Have you tuned in to IFC’s Brockmire yet? If not, you’re missing one of the best TV comedies of the year so far. (And it’s already been renewed for a second season.) Even better, it’s a sports-themed show, following formerly well-regarded baseball broadcaster Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria) who has a meltdown on the air after finding out his wife has been having an affair and that she has some preferences of which he was previously unaware.
Shunned from baseball after saying things on the air that an announcer just can’t say, Brockmire has spent the past 10 years traveling southeast Asia, calling whatever sport will have him (such as cockfights in Thailand) while indulging in illicit substances and female companionship. The series begins with Brockmire being hired by the minor-league Morristown Frackers, whose young owner Julia James (Amanda Peet) sees the broadcaster — whose outburst made him internet famous — as an attraction that can bring fans back to support the beleagured team.
Brockmire‘s fourth episode airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. on IFC, and Awful Announcing has an exclusive clip from the show to share with you. In this episode, the source of Brockmire’s pain, humiliation and rage shows up in Morristown, which threatens to disrupt the slightly comfortable life that Jim has settled into as he tries to build his career and self-esteem back up. As could be expected, Brockmire still has a well of unresolved anger issues to address and takes that with him to work as he calls a game between the Frackers and their nearby rivals, the Butler Barons. Check it out:
Among the many things that Brockmire does so well is take something in baseball that seems ridiculous on the face of it, yet is accepted as commonplace within the game. The previous episode, for example, showed the effect that a clubhouse kangaroo court was having on the team, threatening to divide the hitters and pitchers. Fights in baseball often seem to occur for the silliest reasons, an unwritten rule of etiquette that was violated and demands retribution for the offended sensibilities that were provoked. A batter watches his home run leave the ballpark before running the bases. A pitcher shows too much excitement over getting an out. Someone takes offense to getting pitched inside.
So how convenient would it be for an announcer whose play-by-play is broadcast over the ballpark’s public address system during the game to project his feelings of inferiority and anger onto the field? How easily could he not only provoke a fight between the Frackers and Barons, but also incite a riot among fans drowning their sorrows in beer and looking for a little excitement during a boring baseball game? Nothing like indulging the thirst for blood and revenge, fueled by some alcohol.
Brockmire airs on IFC Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. and can also be seen online at IFC.com or with the IFC app. Fans of baseball broadcasting and sports media will want to tune in for episode seven in a few weeks.