Roush Review: Can 'Brockmire' Save Baseball in Season 4?

Matt Roush
Brockmire Season 4 Hank Azaria
Review Jace Downs/IFC

For three seasons, it seemed as if the notoriously debauched and profane boozehound sportscaster Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria, in the role of a lifetime) would wind up in the gutter. But in the inspired fourth and final inning of the underrated comedy Brockmire, it's the national pastime of baseball itself that's on the ropes.

Anyhoodles (as Brockmire often says)…after a quick prologue — and a hilarious glimpse of our anti-hero in a Philippine knockoff of a classic 1980s series — the series jumps forward to the 2030s. Brockmire is now a devoted and clingy single dad (to the winningly feisty Reina Hardesty) — long story — and he's still sober, if you don't count his addiction to holographic porn.

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He'd be even happier if his beloved sport of baseball weren't succumbing to the "blighted hellscape" of a globally overwarmed dystopia: "Not a great time to be outdoors in America," he wryly notes as Brockmire toys with futuristic satire. (An Alexa-like digital assistant called Limon becomes a major plot device.)

And yet it's a good time to be Brockmire. When desperate team owners recruit him as baseball’s unlikely new commissioner, hoping his unconventional "Keeping it Brockmire" antics will spark a fan comeback, he teams and schemes with disgraced ex-lover Jules (the terrific Amanda Peet).

Brockmire Season 4 Amanda Peet Hank Azaria

(Credit: Jace Downs/IFC)

Together, the "Sid and Nancy of baseball" hit it out of the park. And now that the sport's actual Opening Day has been postponed because of a national emergency that might leave even Jim Brockmire speechless, how can you resist?

BrockmireSeason 4 Premiere, Wednesday, March 18, 10/9c, IFC