11 June 2009 | Rontrigger
I remember the pilot being funny...
In the pilot of this show, Coach Mike Widmer (played by Mike Starr) was openly gay. Note the "memorable quote" from this character in that section; there was another one in the pilot that I remember--Mike was very unhappy about something and someone gently suggested that perhaps he ought to get out of baseball. Mike then said: "And give up showering with men? Never!" O.K., it was over the top, but I think this was a "premise with promise." The coach of a baseball team, with an undeniably masculine persona, apparently accepted as homosexual without question by his players--it seemed almost revolutionary to me in 1994. And overall, I recall that the show had some good laughs. So I looked forward to the first regular episode.
Well, this was a prime example of just how much things can change between the pilot and that first regular episode. Whatever laughs were to be had in the pilot were clearly not there now, and--unbelievably--there was a comment to the previously gay coach about his wife and kids! The suits at the network obviously had stepped in and put a stop to one innovation that had certainly clicked with me. I seem to recall that I didn't even finish watching the show that night.
Why any network would even air the pilot at all, let alone as the first broadcast of the series and only a week before the first regular episode, when they had revamped the show so completely, is beyond me.