Fox’s new drama series “Pitch” was on my radar when it came out this last fall, but I wasn’t terribly interested in watching it until I saw some good reviews by a Facebook friend of mine. A series about a girl who becomes a major league baseball pitcher? Interesting, but I guess I thought it would be silly, or dull… I haven’t really been a baseball fan since I was about twelve, so I didn’t expect it to hold my interest. But I gave it a shot.
I was pleasantly surprised but realized why when I saw it was created by Dan Fogelman (he also had NBC’s “This Is Us” this season, and he wrote Crazy Stupid Love). So quality-wise, pretty top-notch.
Ginny Baker, the main character, is a strong female character but not like some feminist-weirdo by any means. The show does a great job of handling the balance of conflicts – Should she be treated just like a man? Do the other players respect her? Can she actually compete with these men? Throw in the back-story of daddy issues, and it’s pretty darn compelling.
The Moral Issues
I only watched the first seven episodes of this series, even though, after watching the first couple, I firmly expected to be a long-time fan.
In the first six episodes, there was very little to object to, morally. An affair between some secondary characters that was mostly-off screen, maybe the occasional swear word, and that was about it.
So what was the problem?
I really think it is much worse when a show is pretty consistently not-dirty, but then blindsides you with something that very much is. Give me hints of what’s coming. Prepare me that I might have to look away, fast-forward, be epically disappointed.
“Pitch” gave me no such warning.
In episode 7, “San Francisco,” we see the conclusion of a story-line that was begun earlier: An ex-boyfriend of Ginny’s tells her that he was hacked, which means the “pictures” he has of her are now out there somewhere. These “pictures” were nude selfies.
So in this episode, the matter is coming to a crisis. Her PR team has determined that whoever now has these photos is getting ready to leak them, and it’s going to be a nightmare. Because little girls everywhere look up to her.
So first, she’s all like, “Why am I being held to a higher standard? How many male players have nude selfies out there, and little boys looking up to them? But nobody cares about it.” So it’s, “Boo hoo hoo, why am I being held to the standard that everyone should be held to?” Rather than, “Why aren’t they being held to the proper high standard?” Right off the bat, the lens is wrong here.
It gets worse.
Her manager is trying to figure out the best way to handle this, and then Ginny says, “I have an idea, but you’re not going to like it.” Well, I sure don’t.
That idea was this: Ginny would get in front of the scandal by posing for nude photos and releasing them to the public before the nude selfies are released by whoever has them, that way everyone in the world can see her nude on her own terms, and there is no scandal over the selfies.
And it gets worse.
If this was all it was, it would be bad enough. Objectionable, icky, a promotion of pornography and a devaluing of women, in complete opposition of what the show had seemed to stand for.
And yet, if this were all it was, I probably would have cringed but kept watching. Just one episode, after all.
But instead, her manager comes up with the idea that her teammates should pose nude too.
It just gets more twisted.
So we actually see parts of this photo-shoot. It is a network show, so they couldn’t go totally nudey on us. But we see enough.
Lots of side-butt on attractive men.
I know, I know, it doesn’t really sound that bad. And yet, the images actually kind of bothered me. Even though I looked away. But it’s like, “Is it over yet?” Nope, still showing this darn stuff for a very long time. So I saw a lot more of it than I intended to.
And then it really pissed me off.
Let’s just show our naked bodies willy-nilly for PR purposes. No big.
Oh, and naked men posing with a naked woman? Nothing weird about that. Like who was supposed to be the intended audience for this? The men that wanted to look at Ginny naked? The women who wanted to look at the guys naked? What is going on here, people?
The entire thing made me so furious and sick that I gave up on the show. And that just made me more mad.
One stupid episode.
I liked that show. Thanks a lot, guys. Now you’ve completely ruined it for me.
The show was just fine, good even. Until episode seven.
I realize that viewing these images won’t affect everyone the same way. Heck, they might not even affect me the same way twice. But I thought you should know that they’re there.
If you decide to watch the show anyway, and if you have any kind of convictions about how evil porn is, just be prepared to get very angry.