In every crowded fall season, viewers are bombarded with a slew of new programming that all starts to look and sound the same. There are only a few that jump out as potentially promising, but Fox’s baseball drama Pitch was an early contender when its promos first started airing. Its premise is one America has only grappled with on the fringes of professional sports: what if women joined the men? There have been some, in fairly recent history (Danica Patrick in NASCAR and Michelle Wie in the PGA), but the idea of a woman joining something like the MLB has long seemed more like a punchline than a reality.
But Pitch addresses this idea head-on, not by making its protagonist Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) as fast or as strong as the men, but acknowledging that what makes her able to compete is that she has a unique pitching style. Many of the early storylines deal with the realities of Ginny’s role as an inspiration while also needing to step aside for pinch hitters, and finding that she can’t always use her patented screwball because other teams have figured out how to defend against it. But the very fact that Fox’s drama addresses these issues in a real way — instead of just focusing on bias and bed hopping — is unique unto itself.
Pitch has subverted expectations in so many ways, and I’m not sure that audiences have known what to make of it. Though the World Series has been giving Fox great ratings, Pitch (which should have a very inclusive audience appeal — you don’t have to love baseball to love the show) has lagged. Below, Kayti Burt and I have listed our top reasons why you should give the series a chance, if you haven’t already. It deserves your attention (Thursday nights on Fox!) Here’s why: