First Impressions

Son of Zorn / Pitch

Aired on: FOX

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

                There are a ton of new shows hitting the airwaves for the Fall of 2016 season.  I decided to check out two vastly different shows airing on FOX.  One involves a Barbarian decides he wants a bigger role in the life of a son he hasnít seen in decades.  The other is about a young woman who becomes the first female baseball player.  Totally different, but they both caught my eye and they are both airing on FOX.  Can they keep my attention though?

                Airing on September 11, 2016, Son of Zorn features Jason Sudeikis as the voice of Zorn, a Barbarian and defender of Zephyria.  The animated Zorn has been away from his son Alangulon (Johnny Pemberton) and his ex-wife Edie (Cheryl Hines) for ten years.  Now that his son is turning seventeen, Zorn has hopes that his son is a chip off the old Barbarian block, but soon discovers that the two have nothing in common.  Whatís worse is his ex-wife is now engaged to an online college professor (Tim Meadows), a man who appears to be the exact opposite of Zorn in every way.

                In an effort to recapture the relationship he once had with his son, Zorn gives up his warrior life on Zephyria for a job as a salesman in Orange County, California.  He gets the best advice in dealing with his new life from his boss (Artemis Pebdani) who recommends he tone things down and listen to what others might want.  But is it too late for this Barbarian to change his loin clothÖor will he learn that his son has more in common with him than he thinks?

                Airing on September 22, 2016, Pitch stars Kylie Bunbury as Ginny Baker a rookie pitcher given the opportunity to be the first female pitcher in the Major Leagues by the San Diego Padres.  She has been groomed for this by her former minor league pitcher father (Michael Beach) since she was a toddler.  Looked up to by women and little girls everywhere and cheered on by her agent Amelia Slater (Ali Larter), Ginny believes she is ready for this.

That is, until she hears what the media and what her own team is saying about her.  The pressure just might be too much to handle.  Her fans, including Padres outfielder Blip Sanders (Moe McRae) who played with Ginny in the minors, root for her success.  But co-players like star catcher Mike Lawson (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) think sheís a gimmick used to raise ticket sales.  Will she choke on the mound or will Ginny live up to the task, becoming the first female ballplayer in the major leagues?

And now for the real meat of this articleÖwill I continue watching either of these shows.  The fact of the matter is, nowadays, my life is so busy that I have to be rather picky when it comes to what shows I really want to follow and which shows I want to binge watch later or just let go of.  Sometimes itís a tough choice and sometimes that choice is fairly easy.

Son of Zorn is fairly funny.  I love how Zorn reminds me of cross between Thundarr the Barbarian, a cartoon I used to watch on Saturday mornings when I was a kid, a scruffy He-Man and Conan the Barbarian.  I admired the difficulty in creating a television series that is half animated, half real.  That being said, I really didnít find Son of Zorn something I was really invested in.  The show is cute and all, but how far can you go with it?  How long can you go with the joke that Zorn canít seem to assimilate with regular society?  To me, Son of Zorn is a show that you watch to get a quick laugh here and there when nothing else is on.  For a person like me with a busy schedule, it might be something I would check out once in a while to wind down, but I canít see waiting for each episode with baited breath every Sunday at 8:30pm EST.

What about Pitch?  I loved the way this show was handled.  I loved the use of real sports announcers like Joe Buck (who, as ever, plays the annoying naysayer here Ė so true to real life).  I liked the way they would depict the games Ė as if you are watching a real game on television, complete with the scores from other games scrolling at the bottom of the screen).  I also enjoyed the flashbacks that show us how Ginny got to where she is and the surprise revelation about her past at the end of the pilot episode.  Am I invested?  Well, I was yelling at the screen as if I was watching a real rookie trying to prove themselves in the majors, so I suppose you can say I am.  Will I watch more?  I think you will find me watching further episodes of this series, despite the Thursday, 9pm EST time slot. 

My only worry is that Pitch may be a short term series.  How far can you really go with this sort of thing?  Sure, Ginny is bound to reach a number of milestones as the new and only female pitcher in baseball, but after you get over some of the obvious controversy surrounding that, where does the show go from there?  Iíll just have to find out in the next coming weeks.  Iíve definitely found a new television series worth following.


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