Wednesday, April 8, 2020

REVIEW: 'Brockmire' - Jules Pitches Some Big Ideas to Brockmire and the MLB Team Owners in 'Comeback Player of the Year'

IFC's Brockmire - Episode 4.04 "Comeback Player of the Year"

Jim and Jules' antics remind them of the relationship they used to have.

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.

"Comeback Player of the Year" was written by Amanda Sitko and directed by Maurice Marable

Brockmire and Jules' relationship was very intense and sexual in the first season. Since then, they have tried to move on from one another and those feelings while also supporting the other whenever they need it. They went their separate ways in their careers. They prioritized themselves over any kind of relationship they could have. The friendship was fine but wasn't as notable and loving as it used to be. And now, Brockmire views Jules as the only person who can revive the world's love of baseball. It has been a grueling task for him over the last few years. He has only been able to implement a few changes to the game. None of them have been effective. In fact, they may have only made the sport's insignificance even more profound. That was the burden he carried. He is now actively pursuing this grand goal. It's something he genuinely cares about. It may only take one all nighter from Jules in order to come up with a creative solution. Brockmire loves the ideas he is hearing from her. However, he knows he can't actually apply them to the game because the owners will always refuse to make any big changes to the sport. They want it to succeed. However, they don't really care about nurturing this investment. They have the power and influence to control the world and can essentially get away with anything. That is the position of strength they have long operated from. This is how the wealthy of the world use that despite the tragedy that so often befalls the people lower on the socioeconomic ladder. The success of baseball won't make a big difference to the bottom line of the owners. Sure, they question why the sport is failing so massively at the moment. They don't understand the logic behind it all and how their influence has only made the situation worse. But that also makes it easy to manipulate them. All it takes is Jules and Brockmire saying exactly what they want to hear. They tee up an offer to buy one of the teams. It's an amount of money that can further prop up one owner's sense of stature in the world. It allows him to no longer be laughed at by a young woman. That's all he and the other owners truly care about. They are invested in that self preservation and the need to appear as strong and rich no matter what. That makes it such a solid joke when Jules reveals who the new owner is. The Cleveland Indians become the Cleveland Colonizers. That's just such a fantastic reveal. It takes one horrendous and offensive name and replaces it with another. The old one has been normalized and accepted. The new one is offensive only because the public at large is prone to take white suffering more seriously than that of communities of color. It's fantastic social commentary while still being a solid joke. It comes across as the moment that inspires social interest in baseball once more. That is what Jules is offering the teams right now. She can produce those moments that get people talking. She has the ideas for how to make this a communal experience once more. That may actually be the easier part of her character story. The episode actually starts with Brockmire and Jules meeting a representative from human resources to detail their former relationship. Jules is adamant that they won't rekindle things. Brockmire is the one seen as lingering onto the past because he has written an extremely detailed novel about their sexual hijinks. He is a changed person though. He is no longer the loose cannon that Jules knew from their time in Morristown. He can still be insane though. Sobriety has changed him as a person but he is still fundamentally Brockmire too. It's hilarious as he goes on his tirade against the owners by threatening to expose all of their secrets. It's a moment where Jules realizes that he is a great man who supports her no matter what. Of course, she's a hot mess because of her drug and alcohol dependency. She is shocked when she knocks on Brockmire's door and Lucy is there. This may not be the right time for Brockmire and Jules to reunite as a couple. Lucy may be happy and supportive of it. But the character work necessary to make it a healthy and rewarding decision still needs a little more. The show has the time to make that happen while also understanding that this will be the crescendo of what the two of them can achieve together.