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Apr 3, 2020This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Season 4 isn't completely vacant of redeeming qualities, but they are far and few between.
10 years pass between season 3 & 4, but Charles doesn't look any older. They just change his haircut. Amanda Peet wears less makeup. Hank Azaria has more grey hairs... I could look past that as a minor annoyance if the writing justified the leap forward in time.
It's gotten beyond unbelievable that Jim keeps getting work in baseball over the first three seasons. So, naturally, in the fourth season, he holds the highest position in the sport? Again, I could look past this if it worked... but it doesn't.
Almost nothing works in the show now.
It's been getting progressively worse since Brockmire got sober. I don't have a problem with them shifting gears, creatively. But Brockmire being sober is kind of like Frank in Always Sunny permanently becoming a respectable man... Maybe there's some way to shift from a (comedy) show about a crazy drunk to a show about a sober man. I'm sure there is. But, it's also got to be a much harder thing to pull off. In a TV show, every change is a risk. The bigger the change, the bigger the risk.
Brockmire has taken more risks in the last 2 years than most shows would across decades.
In The Simpsons, they killed off a recurring character (Maude) after she had consistently appeared in 10 consecutive seasons. The magnitude of change here is manageable. She wasn't a major character. Homer didn't become sober and get elected the Governer of Springfield.
After 2 seasons, Brockmire gets sober. They don't explore the transition from drunk to sober, much. It all happens pretty quickly... One season later, they fast forward 10 years and throw in an Asian daughter he didn't know he had. He becomes the head of baseball. Charles has dreadlocks.
In the episode I just watched, two things exploded. One of them was a person on field at a baseball game. Blood and body parts splattered all over the fans. Jules has no emotional reaction to this. She has blood on her face from the person who exploded. In the same episode, she steals over a hundred thousand dollars from Jim. So, she is a horrible person now apparently. Total trash. Are they trying to make her the new Brockmire? She can't replace him.
Ever since they fast forwarded the first time and Brockmire had that weird drunken pod cast, Charles has been going down hill. He's changed as much as Brockmire has. Maybe more. They should stop inserting him into the show. It doesn't feel like he belongs in the story anymore.
If all three major characters are going to make major changes and move on with their lives in different directions, why do they keep encountering each other all the time? Why is there nobody else in their lives? It feels like the writers want to have their cake and eat it to. If they want to make significant changes to the plot, they need to be willing to make sacrifices. Maude didn't come back to life.
Apparently, this season keeps jumping forward in time until it is 2033 and Brockmire is (presumably) a robot. Maybe Charles has a sex change operation and becomes Charlene then marries Jules who is an old lesbian now. This drives robo-Brockmire crazy so he beats them to death with a baseball bat and then relapses back into liquor and motor oil.
The ending I just described would probably be more watchable than the rest of season 4. This show was never brilliant, but the first two seasons were at least good. Critics might still love this show, but it is going to irritate fans. They should have quit while they were ahead.… Expand
The fourth season of Brockmire is actually a tremendous slice of speculative satire, a companion piece of sorts to Idiocracy in its commentary on the descent of human intellect, our inevitable surrender to encroaching technology and tangible consequences of our disrespect of the environment. There are parts of this season that feel like a real heir to Kurt Vonnegut in terms of the blend of rampant silliness and earnest concern.
“Brockmire” is essentially sentimental — baseball stories nearly always are — and as it angles toward a happy ending, the machinery of the plot can get a little obvious, like an outside slider on a 1-2 count. You can also start to weary of Jules’s repeated and increasingly improbable willingness to forgive Brockmire for his outbursts and reversals. But you’ll probably stay for the dialogue, still an uncommon concoction of literate, clever and rancid.