By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Baseball reality celebrates sports heroes; strong language.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series underscores the hard work and commitment that goes into being a major league player. It also highlights some of the perks of being part of a major league franchise. Occasional controversies sparked by some players' comments/behaviors are also discussed.
Positive Role Models
While there are is some rivalry between the players, all the players are committed to the team. They work hard at what they do and aim to please their fans.
Violence & Scariness
Work out sessions are often grueling, and feature players crying out in pain. Occasional episodes discuss violent fan-related incidents.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Players are often visible shirtless and in their underwear during training sessions and in locker rooms. One episode features images of a sadomasochist character called "The Machine." A scene of a World Series celebration features a player pulling a thong out of his pants. Female fans are sometimes visible in bikinis
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Words like "pissed," "ass," "s--t," and "f--k" are used frequently.
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Products & Purchases
The Major League Baseball logo, as well as the logos of the team franchise being featured, are visible everywhere. Product logos like Oracle, Toyota, Goya, and other companies are visible behind the pitcher's mound during game highlights.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigar smoking is visible. Cocktail and beer consumption. Athletes are shown pouring champagne and beer over each other during World Series celebrations. Some players share childhood stories about alcoholic parents.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this docuseries, which follows Major League baseball teams during spring training, contains lots of strong language ("piss," "s--t," "f--k"), occasional sexual references, and discussions of some serious themes, including a near-fatal assault on a fan and the suspension of a manager for inappropriate comments. Cigar smoking and alcohol consumption are also visible. Young baseball fans might be eager to watch, but parents may want to review beforehand.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
THE FRANCHISE follows various major league baseball teams as they prepare for, and enter into, a new baseball season. Each show cycle features a single team, such as the San Francisco Giants and the Miami Marlins, as they condition themselves during spring training and play games during their regular baseball season. Veterans like Giants pitchers Brian Wilson and Tim Lincecum and Marlins short stop Hanley Ramirez offer their thoughts about and reactions to the various challenges their teams face. Viewers also get to watch how up-and-coming players like Giants short stop Miguel Tejada, and new Marlins additions Carlos Zambrano and Heath Bell perform with their respective clubs. Team owners and managers, including controversial Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, are also featured.
Is It Any Good?
The Franchise charts the journeys of teams that are beginning a new baseball season following a championship win or after undergoing a major identity transformation. It shows how ball club members must condition themselves both mentally and physically to live up to the expectations of the franchise and their fans. It also highlights some of the challenges individual players face during this process, like losing weight or adjusting to playing a new position, all while being scrutinized by the media.
A few athletes play up to the cameras, but the overall series stays away from the contrived drama most reality shows are known for. However, controversies off the field, including the devastating assault of a Giants' fan and the fall-out from some controversial comments made by Marlins' manager Ozzie Guillen, are discussed in detail. Baseball fans will enjoy watching their favorite players, and will appreciate its unique and timely behind-the-scenes look into the world of major league baseball.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how the media creates celebrities out of athletes. Do you think this is based on players' athletic abilities, or are their other factors that make them popular? Does their popularity make them role models?
Does this show serve as an advertisement for tmajor league baseball teams? Are you being influenced to buy something through this show? How do sports franchises make money?
- Premiere date: July 13, 2011
- Cast: Brian Wilson, Bruce Bochy, David Duchovny
- Network: Showtime
- Genre: Reality TV
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: February 25, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate