The Getaway Game
At the end of Season 1, Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria), booth announcer for the minor league baseball team the Morristown Frackers, decided to forge his comeback path in the Crescent City with his trusty assistant Charles (Tyrel Jackson Williams) by his side. So, in the opening of Season 2 we pick up after his decision to leave Pennsylvania for New Orleans.
Of course, the very first scene we find that nothing has really changed for him. He is still up to his old tricks. How do we know this? Because the “pillow” that he is resting his head on is none other than his latest one-night stand’s butt.
This is just the way that things are for Jim Brockmire. There is an amusing bit dealing with giving his “dates” gift baskets called the “Jeter.” For those of you that follow sports gossip, supposedly former Yankee Derek Jeter used to do this for his girlfriends after a good time.
Louisiana has been a productive move for him and Charles. Their house is pretty spectacular and they are flush with cash. This is mostly due to the fact that Charles has capitalized on Jim’s propensity to “pontifidrink” and turned it into a lucrative podcast.
New Kid on the Block
However, even though Brockmire is an internet superstar this is not translating over to his day job as a broadcaster for the New Orleans Crawdaddy’s. As a matter of fact, it is sinking him. According to the team marketing whiz, Whitney (Dreama Walker) his likeability scores are in the toilet compared with that of his new partner Raj (Utkarsh Ambudkar).
Raj is an over eager, over achieving up and comer who Jim has been burdened with for away game coverage. Of course, there is quite a bit of barbed banter between the two as they pretend to be civil toward one another.
Then the bombshell is dropped courtesy of Whitney. Now, Jim has to compete for the soon to be vacant spot of a beloved Crawdaddy veteran announcer with Raj. Saddled with a new rival and disappointed that his future isn’t as clear cut as he thought it would be, Brockmire decides to go on an epic bender.
Charles begs off accompanying him telling him he can’t be his maid, his best friend and his drinking buddy and that he should really consider calling his ex-girlfriend Jules (Amanda Peet). Brockmire considers this advice.
He does call someone from his old stomping grounds but it turns out to be his former pub crawling and drug taking buddy, Pedro Uribe (Hemky Madera). When Charles sees him at the front door, he knows that this will definitely not end well for anyone involved.
The next morning, we see that Charles has fallen asleep while editing Brockmire’s podcast. He wakes up abruptly and panics because Jim has to be at the ballpark. Seeing his trademark plaid sportscoat and two legs sticking out from underneath the bed, Charles figures this is Jim. However, when he pulls the sleeping body out, he discovers a severely hungover Pedro.
When Charles asks him where Brockmire is he responds that they were partying hard and when the mushrooms kicked in they decided to switch clothing. Of course, he has no idea where Jim is but Charles starts looking at Brockmire’s online posts.
In the first one, an obviously lit Jim is “motorboating” a busty woman. The next post finds him singing with a gospel choir before hitting the deck. Finally, some chick shows the internet that she is sleeping with him.
Charles shows up at her place only to find out that she kicked him out and he is in a dive bar somewhere. Fortunately, Charles knows exactly where to find him. Dragging him out into the light of day is pretty challenging.
They manage to make it to the game but Jim has Charles running ragged checking on their mail order business, pushing buttons for him and presenting him with unlimited beers. Afterwards, feeling more than a little hassled and annoyed at being Brockmire’s gofer, Charles informs Jim that he is taking the night off.
Perplexed, Brockmire acts as if he doesn’t understand when this occurred but it comes to light that Charles’ family is in town and he is having dinner with them. When Jim inquires as to why he wasn’t invited, Charles replies, “Because they hate you.”
Figuring that he will just go on a drunken spree, Brockmire asks Charles to “Karen Hill him,” which is a great reference to Good Fellas and Henry Hill’s wife.
While Charles is buying an expensive and rare pair of kicks in town, he receives a call from Brockmire who leads him to think that he is passed out in the bathtub because he had too many downers. Rushing home, Charles finds out that Jim wants him to hang out and celebrate his birthday with him and not his family.
Oh, and as a birthday gift, Brockmire presents Charles with a hooker so that he can lose his virginity. Well, that whole ordeal doesn’t work out and Charles ends up paying her $300 so that she doesn’t tell Brockmire that they didn’t do anything. Before Charles can escape Jim ends up vomiting right on his new sneakers.
At the restaurant with his family, Charles is just feeling out of place and awkward. His mother is an incredibly needy drama queen, his father is an authoritarian bully and his stepfather is a milquetoast. Oh, and his sisters are weirdly robotic.
While he is getting hammered by his parents who insist that Brockmire is his “Sugar Daddy,” Jim shows up. Charles’ family is not happy at all to see him despite the fact that he brings them champagne. For once, not focusing on himself, Brockmire tries to be pleasant until he sees how the family starts picking Charles apart.
Like a good friend, he leaps to Charles’ defense and proceeds to tell off each and every member of the family one by one. Both make the decision to leave the dinner party. When they return to their house, Charles wants to go to bed but Brockmire gifts him with a new pair of the rare sneakers that he bought as a way of making up for technicolor yawning all over them.
Brockmire is one of the best comedies on television today. Darkly humorous and incredibly adult, it isn’t for the faint of heart. There are quite a few sexual references and strong language. If you dig baseball there is some talk of the sport but not enough to put off potential fans who don’t care for athletics.
Hank Azaria is at the top of his game in this role. You almost forget that Brockmire is a character and not a real sports personality. Especially when Azaria was making the rounds on ESPN and when he went back and forth with Joe Buck, not only is it entertaining but it shows how highly skilled he is as an actor.
Tyrel Jackson Williams and Amanda Peet are wonderful support to Hank’s Brockmire because they are less flamboyant and more low key so they assist in making his antics look even more outrageous. This only lends itself to bigger laughs.
The writing is superb. Behind the one liners and the banter, there is real heart. Even in last night’s episode when Jim ends up finding Charles another rare pair of sneakers to replace the ones he messed up, it is touching. Though the characters are dysfunctional in their own ways, together they are most assuredly a cohesive unit.
Brockmire is refreshing, unique and is definitely a must watch appointment setting show!
Susan Leighton can be found on Twitter and Facebook @SusanontheLedge. She is also featured on Nerdrotics Podcast every Friday night at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on Friday Night Tights, the pop culture wrap up show. You can catch her coverage on IFC’s Brockmire weekly at TV Series Hub.