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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Brockmire is a comedy about a sportscaster trying to resurrect his career after a public meltdown. Parents' chief concerns will be onscreen substance abuse (characters drink liquor, smoke marijuana, chew on an illegal African stimulant called khat) as well as frequent profane jokes about sex that target group sex, sex toys, pornography, consequence-free casual sex, oral sex, sex combined with drugs, voyeurism, and other mature topics. Some curses and strong language are connected with sex, too, like when a man calls his ex-wife a "whore." Other cursing: "s--t," "damn," "ass," "SOB," "goddamn," multiple uses of "f--k" are bleeped. Violence is rare but in at least one scene a teenage boy carries a gun in his pants waistband to show that a town is bad news. All that said, this is a story about redemption with relatable and often sweet, yet imperfect characters. It's not out of the question for whole-family viewing, but the material is strong enough that parents of tweens-and-younger should preview first.
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What's the story?
BROCKMIRE centers around Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria), a famous major league baseball commentator who has a meltdown live on the air after he discovers his wife Lucy (Katie Finneran) has been unfaithful -- really unfaithful. Ten years later, after Brockmire's hit bottom in all sorts of ways, he gets an out-of-nowhere summons from Jules (Amanda Peet), the owner of the small-town baseball team the Frackers. She and the Frackers' tech intern Charles (Tyrel Jackson Williams) have some bad news for Brockmire -- videos of his explosion are an internet meme, and the whole world knows him. Brockmire thinks his career and life are over. But when he sees the Frackers play, gets to know Jules and Charles better, and gets a hit of that old baseball excitement, he finds there's a chance -- just a small one -- that he could start over again.
Is it any good?
Dirty, naughty, yet surprisingly sweet, this redemption comedy worms its way under your skin with super-sharp gags and lovable characters. Azaria has most of the best lines: when Jules asks him hesitantly if he's aware that he's a viral star, Brockmire says confidently that he doesn't bother with computers: "If I need porn I just buy a nudie mag like my father and his father before him."
It's a perfectly relatable nightmare -- one terrible moment of your life preserved, blown up, the veil through which everyone views Brockmire. No wonder he's buried his formerly successful life in desperation. Nowhere to go but up -- and by the looks of it, that's where Brockmire's headed. Hope he's as fun to watch when he's on a roll as when he's getting kicked when he's down.
Talk to your kids about ...
When Brockmire takes his new job in Morristown, he is surprised that strangers know about his life. Before the internet, how likely was it that you could escape a notorious reputation by moving to a new town? Is this still possible today? How does a person's reputation follow him or her around thanks to online communications? Is there a way to escape your reputation? How does this affect what you say or do online?
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