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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TV

Fall TV Week: TGI-Thursday

We have SuperGood Thursdays and TGIT? Okay, technically last night wasn’t Shonda Rhimes’ “TGIT,” because Scandal won’t be back until 2017, but it was TGIT to me because NBC aired two fantastic comedies back to back, reviving just a little bit of the We Peacock Comedy block from the golden days. Regardless of what we’re calling it, it was a better night for TV than Wednesday.

Superstore, Thursdays at 8 on NBC
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I don’t personally know anyone who watches Superstore, which is a huge disappointment, because it is really great. It has a fantastic and real ensemble, hilarious one-liners, America Ferrara, and is a workplace comedy which is easily my favorite kind. I like that we can watch a group of people on strike an expression of discontentedness that will actually impact their lives, while they also drag down anti-rights bigots. Cast member Colton Dunn isn’t actually in a wheelchair, but this show feels important and representative, and it’s funny as hell.

Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays at 8 on ABC
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I watched 11 seasons of Grey’s in two months. But I didn’t spend those two months watching Alex Karev’s character development to have him go to JAIL. But to jail he went, and admittedly he deserved it because he fully busted DeLuca’s pretty face. And with a courtroom scene set for next episode, I’m still waiting for Shonda to crossover her shows (Karev’s lawyer could have been Annalise! Derek could have met with President Fitz instead of Obama!). Despite the light of my life Karev being put behind bars, this episode was also a strong opener, and I’m hoping the rest of the season focuses as much on Meredith and Alex’s friendship, which stands to be one of the best parts of this show since day one, and how it will turn into a romantic relationship, which stands to be the Grey’s dream I will not give up on. I’ll also be content with this season if it gives me more cute Kepner-Avery family moments. #JaprilTheMovie lives on.

The Good Place, Thursdays at 8:30 on NBC
Can they air three episodes of this show every week? Even if it’s just for Janet’s fun facts, including how Christopher Columbus is in The Bad Place and “Fun Fact: Janet is me”? Kristen Bell is having the best time being a bad person in a good place, and I love how serialized this is becoming. Cliffhangers on a sitcom? Count me in. Now to help fellow bad person Jianyu, who I’m thrilled has finally spoken, because as we all know being a mute monk can only be funny for so long.

Pitch, Thursdays at 9 on FOX
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Pitch opens with messages from the two most powerful women in America- Hillary Rodham Clinton and… Ellen DeGeneres? Anyway, the question the show seems to want to answer is whether or not Ginny Baker will get added to that list. It might be too early to tell (how many times can Mark-Paul Gosselaar say “ass slapper” before everyone simultaneously unplugs their TV?) but with a MLB partnership this show feels realer than most. The flashbacks were a little much and I cringed at some dialogue- he said I’m an ass slapper!!- but because I’m a sucker, I also did things like get chills when Ginny sees her jersey for the first time. Plus, all those baseball-playing extras are attractive, and I can’t look at Ali Larter without thinking of Andy Bernard and Michael Scott, neither of which are bad things.

How To Get Away With Murder, Thursdays at 10 on ABC
Summer sucks when you’re terrified of being arrested as the accomplice to several murders, doesn’t it? It’s been a while since we last saw our murderous gang, and I had forgotten a good amount of details, but I have a feeling that this season will amp up the drama after the slightly confusing lull that was season 2. We were already hit with a good few mysteries: Who is Meggy, and why wasn’t I cast as Alfie Enoch’s girlfriend? Who is hanging up those “KILLER” posters of Annalise? When will Wes and Laurel hook up again? Who was that hit-man that my sister described as “an old Lin Manuel Miranda”? And oh yeah, #WhoWillDie? My odds are on Connor (he’s just too good for this world) though I kind of hope it’s Asher (sorry bro), but the stakes are high this year and I love it. Plus, our kids are real practicing lawyers now! Go get ’em, killers!

Still waiting for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Saturday Night Live to return (without Taran, tragically), but that’s my week. It’s been real!

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