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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pitch is a fictional sports drama that chronicles the life of a young woman playing on a major league baseball team. It contains some brawling, sexual innuendo, strong language ("bitch," "goddamn"), and drinking. Some of the other players make sexist comments and are disrespectful, but it only makes the main character more determined. The series contains strong messages about teamwork, working hard, and breaking down barriers, and Ginny is a complex and strong lead. Nike, Petco, and other brands are featured.
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What's the story?
PITCH is a drama about the first female Major League Baseball player. It stars Kylie Bunbury as the fictional Ginny Baker, a young pitcher coached by her father (Michael Beach) until she's recruited by the minor leagues. When she is called up by the San Diego Padres to take the mound in the majors, the new MLB rookie must prove herself to her teammates, including Padres team captain Mike Lawson (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). She must also contend with the intense -- and unforgiving -- media spotlight and the fact that she has suddenly become a role model for millions of girls around the world. While Ginny's agent, Amelia Slater (Ali Larter), and her social media assistant, Eliot (Tim Jo), guide her through all the fanfare, old friends like center fielder Blip Sanders (Mo McRae) and his wife Evelyn (Meagan Holder) offer her much-needed emotional support. As she works on her game and her self-confidence, team manager Al Luongo (Dan Lauria) and general manager Oscar Arguella (Mark Consuelos) negotiate the impact her presence is having on the franchise.
Is it any good?
This show is a well-written, entertaining series with a unique, timely premise, a charismatic star, and an interesting exploration of the idea that women can (and should) be given equal opportunities. It does so by featuring a fictional female successfully doing so in present day, despite the fact that women are excluded from playing the majors in real life. It also touches on many of the stereotypes currently perpetuated about female athletes and the varied responses men have about women playing what is considered America's national pastime.
As Pitch follows Ginny's difficult journey, it weaves in narratives about father-daughter relationships, budding romances, individual player challenges, and the professional politicking involved when running a major league sports team. But none of them overshadow the ironic significance of the show's central theme. Aspiring ball players of all genders may find it inspirational, but chances are they will also be frustrated by the fact that it's a work of fiction, which may push the real world closer to the TV one.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why, unlike in Pitch, women are excluded from playing on major league baseball teams in the United States. They continue to play on national all-women's teams, but only a few have played on coed national and minor league baseball teams. What do you think the sports world would be like if teams became coed?
Do the stereotypes that exist about female athletes contribute to the reasons why women are excluded from professional, coed sports teams? What are some of these stereotypes? Are they valid?
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