Often, when a TV series falls into a creative rut, or otherwise backs itself into a corner, it will resort to the time jump. The gambit can occasionally be brilliant, or it can be a total disaster. In final season of Parks and Recreation, for instance, there’s a fun time jump in the final season and a bigger one in the series finale that sees Leslie Knope serve as Indiana Governor. Sons of Anarchy once time-jumped 14 months to get through the prison sentence of many of the major characters. Weeds did the same, bypassing Nancy Botwin’s three-year prison stint. After the exit of Rick Grimes, The Walking Dead jumped ahead roughly 7 years, so the series wouldn’t get mired in the fallout and more rebuilding efforts.
Sometimes, however, it’s not so successful, like say the time jump in the final five episodes of Felicity, which actually jumped forward so that Felicity could jump back into the past and have a do-over thanks to a witch’s spell (if you haven’t seen it, don’t ask). Glee introduced a terrible time jump beyond the lead character’s failed career as an actress, so that she would to resort to returning to high school as the Glee instructor; Desperate Housewives jumped ahead five years in an effort to creatively revive it, but it was too far gone for a reset to save it. The fourth season of Arrested Development also took a seven-year time jump, and while it wasn’t necessarily the time jump’s fault, that season faltered, as well.
According to the NYTimes, Brockmire, meanwhile, is making an audacious time jump. For those unfamiliar with the series, it’s about a drunk baseball announcer who has a public meltdown on air after discovering that his wife is cheating on him. It takes him years, but beginning in the minor leagues, he makes a comeback and eventually even sobers up, as he re-enters the majors. It really is one of the funniest and filthiest comedies on television, and while it maintained its level of genius in its third season, it came close to running its course creatively after Brockmire got sober. How could a comedy about a drunken baseball announcer survive another season of sobriety?
According to the NYTimes logline, like this:
TV’s orneriest sitcom makes a hard right turn in its fourth and final season, jumping ahead to a dystopian, climate-changed 2030 when Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria) — clean-and-sober but still eloquently nasty — is named commissioner of baseball.
Wait, what? Dystopian, climate-changed future, only a decade from now? That sounds about right. I have no idea how a baseball announcer ascends to the commissioner of baseball, but navigating an outside sport in a dystopian future where temperatures could be significantly higher could offer some terrifying — and terrifyingly real — possibilities. If the final season doesn’t see Brockmire suffer at least one relapse, I’ll be surprised.
Brockmire returns for its fourth and final season in March.