Rating 3.5 – So 20th Century Fox Pitch has come to an end and I stopped watching after episode 9 because it went a direction I simply did not like. I’m not a baseball guy, I’m barely even a sports guy. The closest I come is only watching the New York Giants until the loose for the season or, by some miracle, make it to the Superbowl. I also watch the Superbowl mostly for the commercials. But baseball. . .okay, trigger warning to anyone who thinks of baseball as “America’s favorite passtime” this might sting. Baseball is boring. I mean really boring. If it wasn’t for gulf baseball would be the most boring sport there is. When I was a kid my uncle took me and my brother to a baseball game. I didn’t understand it. I was ready to get out of there after five minute. I remember it taking forever to it to be over. And when invited again I declined emphatically. But movies about baseball, now that’s the stuff. Baseball is exciting in movies. The game has a beginning, middle and end and there’s always the tension of the team the movie is about losing. I love movies about baseball.
So it should come as no surprise that I liked 20th Century Fox Pitch at first. I was on board until the episode called “Scratched.” It’s better than I expected from a FOX hour long drama. The premise is that the first female pitcher, Ginny Baker, gets to play in the major league from the San Diego Padres, and I believe they use some if not all of the team for this one. I wouldn’t know either way as I have no clue who plays for any baseball team. Ginny comes with a double whammy as she’s both a female and black, and pitch does not shy away from either fact. She’s a source of controversy and inspiration and a media darling specifically for being the first female player in the major leagues. Ali Larter plays her agents, concerned with the business and publicity end of the now famous Ginny Baker. The show goes through the pressure she’s under, the player and manager reactions, hits on some very controversial topics and is a really good hour of television.
The standout is Mark-Paul Gosselaar who plays Michael “Mike” Lawson, the Padres’ veteran catcher Michael “Mike” Lawson, the Padres’ veteran catcher and obvious team captain. He’s the boss, old man advisor and motivator for the team. It’s a complete turn around from his days on Saved by the Bell and Franklin and Bash. On Pitch he’s an older player with knee problems hoping to retire with at least on championship and a ring. He’s famous and has groupies and serves as a grizzled Yoda to Ginny as she learns her way around being a rookie in the majors. For a minute he was dating Ginny’s manager, Amelia Slater, but it didn’t work out and settled in to a comical “will they/won’t they” thing. The friendship between Mike and Ginny was strong and was working. He was the older guy who knew his days were numbered and she was the rookie trying to cope with being an overnight icon whose life now came with huge expectations.
The change did not start with “Scratched.” It started with episode 8, “Unstoppable Forces & Immovable Objects.” The episode was centered on management pressuring Mike to break his non-trade clause. They would get two younger players and Mike would be on a Team most likely to got the World Series and hopefully getting him a ring before his career was over. In the midst of a story one of the players confesses to having a crush on Ginny. Mike and Ginny’s best friend from her days in the minors, Blip, pull the player in to talk some sense into him. In midst of the conversation Mike has the sudden realization that he might like Ginny and this motivates him to tell management to start negotiations on the trading deal. What the fuck. No, not “WTF”, seriously – WHAT THE FUCK!
How You Sneak Racism Into Disguised Diversity
A few years ago an article went viral and it was called “The War On Black Love.” Once upon a time it was the talk of the internet and this was the days when Facebook was just getting started and Myspace had not vanish into obscurity yet. I can’t find it and forgot who wrote it but I know it was a sistah and her opinion was the media had the flurry to only show black character dating white people. Tay Diggs made a career out of it. The only time you’d see black characters together is was in some idiotic stereotypical termoil. There were some standouts like The Cosby Show, and Undercover, maybe Family Matters. Good Times and the Jefferesons did not count because they were so shot to death with stereotypes it got annoying to the point of parody. But the general rule of TV and movies is black couples in constant conflict over bullshit and black with white, nice stable relationships that might have to overcome some racism everyone once in a movie. And when the black has an ex-black – you know to “prove” they date anyone – the ex will be trouble. Big trouble. The family of the black side will be trouble, big trouble. And without actually saying it the idea of black relationship bad, blacks with whites good would just happen. The arguments that sistah got back then would be the same we get today.
“Hey, at least we’ve got a black character.”
“Remember, interracial relationships were once against the law.”
Black people didn’t make it against the law. And black people’s objections to it are for vastly different reasons then white people objections. White people are all like “you can’t mix. They’ll destory our race. They are not human.” Black people have one argument “How do you date a member of the group who actively brutalizes the shit out of your people?” It’s like hearing the story of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings. it was love, people claim. Only Jefferson kept her a slave, kept the children they had slaves and Sally could tell Jefferson “not tonight, I have a headache” or “not until you leave your wife.” But when we have an objection to a black dating a white it’s called “reverse racism” – which is bullshit – or my favorite line:
“It’s not every white.”
Oh fuck me every time I hear that one. Can’t say it about Muslims because according to white people every Muslim is responsible for the actions of every other Muslim. Lets be honest, according to white people every person of color, or woman, is responsible for the actions of their perspective groups. Not white people, though. They exterminate entire races of people, but we’re supposed to applaud the one guy who watched it happen while saying “hey, that’s wrong you guys, cut it out.”
Just as Guilty
No don’t get me wrong, there’s enough blame to go around on this game. Hip Hop, videos, black made movies, even podcasters and video creators on YouTube are just as guilty. The “black is bad, white is good” stereotype prevails in some of the stuff black people highly regards. Starve a human being for a week and a bowl of shit with sugar on it might look like an appetizer. Imaging repressing a group of people for centuries and setting up persistent systems of inclusion, then a bowl of shit being one black on a TV show or one black making a movie will look like the greatest thing on Earth. This is so true of black people we even have a “book of first negroes.” that almost every family owned in my time as a child. I haven’t heard from it i a long time but I remember it being in the library even at school. So when Spike Lee makes a movie where a girl get raped and considers continuing to date the guy who raped her, or where this asshole with two big rings goes around shoving them in people faces with some half-assed speech about love and hate, or when a one-hit-wonder Hip Hop star makes a movie where black people spend 65% blowing each other away because “ghetto” and “gangsta” we each that bowl of shit up.
So when we have TV show after TV show, movie after movie, comics, books, YouTube videos where the same trope is played so much – black with black, bad/black with white, or Asian, or anything but black, good – we think it’s progress. It’s not progress.
20th Century Fox Pitch Slapped
The same people who are trying to make #Bawson a thing in 20th Century Fox Pitch (it’s the ship of Ginny Baker and Mike Dawson) is grossed out when older men date younger girls. Yet it’s okay here because. . .reasons? The better relationship in 20th Century Fox Pitch is with Ali Larter as Amelia Slater. Mike Dawson was dating the agent, but they broke up and now we’re going to get Mike Dawson, a guy at retirement age, and Ginny Baker, who is fresh out of her teen years. The friendship was enough. It made sense, both had their own lives and issues to deal with but could have a beer like two guys. But TV had to play the white male power fantasy out. I get it. Ginny is smoking. I’m about to be in pushing 60 territory, I get the whole younger girl thing. However the series is very strong. I’d be completely surprised if it got canceled. Fox has figured out how these thing work, unlike their early days at the start of the 2000’s. And it’s a show with a very strong message and a premise I’m shocked no one has tried to take advantage of. But 20th Century Fox Pitch is going to be another Shonda Rhymes thing. Another “black chasing after white while the blacks around her are trouble. Her brother – in trouble with loan sharks, using Ginny’s fame for his own ends. Her father being hard and showing no love except in moment when the script calls for it. Her mother cheating on her father. The couple about to get into a fight over money. But the white billionaire is charming and classy. Mike Dawson is a grizzly but friendly uncle/older brother who has some issues but he’s not actively screwing over anyone, or beating his ex-girlfriend or on drugs or a mean drunk. He’s the good white guy, the guy you know would never call you the n-word.
The billionaire mo-cap developer is another one, still the same trope but at least makes a little more sense even if 20th Century Fox Pitch would be going down the same idiotic road.
It’s bad enough I can’t really enjoy the so-called black made shows. The title in “blackish” is fucking insulting, I don’t care who came up with it. Bill Cosby got it right, Damien Wayans got it right. What the fuck is wrong with Anthony Anderson? I have all the respect in the world for Shonda Rhymes. More power to her on her success. But she succeeds on that “black is bad, white is good” trope. Don’t run this game on about everyone on Scandal being an asshole, the father is a homicidal maniac, a active psychotic who you root for getting shot out the window of Nakatomi Plaza. Olivia Pope is supposed to practically be a super hero but if you made every time she cried like a child over Fitz a drinking game, you be in AA before the middle of the second season. Now we have Ginny Baker in 20th Century Fox Pitch, and she’s about to become a total tool over a white guy who should be a mentor. Iinstead 20th Century Fox Pitch is going for the racist trope of “black better off with white.” Oh goody. Glad we left those old racist tropes behind us.
20th Century Fox Pitch is not progress, this is the same old racism dressed up as progress. I’m done with this show.