Thursday, April 06, 2017
BROCKMIRE -- My review
BROCKMIRE stars Hank Azaria as a one-time TV voice of the Kansas City Royals who has a meltdown on the air after catching his wife in an orgy. (What sportscaster hasn't had that happen to him?) The series picks up ten years later (present day) as he tries to resurrect his torched career by calling games for a dinky minor league team in the Rust Belt.
And as a bonus it also stars Amanda Peet.
BROCKMIRE originally appeared in an early FUNNY OR DIE webisode and was very well received. Azaria was a hoot playing a bombastic play-by-play announcer who always wore a “who shot the couch?” sports jacket and had a drink in his hand. Remember Bob Uecker’s announcer in MAJOR LEAGUE? Amp him up times ten, throw in more clichés and that’s Brockmire.
Azaria claims he based Brockmire on a combination of former Mets’ mouthpiece Bob Murphy and former Yankees voice Phil Rizzuto. I don’t totally buy that. Murphy had similar voice inflections but was not an obvious self-promoter the way Brockmire is, and with all due respect, Brockmire is, well… not as clueless as the “Scooter.”
What I liked best about the IFC series is that it gave more dimension to the character. The webisodes were broad and just for laughs (which they delivered). In the series you begin to feel his pain. Finding dimension in a basically two-dimensional character is no mean trick but Azaria pulls it off.
The only thing that struck me as really false is that when calling the minor league game his play-by-play is heard over the PA. Players would absolutely revolt. But that’s one of those “doctors wouldn’t really take out someone’s appendix as a bar bet” facts that only insiders would know.
Otherwise, BROCKMIRE is funny and even touching. It’s some kind of a fun new series.
BROCKMIRE airs Wednesday nights at 10 on IFC .
And while we're on the subject, my podcast this week features my baseball odyssey complete with a sample of my play-by-play. Just scroll up to the podcast link right underneath the masthead and click on that big gold arrow. You get not one but TWO home run calls. Thanks for listening (if you do).