From the minds of Bill Murray and Brian-Doyle Murray comes a new web series for the baseball romanticists in the house, Extra Innings. If you don’t know the name of Brian-Doyle Murray, you’d surely remember the face and voice of Bill’s older brother, a classic American character who has appeared in everything from Ghostbusters 2 and Caddyshack to Groundhog Day and voice work in SpongeBob SquarePants. Together, their new series sees the two wandering the minor league ballparks of America on a zany, cross-country road trip. You can view the first episode of the Facebook-hosted series above.
In conception, it seems like a perfect idea. Bill Murray is of course known for his famous baseball fandom, being one of the staples you can expect to see at Wrigley Field during any Cubs postseason run. And combined with his cranky-voiced brother, it seems like a perfect excuse for some sibling hijinks set against the backdrop of the great American pastime.
In execution, though … the series seems a little bit rough so far. Lacking any kind of central structure, it’s a very loose assemblage of what feels like miniaturized skits, as the Murray brothers talk to the ball players and crack very dry jokes. Some of it relies on odd toilet humor (porta potties are hilarious!), while another section sees Bill riding around on a greenskeeping vehicle, throwing baseballs at CGI gophers in a ham-fisted reference to Caddyshack. The better portions, meanwhile, simply feature Bill Murray having conversations with ball players, but even these rely on non-actors (the players) who don’t quite know how to react to having this famous comedian around. The results are awkward, to be sure.
Hopefully, as the road trip soldiers on, the Murray brothers will settle into a more natural groove. Check out the first episode of Extra Innings above.