Growing up, lead Black female characters on television dramas were few and far between. But decades later, thankfully the television landscape has changed. On most nights, thanks to the likes of Cookie, Olivia, Michonne, and Annalise, Black women can turn on the small screen and see ourselves, not just as the sassy sidekick, but as the focal point.
And now we have a new character to add to that ever-growing list — Pitch’s Ginny Baker.
Starring newcomer Kylie Bunbury, the new inspirational sports drama centers on the 24-year-old’s debut as the first female pitcher in the history of professional baseball. Think: She’s pretty much Mo’Ne Davis, but all grown up.
Having watched the series premiere, here’s the 411 on the show and why you should tune in.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Baseball. But if you’re not a fan of America’s favorite pastime, no worries, you’ll still like it because this show transcends the sport itself. Pitch conveys what it means to be a Black women with an extraordinary gift, being the first in history to showcase that talent and all the pressures that come with being a trailblazer (including constantly being referred to baseball great Jackie Robinson).
In addition, it’s a show about the intersections of race and gender (which race could even be played up a bit more), and how Ginny must continue to thrive in a testosterone-driven field that seems hellbent on pushing her out. Most important, it’s also a touching and complicated tale about the bond between a father and daughter and the extreme pressure many kids face having to live out their parents’ deferred dreams.
Who can’t relate to that?
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Bunbury is going to be one of the breakout stars of the fall TV season. She’s fantastic, embodying the perfect blend of charisma, beauty, vulnerability, and strength.
The show also stars the brilliant Michael Beach as Ginny’s father, Saved By The Bell’s Mark-Paul Gosselaar as a smart-assed aging pitcher who befriends Ginny; Mo McRae as Blip, an old and current teammate; Meagan Holder, Blip’s wife, Evelyne, and Ginny’s friend; and Ali Larter, Mark Consuelos, Oscar Arguella, Tim Jo, and Dan Lauria rounding out the racially inclusive cast.
Also, look for lots of drama, excitement, and a few twists (we’ll get to that a little later).
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH?
Because so far, so good.
Now, the show isn’t perfect; it’s riddled with some expected clichés and the flashback scenes may annoy some viewers, but understand the pilot episode of any TV show is going to be heavy-handed. It’s all about introducing the viewer to this new world, all of its characters and the main character’s back story and setting the tone. Now with that being said, the acting is good, the show has real potential and is truly unique. Plus, I’m also a big fan of stories about Black women succeeding in traditionally White spaces.
Second, given the Olympics in Rio this summer, where Black female athletes such as Simone Biles, Simone Manuel, Allyson Felix, and countless others who dominated the games and the possibility of electing our first female President, Pitch’s #BlackGirlMagic and #GirlPower messages seem right on time.
Not to mention, the relationship between Ginny and her father is a really nice thing to see, especially among Black daughters and their fathers, which isn’t always explored in-depth on the small and large screens. Yes, he’s hard on her — he wants her to make history and she pushes back — but they have a real connection that’s refreshing to see.
Oh, and without giving it away, there’s a major twist at the end of the first episode that will definitely change the course of the rest of the season. Plus, it raises the stake for why Ginny needs to succeed and why her father’s acceptance is so important.
Co-producer and co-creator Dan Fogleman (NBC’s This Is Us) is confident the show will do well among viewers.
“Maybe I’m naive, but I find it hard to fathom in the great wide world — who would really be against this?” he asked in August, according to the Los Angeles Times. “If a young woman comes along who is capable of playing with ‘the guys,’ I can’t think of a person who wouldn’t be interested in seeing it.”
We agree: The show’s a home run, so don’t miss it.
Pitch airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central on FOX or on Hulu.
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SOURCE: Los Angeles Times | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube