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IFC BROCKMIRE Season 2: Q&A Hank Azaria, Tyrel Jackson Williams, Joel Church Cooper + Episode Guide

Maj Canton - April 25, 2018

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On Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT, IFC premieres the second season of BROCKMIRE. Now one year later, the new season kicks off with Brockmire (Hank Azaria) chasing an opportunity to call games in New Orleans. He enjoys new found success as a top podcaster with his show “Brock Bottom,” while living with his co-dependent friend Charles (Tyrel Williams Jackson) and partying harder than ever. Still trying to still reclaim his career as a major league sportscaster, Brockmire cannot resist the temptations of the Big Easy, while pining for the girl he left behind in Morristown, PA and struggling to find his purpose in life. Also returning to star is Amanda Peet as Jules, Brockmire’s ex-girlfriend and owner of the Morristown Fracker. Guest stars Katie Finneran (Lucky Brockmire) and Hemky Madera (Pedro Uribe) also return. New guest stars for Season 2 include: Becky Ann Baker, Carrie Preston, Dreama Walker, and Utkarsh Ambudkar.


 


 


This past January at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press Tour, IFC presented a panel that included cast members Hank Azaria, Tyrel Jackson Williams and series Executive Producer Joel Church Cooper. Here are a few highlights (edited for clarity and readability) from that panel.

 

BROCKMIRE cast members Hank Azaria and Tyrel Jackson Williams and

series Executive Producer Joel Church Cooper at Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press Tour.

 


Hank Azaria as Jim Brockmire in BROCKMIRE.

Question: When did you decide you wanted to move the action to New Orleans?


Joel Church Cooper: That was really where I wanted to go. I wanted someplace where Brockmire being drunk at 10 AM wouldn’t have been out of place and where all of his addictions and impulse-control problems would be exacerbated instead of dampened. Plus, I wanted to shoot in New Orleans. We were able to use that New Orleans element to add that grit and grime that we wanted the show to always have.

Question: What sinful temptations will Brockmire face in the Big Easy?


Hank Azaria: All of the sins and temptations. It’s a culture where if you slow down people look askance at you. He’s chasing down a Triple A in New Orleans, he’s trying to get the Atlanta play-by-play job. So he’s absolutely rocket-fueled with substances and trying to move forward without Amanda Peet’s character in his life.


Joel Church Cooper: I would say career-wise, he’s on track. He’s close and frustrated he’s not there. It’s the highest stakes he’s ever had because he’s so close to getting his dream and at the same time he’s in New Orleans facing every day temptation. That conflict really forms the backbone of Season 2. In Season 1, it was the relationship between Jules and Jim. Now it’s about Charles and Jim which makes it more interesting because we were really relying on these romcom tropes and this is a whole new codependent, intergenerational working relationship that is unique to these characters. So exploring how Charles gets Jim to the game in a somewhat sober state every day is a lot of the comedy.



Hank Azaria, Tyrel Jackson Williams and Joel Church Cooper (left to right) at Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour.

Question: Is it fun to write and perform Brockmire?


Hank Azaria: So much fun. Joel and I have been working on this character for the last six years. We’ve developed some kind of weird shared mind where I don’t know what’s going on but we have some weird symbiosis where he writes stuff and I get to say it. But there’s something tremendously satisfying about speaking in what is a beloved character voice to me, baseball announcer, and saying these absolutely insane and sometimes really insightful things.


Joel Church Cooper: It’s a lot of fun to have your own show and get to write things and have it done by these great actors and then see it on TV later. I want people to keep hiring me so I get to do that. Brockmire is a sufficient gift because he’s a talker and he talks too much. He talks all the time. So it’s a gift to a writer to put all of these words into his mouth.


Hank Azaria (left) as Jim Brockmire and Tyrel Jackson Williams (right) as Charles in BROCKMIRE.

Question: Tyrel, what do you find interesting about your character?


Tyrel Jackson Williams: In Season 2, Charles is very tired of a lot of things. He’s a person who has accepted being beat up by a lot of people, in a sense. He just kind of takes things. This season he’s starting to realize that may not be working anymore.


Joel Church Cooper: We wanted to explore the dynamic and explore what about Charles makes him stay, and then to decide that he wants some things for himself. Charles staking out some individuality and trying to create some space from Jim while Jim is trying to pull him as close as he possibly can. Tyrel did just amazing work. And your eye just goes to him and he’s really the audience’s surrogate in a way that you connect with and have empathy for whenever he’s in the scene.


Hank Azaria as Jim Brockmire in BROCKMIRE.

Question: Were there certain sportscasters in mind when creating the character?


Hank Azaria: I sent out Season 1 to as many sportscasters as I could and many responded. Bob Costas called it what I call it, which is the generic baseball announcer voice of the ‘70s and ‘80s. It’s just like vanilla ice cream, this voice. It’s down the middle. It’s nobody in particular but it’s what you seem to always hear. John Miller is perhaps the closest but John Miller is an extraordinary broadcaster.


Joel Church Cooper: What we started learning after Season 1 was that a surprising number of older-generation people identified with that man out of time struggling to keep up with today’s modern times. A lot of young people said their parents got them into the show.


EPISODE GUIDE


If you want to know nothing about the episodes at all, skip this section. Provided by IFC, this episode guide includes general episode descriptions and specific plot details.



Episode 201: “The Getaway Game”
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT
Now calling minor league games in New Orleans, Brockmire is up for the major leagues in Atlanta. He competes against Raj, a likable young announcer.

Episode 202: “Platoon Player”
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT
Charles needs the night off for his birthday. Tensions arise when Jim shows up at Charles’ dinner and meets his judgmental family.

Episode 203: “Knuckleball”
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT
Jim and Uribe go on an epic bender. Charles discovers a sad truth about Brockmire. When announcing with Raj, Brockmire has a few too many drinks.

Episode 204: “Retirement Ceremony”
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT
Jim faces his dysfunctional family at his father’s funeral. He struggles to mend his broken relationship with his sister.

Episode 205: “Make­up Game”
Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT
Jules visits Jim, who gives her a tour of New Orleans. They reconnect for an evening, but have trouble figuring out the new terms of their relationship.

Episode 206: “Broadcasters Jinx”
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT
Confronted with the truth about a legendary major league announcer, Jim attempts to do the right thing in the most Brockmire-­way possible.

Episode 207: “Caught in a Rundown”
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT
After Jim ends up in the hospital, Charles has an intervention for Brockmire with a rag-­tag group of friends from Brockmire’s past.

Episode 208: “In the Cellar”
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT
Jim goes on a bender with his new nihilistic friend, Elle, who pushes him towards a new level of destruction.


FUN FACT

On April 18, 2018 IFC announced that the iconic plaid sport coat and microphone from BROCKMIRE, have been accepted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection and are now on display in Cooperstown, New York.

 

Brockmire's plaid sport coat and microphone on display at

the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

 

Hank Azaria and his TV persona Jim Brockmire both shared their thoughts on being recognized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

  • Said star Hank Azaria, "I am 53 years old, my dream of being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a pitcher for the New York Mets officially died two years ago. This is definitely the next best thing."
  • Said Jim Brockmire, "It's always been a dream of mine to be in Cooperstown, so much so that I once hid a small plaque listing my accomplishments in the handicap stall of the second floor bathroom. This honor means more to me obviously, but I am still not taking down my toilet plaque."