This is sad. I have to wonder if Pete is not financially strapped. Saw him about 4 years ago in Las Vegas signing baseballs for a $100 a pop, with little children and their parents lined up. All those millions, and now at age 71 to be reduced to a reality show.
Pete Rose is a funny, crass, basic guy. I don’t know why he chose to do a reality show, given his life has been one long reality re-run, since Aug. 23, 1989. With Pete, what you see is what you get. You don’t need reality TV to know Pete Rose. You just need 15 minutes.
Pete’s not seeking stardom. He’s already there. In fact, post-baseball, he became a star for all the wrong reasons, long before that sort of stardom was fashionable. Now days, being nefarious is profitable, even preferred. See: Sheen, Charlie. Lance Armstrong is giving it a go. If you’re gonna come clean, do it on Oprah!
Pete’s not seeking attention. He still gets that, four or five days a week, sitting behind a banquet table in Las Vegas, signing stuff. He’s doing a one-man stage show, too. Pete has always made a nice living being Pete. He has the attention thing fairly figured out.
He’s not doing it so people will understand him better. Or maybe he is. He might be using the show to expand sympathy for his baseball reinstatement. It’s a frequent topic on the first two episodes. But expanding sympathy is irrelevant. The only sympathy he needs belongs to Bud Selig. There is an outside chance the baseball commissioner isn’t DVR-ing Hits And Mrs. on TLC, Monday nights at 10.
You have to assume Rose is getting paid. He likes money, a great deal. And, possibly, he’s having fun with it. Rose is nothing if not fun loving. He is, in fact, the world’s only 71-year-old kid.
And really, it’s not bad. Don’t give me that Masterpiece Theatre look, sport. I watch PBS, too. But I liked Hits And Mrs.
I watched the first two episodes. It was like inviting The Hit King over for dinner and a DVD. Most “reality” shows are anything but. At least with this one, I felt as if what I was watching was real. Of course, if you’re from around here and/or you’ve spent any amount of time with Peter Edward, none of this is new. In Episodes 1, in no particular order, Pete:
1. Laments his fiancee’s impending removal of breast implants.
2. Shows her naked picture (she posed for Playboy, of course she did) to her parents.
3. Listens to her Korean mother call him “fat.” (He is, actually.)
4. Pleads again for reinstatement to Baseball.
5. Endures his own engagement party, when none of his four children show up.
Pete is real. Too real, probably. The show has its share of questionable ethnic pronouncements. Pete’s like Archie Bunker, with 4,192 more base hits. His fiancée, Kiana, is Korean. She has two children, a 14-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy. The boy attends Pete’s baseball camp, and cries because, he says, “It’s too hot. I’d rather be playing video games and cooling off.’’
The kid says he wants to try kick-boxing. “Aren’t Asians really good at kick-boxing?’’ Pete asks, seriously.
Pete decides that a skinny kid at a pool party is “built like a professional blood donor.’’ He says judo and karate are the “same thing, different country.’’ And so on.
Kiana titles her relationship with Rose “melons and felon.’’ He calls it -- as only Pete can – “hits and. . .’’ oh, never mind.
You might say this is mindless TV. I’d say you’re being redundant.
Pete’s overt plea for reinstatement is a bit much. “I wish I could wake up tomorrow and this gambling deal never happened,’’ he says in Episode 2. But his disappointment with his children, for no-showing at his engagement party, is real. As is his affection for his father, Harry, “the only guy I ever idolized in my life.’’
As time passes at the party, and the fancy restaurant place-settings with the names of his kids go unused, Rose’s chin slumps closer to his chest. This could be the payback for years of itinerant fathering. It’s as real as real gets.
But Rose doesn’t stay down long. He is eternally and infectiously upbeat. This is real, too. It’s part of his appeal. Pete is a rogue. He’s a charming rogue, though, which makes the show kind of charming. Four episodes to go.