TV

‘Pitch’ Is An Important Show To Have Right Now

Damn. You must be some Paula Abdul level of cold-hearted snake if you don’t get chills watching Pitch. I don’t care if you’re not into baseball, were more of an AC Slater kind of girl, or hate women (actually, I care a lot about that last bit!). Every time that hyped-up string score starts to play and Ginny walks out on the field, I feel like I’m ready to pick up a Major League bat myself. It’s that good. Last night’s second episode was a huge improvement on the pilot, and a sign that this show could turn out to be really wonderful. Beyond being just entertaining, Pitch is an essential show to have on TV right now.

Ginny Baker works harder than any of her male teammates. She’s the boss, and she’s incredibly talented. But she’s also imperfect. Teammate Mike has to remind her not to give up on her fast ball, which she often turns down using during a game. She tries hard to be “one of the guys,” something everyone is reminding her she clearly isn’t. She almost goes along with doing a silly segment about dugout decorating on Jimmy Kimmel Live, even though it portrays a message she’s not willing to promote. Sometimes it’s awkward watching her find her way. Her Kimmel interview is visibly uncomfortable at times, as she decides to turn down doing the segment in the moment it’s airing, and instead takes the conversation in an unscripted and more honest route. It’s cringeworthy when her teammates start asking her about her sexuality- they want to know is she a nun, a lesbian, or does she hook up in the locker room?, which is completely expected and still totally gross. But where Ginny falters, she doesn’t fail. She stands up for herself on Kimmel, making a crucial point about rape culture and respect in the process. She puts her teammates in their place, making a core crew of friends while she does it. It’s exciting to watch because her journey feels real.

Pitch itself feels real too, especially as the 2016 Election starts to really pick up. Regardless of whether or not you’re a Hillary Clinton supporter, this election is groundbreaking and will inspire countless young girls to reach for something they thought wasn’t possible. Somebody always has to be first, but that doesn’t mean it stops with them; it just means that someone can come next. And Pitch knows that, showing us all the girls waiting for Ginny’s autograph, letting her know they’ll be joining her someday. In our current political and social landscape, it rings true. Sure, Ginny’s fans are just paid actors. But it makes you think about the girls sitting at home, throwing baseballs with their brothers and being told they have no shot. It’s a fictional story, but how many boys wanted to play baseball after watching Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriquez grow up and play for the Dodgers? What’s wrong with a little inspiration?

There’s a scene that really hit me during the Kimmel section of the episode, where Ginny’s  starting to struggle to make her point and stand up for herself on live TV. It’s intercut with a speech Mike’s giving in the locker room about cutting Ginny slack and acting like a team, instead of hating her for the attention she’s bringing them. At first, I was thrilled that someone was standing up for Ginny, and was happy for some action away from the awkward conversation she was having with Jimmy. But then she got into her groove, started making some important points, and got huge applause from the studio audience. It became clear to me that while Mike’s speech was nice, it wasn’t important. Ginny Baker can stand her own. Ginny Baker doesn’t need any help. But we need Ginny Baker.

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