Are you overwhelmed by how much television is available right now? Is life getting in the way of keeping up with the shows you wanna try out? We feel your tube-related pain. Here’s a handy feature that’ll help you locate the hidden gems in this era of Peak TV.
NETWORK | IFC
CREATED BY | Joel Church Cooper (Undateable), based on a character from the Funny or Die web series Gamechangers
NUMBER OF EPISODES | 32 (over four seasons)
EPISODE LENGTH | 30 mins.
PREMISE | TVLine Dream Emmy Nominee Hank Azaria stars as Jim Brockmire, a famed Major League Baseball announcer who suffers an on-air meltdown (embedded below) following the demise of his marriage. Ten years later, he resurfaces in Morristown, a forgotten whistle-stop in America’s Rust Belt, where he begins calling games for the Frackers, a minor league club. He immediately forms a bond with team owner/barkeep Jules (Togetherness‘ Amanda Peet), who shares his love of hard liquor and general debauchery. There’s also Charles (Lab Rats‘ Tyrel Jackson Williams), the team’s social media manager who helps bring the technologically unsavvy Brockmire into the 21st Century.
WORTH YOUR TIME IF YOU ENJOY… | Baseball. Underdog stories. Old-timey announcer voices. Romantic comedies. Hart to Hart parodies. The short-lived NBC sitcom Bent.
YOU SHOULD PROBABLY ALSO KNOW… | One needn’t be a fan of America’s pastime to enjoy Brockmire in all of its profane glory. Azaria, whose IMDb page spans nearly four decades, gives the performance of his career. At first, Brockmire seems like a one-dimensional character — an alcoholic solely defined by his love of hardball and booze. Dig deeper, though, and there’s a man who’s not quite sure how to mend a broken heart. That’s where Jules comes in, giving Peet an equally terrific showcase as the woman who not only gets Jim back on his feet (sort of), but whose love provides him with a sense of home.
Never a show to get too sappy, Brockmire also has a ton of fun with lewd flashbacks to what Jim was up to in the years following his infamous meltdown. Perhaps most memorable is footage of his time on a Filipino remake of Hart to Hart. As an added bonus, Peet’s Bent co-star David Walton has a recurring role, but to say anything more would spoil their interactions. Fans of fellow Peak TV Treasure Halt and Catch Fire will also enjoy the occasional appearance by Toby Huss, who plays mopey bar patron Johnny the Hat.
And for those of you just looking for a show about a down-on-its-luck baseball team? Not to worry. There’s plenty of attention paid to the game itself, and how the Frackers’ performance is impacted by their frequently inebriated play-by-play man.
IS IT COMING BACK? | Brockmire ended with Season 4 (read series finale Q&A with Hank Azaria).
Watch the official series trailer (as well as the aforementioned meltdown) below, then tell us if you plan to step up to the plate and binge Brockmire.