When I was a kid, my brothers would gather in my parents’ room to watch TV together. Watching shows like Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Family Ties and The Wonder Years with my family are some of my happiest childhood memories. It was an easy way to spend time together after our long days at work or school.
Today there seem to be fewer “family” television shows, especially if you are the parent of a child from 7-13 years old. I don’t want to watch a lot of their kid’s shows and many of the shows on in prime time have inappropriate story lines or language for family viewing.
That is why I was so excited when my 13-year old son suggested we watch a new show called Pitch. The main character of the show is Ginny Baker, the fictional first woman baseball player in Major Leagues. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is a rookie pitcher for the San Diego Padres. Being the first to break the gender barrier in professional baseball, Ginny faces a lot of struggles as well as triumphs.
Here’s why Pitch is so perfect for families:
1. It features an awesome lead
Bunbury is terrific as Ginny. She is a great mix of tough as nails but still vulnerable to critics and her own inner insecurities. You can’t help but root for her.
2. There are faces you’ll recognize
It took me about halfway through the first show to finally identify the actor portraying Padre catcher Mike Lawson. Is that really Zach Morris of Saved by the Bell fame underneath that dark, scruffy beard? Why yes it is. And he is not the only beloved 80’s TV actor to star: Kevin Arnold’s dad in The Wonder Years, Dan Lauria, plays Padres manager Al Luongo.
3. Sports bring us together
My son loves sports, so what better than a TV drama that is set in the world of professional baseball? When he heard it was a TV show about a baseball player, he immediately wanted to check it out.
4. But it’s not just about sports
You don’t have to love or even understand baseball to enjoy the show. While there are plenty of scenes that take play on the diamond and in the dugout, the heart of the show is about people. It’s about how people react to Ginny (other players, fans, managers, family) as she breaks the glass ceiling and enters a world where no woman has competed before.
5. It has a great message
While Ginny Baker is a fictional character, the idea that a woman might compete in the major leagues is an important one. I embrace the opportunity to watch a show where a woman breaks barriers and competes alongside her male peers. I especially embrace being able to watch a show with this theme alongside my son, and not have to worry about foul language or nudity making the show uncomfortable or inappropriate. To be able to portray this positive message while entertaining (and not preaching) is what makes Pitch the home run hit of the TV season.