It's been at least a decade since I regularly watched a television series. Clubhouse, a new CBS show on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Eastern, may bring me back. Is it any surprise that Mel Gibson, now bringing his worldview to the small screen ("House full of guys"), is one of the show's executive producers?
The main character is Pete Young, a 16-year-old with a dream job: batboy for the New York Empires. But in the show's well-acted premiere, the dream turns nightmarish when a star hitter asks him to drive his Ferrari to a repair shop, and a police stop reveals illegal drugs in the glove compartment.
Pete has to choose. He can tell the truth, which will lead to suspension and possibly prison for the hitter, plus boos from the fans for Pete. Or he can lie and say the drugs are his, in which case the courts will give Pete a suspended sentence and the hitter will give him the Ferrari.
The first episode began to reveal Pete's backstory: His first memory involves going to a baseball game with his dad, who then abandoned his family when Pete was 6. His mom wants him to concentrate on school, but Pete says, "When I was on the field yesterday, things made sense again."
He finally chooses truth, helped by the clubhouse manager, who utters what should be an axiom: "You ain't arrived in this game until you've been booed." The premiere ends as fans boo Pete but a pretty girl of whom he is enamored holds up a sign, "You did the right thing."
What's Mr. Gibson's role in this? According to executive producer Ken Topolsky, he "gives us feedback on the scripts . . . [he] has a sense of an audience we may not think of off the top of our heads."