The first episode of The Franchise: Miami Marlins featured a shitload of F-bombs and was narrated by Don Draper, officially making The Franchise the greatest thing on TV ever.
The first episode covered Ozzie Guillen's Fidel Castro comments, the team's blowing shit up in May, their shit-the-bed June, Giancarlo Stanton's epic awesomeness, and way the fuck too much David Sampson. All in all, though, it was a pretty good first episode, if a little rushed. Here's your recap:
The Unbearable Lightness of Being Heath Bell: By far the most existential moment of this opening episode was Heath Bell's battle with being a complete and utter dipshit on and off the field. The episode covered his giant contract and how he has failed to earn the big paycheck by being refried ass on the mound. And this is what reality shows like this are made for! An up-close and personal look at another human being's epic failure!
Miami Marlins Fuckfest 2012!: If Showtime was made for anything, it's godawful movies about call-girl confessions featuring gratuitous sex scenes and TV shows about professional baseball players who say "fuck" by the assload.
"Will you shut the fuck up so we can start?" These are the very first words uttered in the opening scene as Larry Beinfest introduces new manager Ozzie Guillen to the ballclub ("A man who can say 'fuck' in several different languages!").
Guillen starts his first meeting with the team by saying, "Half you guyz tink I'm focked up. I'm crazy. Let's get some weens for thees focking guy who pay a lot o' money for dis focking team!" In another meeting, Guillen says, "We wan people to hate this focking ballclub."
The closing credits featured Logan Morrison saying "fuck" a lot too. It was fucking great.
Ozziepalooza: One of the main reasons The Franchise: Miami Marlins had so much promise coming into this season was because this is a team filled with batshit characters -- none more so than Ozzie Guillen. The episode featured a lot of team president David Sampson, but Ozzie is without a doubt the star of the show. He's a crazy, unintelligible Batman to Samson's smarmy asshole Robin. And it works.
Ozzie has a cool mansion, a hot wife, and gives zero fucks around his bosses. When Sampson asks Ozzie if he's sticking with the struggling Heath Bell solely because they're paying him $90 million, Ozzie replies, "I ain't playing him for how much we focking pay him. Thass your focking fault."
The scene where Bell goes home to his family and plays with his kids almost makes you feel like an asshole for calling him a fat fucking loser. But in another scene, he's a defensive shithead to the media, and you're like, Oh yeah, fuck that guy.
The scene where he has a heart-to-heart with Ozzie in the manager's office, after being so shitty during a game from which he was yanked before he could make things worse, was the episode's best moment. The kind of shit you see in baseball movies but never in real life.
Heath: I feel like no one has my back on this team.
Ozzie: You're focking wrong! Everyfockingbody who is Marlins fan, dey don wan you on deh mound tonight. Deh general manager, deh focking supervisors, my wife, my keeds, deh all over my ass! But I say no, he is my closer. Thass it. We not gonna win without you!
Heath: I'm not gonna let you down. [Ozzie still babbling incoherent shit] I'm not gonna let you down. [Heath leaves the room and keeps repeating himself] I'm not gonna let you down.
That's compelling television! Like The Wire, only for real!
I, for one, hope they keep the focus on Bell's plight in this series. By season's end, he'll either be a feel-good story or a Shakespearean tragedy.
HARDBALL JESUS: America was robbed of the opportunity to see the awesomeness of Giancarlo Stanton this week when he was scratched from the Home Run Derby due to a bum knee. But The Franchise did a fantastic job catching everyone up with Stanton's giant muscles and baseball-mashing ways. They explained the name change, showed him almost demolishing the home-run sculpture with one of his monster dingers, and had a gratuitous slow-mo shot of him cannonballing into a pool. Superfluous? You bet! But a shirtless wet Giancarlo Stanton is just smart television. Amirite, ladies?
After most of the episode showed Heath Bell shitting his pants, Jose Reyes struggling, and David Sampson's giant head on a tiny body, the Stanton home-run montage was heaven.