Pitch: Pilot Review

The ATX Television Festival is fun in itself (check out my review of it here), but is particularly awesome for giving attendees the chance to watch new fall shows before they air.  This year, the hot pilot of the year was Pitch, which officially premiered tonight .  Afterward the screening, two shows’ two stars (Kylie Bunbury and Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and the producers (Rick Singer and Kevin Falls) came to discuss the pilot and provide insights into how the show was created.

pitch-panel-1

Source: Sarita Muley/Really Late Reviews

Right off the bat (pun intended!), I was excited about this show before even seeing the pilot.  The television industry is finally starting to address diversity issues in a truly meaningful way, and allowing minorities more starring roles.  Pitch is a fantastic example of this. The story centers on a black woman, Ginny Baker, (Bunbury) who is the first woman to pitch in the Major League baseball. She joins the San Diego Padres. Naturally, as the first woman in a major, national sports league, she faces a lot of media scrutiny.  Also, she has to face a lot of sexism within her team, who don’t want to play with her and don’t think she belongs.  One of those who gives her a hard time is the Team Captain, Mike Lawson (Gosselaar). The two have a tension from the beginning, which we all know is the Hollywood way of implying these two will eventually be in a romantic relationship.

Pitch Mark Paul Kylie

Source: Fox Television

I enjoyed the pilot immensely. What made the pilot special? First, the unique storyline and execution on that storyline. The storyline isn’t something we’ve  seen on TV (we’ve seen variations of it in movie).  The pilot realistically addressed the issues a woman would face in this situation (sexism,  potential confidence issues, stress, media pressure)  but making it relatable for all industries in which women are paving the way.

Another reason this pilot was special is how it grabs the viewers emotionally right away. You’re in the Ginny’s head from the beginning, where she is bombarded with cameras. You can feel the stress of the situation. Then, when she is thinking of her journey to where she is, viewers get into those nostalgic emotions and all the feels we have when we are thinking about childhood.  Lastly, when she is facing job performance issues because of stress, who amongst us hasn’t faced that situation and can remember the fear of it while watching her?

Beyond the storyline, the acting is spot on.  It is clear from both the pilot itself and watching the actors in real life that Kylie and Mark-Paul have great chemistry.  Watching the two joke around together was fun. I particularly enjoyed hearing how they prepared for the roles, whether it was from growing a large beard (Mark-Paul’s beard really made him unrecognizable from his signature character, Zach Morris) to training extensively to get the correct batters’ pose.

Kylie Mark Paul

Source: Sarita Muley/Really Late Reviews

I would be remiss if I didn’t note that the direction/camera work/overall production was high quality. They really got into the details of the sports business, from filming in a real stadium to taking us into a locker room and then into the business behind baseball (financials, agents, etc).

Overall, a fantastic start to the fall season with a show like Pitch. I look forward to watching the remaining season and see how Ginny evolves.

About Sarita

I am known in my friend circle as the person who is most likely to know random television/Hollywood trivia. Thrilled to put my tv knowledge to use in writing reviews. In addition to writing, I love to read, and welcome the opportunity to talk on twitter on books, tv, or movies.

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