ABC has carved out a nice little niche for itself on Wednesday nights when it comes to family comedies. Most of them don’t exactly get a ton of buzz, but they are entertaining little affairs that everyone can get together and watch on a school night. “The Middle” is one great example of that, and “Back in the Game” seems like a perfect show to come after it. There are funny children, a premise that feels very American in baseball, and adults behaving badly. It almost feels better suited in some ways for a family movie than a weekly series.
The best way to describe the pilot, for now at least, is “meh”. The father – daughter relationship between Terry Gannon (“Psych’s” Maggie Lawson) and her father is straight out of every comedy pilot out there: They spend most of their time fighting, and then eventually find a way to get back together at the end and work through most of their differences.
You then have some other by-the-numbers characters: A d-bag coach who tries to hit on Terry, the friend that is a bigger personality than her, and a bunch of children including some bigger ones, one that is probably not interested in girls, and a couple that are just frankly obnoxious. Terry is coaching the rejects, a list that includes her son, to try and be something better than what they currently are.
So while this pilot just felt like a generic baseball movie at times, the good news here is that there is some potential. Most of the characters are at least likable, and with the right writing it could have a shot. It is worlds better than “Super Fun Night” and “The Neighbors,” which aired in this timeslot for most of last year.
What did you think about this pilot? Be sure to share your thoughts below! We’ll be giving this show a chance again soon, just to see if there is some improvement.