Extra Innings is an odd little project undertaken by Bill Murray and his brother Brian Doyle-Murray. It’s a series of short videos streaming on Facebook Watch, which is that platform’s way of getting into the online TV biz. Extra Innings is about baseball, but it’s minor-league stuff, literally: In each episode, the brothers visit a different minor-league team and hang out with players and their fans. In the opening episode (they premiere weekly, every Monday), the Murray boys went to see the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks on their home ballfield. There’s precious little footage of baseball being played (if it was revealed what team the Sharks were playing, for example, I missed it), but the show gives us a lot of the Murrays clowning around — though the brothers are usually filmed separately. Like I said: odd.
One moment, Bill is shown autographing baseballs for fans and doing his usual sarcastic-mutter thing. The next, Brian has locked himself inside a Porta Potty, and disgruntled fans wait for him to finish and leave. Later, Brian lectures baffled-looking Sharks team members about various brands of mustache wax. Somewhere in there, Bill gets in a golf cart, goes into the outfield, and starts throwing baseballs at animated gophers. And by animated, I mean cartoon gophers, not just gophers who are moving around. See what I mean? Odd.
By the second episode, I had relaxed and was keyed in to the Murrays’ low-key rhythms. They’re making comedy that proceeds at the pace of a baseball game on a summer afternoon: slow and languid. I was taken in by Bill’s lengthy interview with the man who services the Porta Potties. Well, when I say “lengthy,” understand that the entire episode was less than nine minutes, as were all three episodes I watched. By the time Bill had put a shark puppet on his hand and started snapping at the necks of some young girls standing on the sidelines, I decided to shut down my critical faculties before any harassment claims could be lodged in my mind.
Extra Innings is streaming now on Facebook Watch. New episodes premiere on Mondays.
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