Oh, PITCH, sweetie. We need to talk. “Unstoppable Forces and Immovable Objects” almost suckered me back on board with this show in two ways. First, Sarah Shahi and B.J. Britt both guest starred. Second, the logistics and strategy of a rain delay were really good at the beginning. That didn’t last as long as I would have liked.
Rain delays are actually fun, and the perfect opportunity for a lot of drama. Actual gameplay related drama, even! This episode started off well by putting a time restriction on how long the delay would have to last before Ginny got pulled and emphasizing that Mike is old and broken down so he probably shouldn’t get back in the game after sitting for so long. That’s all well-done. The ridiculousness started to come into play when players were storming in and out of the clubhouse for dramatic confrontations during the rain delay, when people were just running around in the restricted hallways, and on and on. That just doesn’t happen. Are you serious? You think players can just run up to the suites and fight with people during a rain delay? Which brings me to my next point.
I really do not appreciate that they’ve made Ginny’s brother into a sketchy character who is just using Ginny for her money and connections. That’s not right, man. She already doesn’t have anybody. Turning one of the only characters who cared about her into someone who’s just using her like everyone else is a lazy move. I am always happy to see B.J. Britt’s face but what the hell? The other guest (of honor, in my heart) was Sarah Shahi playing GM Oscar’s paramour and (surprise!) the manager’s daughter. Ha! I legit laughed out loud. The only problem I had with that was that she wasn’t in the episode enough to satisfy me. Give me all the Sarah Shahi. I have no idea what’s going on with her character or why she’s even here, but I accept her presence without caring. As for Oscar himself, he’s really become the only good thing left about this show. Poor Oscar has to basically play referee between all the different interested parties and I feel like his particular drama they’re still doing quite well. That combination of game smarts and business sense that had marked out this show at the beginning shines through best in Oscar’s character. One nitpick I wanted to address, however, is that sabermetrics in no way predicts the future except in long-term outcomes. You can work statistically probabilities but the only “predicting” you can do is like over the course of the entire season. That’s why they don’t work very well when trying to predict the playoffs. With such a small dataset luck and chance become much more variable factors. So don’t throw around words like math is magic and act like Silicon Valley dorks are only interested in sports because they can use their nerd superpowers on it. Come on, now. We’re better than that. Nerds like sports for sports’ sake too.
As for all the trade nonsense, I thought I’d be mad if they decided to trade Lawson. For a while I considered him the heart of this show. I watched all the Lawson-related drama in this episode completely unable to care. Maybe I just hit my limit on this show and it’s melodramatics but yeah. No. Go have fun with your life Lawson. If you really go to Chicago (I’m guessing they mean the Cubs here; Chicago does have two teams you know) in presumably-this-reality-but-with-a-girl-pitcher get yourself a nice ring. Buh-bye.
You know what’s annoying as hell? That a show supposedly about the trials of being a woman in a man’s world has become almost entirely about how all those men are in love with her. Really, Pitch? Really? Is it gonna be like that? I know I personally have problems with romance narratives but this has become a generic, trashy prime time soap only with a baseball skin on top of it. Okay, one teammate gets chewed out for having a crush on Ginny. But it’s so obvious they’re trying to push a Baker/Lawson thing. Every time I think I’m about to forgive this show for being annoying they do something else dumb. Sure, if I was reading a sports romance novel, “teammates fall in love” is the kind of contrived plot device I’d be consuming that particular work for. In fact, there’s a massive sports fandom community dedicated to writing fan fiction that is that exact thing. This just feels like that fanfic but scrubbed of any possibility that there could be (gasp!) homosexuality going on. Pitch could have been so much more and yet this is what we get. Did you know! Men and women can be friends! Without being romantically involved or even interested! I swear that is a thing that really happens! But apparently not on network TV (excepting Elementary.)
They did address the one issue I had regarding the timeline, however. They made a point of putting the June date of Ginny’s first start up on the screen. I can stop complaining about their insane warping of time now. That’s one thing down, at least.
I’ll be brutally honest: they said there’s “one more episode before the season finale?” I hope that season finale is a series finale. This show is gross, and after it fell from my good graces it never got back into them. This could have been an awesome series about baseball, gender equality, having to be twice as good, et cetera, et cetera. Instead it’s just average fare to rot out your brain.
Season 1, Episode 8 (S01E08)
Pitch airs Thursdays at 9PM on Fox
Dana is a digitization archivist by day and a masked pop culture avenger by night. She spreads the gospel of science fiction and fantasy wherever she goes.
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Dana Leigh Brand | Contributor