. Over time though, she just casually forgets about the day's importance. Her dad is no longer a priority. That is devastating. Brockmire doesn't know how to cope with that. She has become his entire life. That means he is mostly just going through the motions as the MLB commissioner. He doesn't believe he can change anything because of the wealth and opinions of the owners. That has never been a concern for him before. He usually doesn't care what others think about him. He puts on a show no matter what. And now, all of that is carefully calculated. That presents as a blunder that isn't charming or amusing in the slightest. He is a man out-of-touch with the world around him. That is especially apparent in his relationship with Beth. It also makes this a season where the audience is once again hoping for Brockmire to be inspired about the change he can bring to the world. He is constantly working to improve either himself or the game he loves so much. He has overcome so many obstacles. He is seemingly never tempted to give into his vices during the time when his daughter isn't really talking with him. He is depressed. That's clear. And yet, there is the hopeful idea that his life can be filled by something new. He just has to remember what it's like to give that passion and energy to something that actually needs it. Beth's life is fine. It doesn't have to be carefully managed by Brockmire. He was too overbearing anyway. But that's the energy baseball needs if it's going to survive. Brockmire has already wasted three years at the top. He may make a difference. He may not. He just needs to do something. His daughter will always be important. Right now though, the family needs therapy in order to mend and analyze the dynamics that have formed over the years. Brockmire still has work to do. The show knows that even though it is crafting the ending for these characters. Plus, Charles is still around to help in some way even though he hates baseball. His opinion hasn't changed. It has only gotten more popular over the years.