Pilot Perception: Pitch

Pitch

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show – here Pitch – in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Pitch, FOX in the U.S. and Global TV in Canada, Thursdays at 8:59/7:59c (Yes, really. I DON’T KNOW.)

The Pedigree: The show was created and written by Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love) and Rick Singer (Younger). Paris Barclay (Empire) directed the pilot. They executive produce with Kevin Falls (The West Wing), Tony Bill (The Sting), Helen Bartlett (Untamed Heart), and Jess Rosenthal (This Is Us).

The Cast & How You Know Them: Pitch stars Kylie Bunbury (Under the Dome) along with Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Franklin and Bash), Mo McRae (Sons of Anarchy), Meagan Holder (You Again), Ali Larter (Heroes), Tim Jo (The Neighbors), Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years), and Mark Consuelos (All My Children).

The Premise: The first female player is called up by a major league baseball team, and has to prove to herself and everyone else that she belongs there.

A Taste:

 

What Works: I love the concept of this, and the pilot did a good job of establishing what it needed to do and hit a lot of important emotional points as well as setting up the various interpersonal tensions that will provide drama going forward. Kylie Bunbury is great, and the supporting cast is strong. I especially liked the way they articulate both the benefits and drawbacks of being seen as a role model, and the fact that they set up her teammate’s wife as a supportive friend rather than some sort of rival.

What Doesn’t: This was aggressively fine, and well made, and hit all the emotional notes it was supposed to hit …┬ábut it did exactly what I expected it to do and so didn’t do a great job of grabbing me or making me want to see more. Even the “twist” was predictable from the promos. (But I don’t think this show needed a twist to work.) This could be primarily an issue of hype: months of hearing about how great this pilot was left me disappointed when I wasn’t completely blown away. As long as future episodes are less predictable and add complexity to the characters, I’ll be all in.

Our Favorite Line: “You can’t aim your pitches if you’re aiming to please everyone.”

You Might Like This if you like underdog sports stories, and shows about women making their way in male-dominated arenas. It’s basically a grown-up version of Nickelodeon’s Bella and the Bulldogs.

If You’re Interested: Watch the pilot on demand or on the FOX or Global TV sites, then set your DVR for Thursday at 8:59/7:59c.

(Photo courtesy of FOX.)

About Kate

Kate Linnea Welsh is a New Hampshire-based writer and taxonomist. (No, that doesn't involve dead animals.) She keeps us up to date on TV news in her weekly column "Caffeine." She writes about other TV shows, books, and more at her blog and her site Read the Screen. She'd love to talk to you on Twitter: @katelinnea