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Back in the Game: Season 1 (2013)

Seasons:
1

tomatometer

52

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 13

James Caan is appealing as an arrogant ex-jock, but Back in the Game is full of stale jokes and crude humor that isn't very family friendly.

67

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 4

James Caan is appealing as an arrogant ex-jock, but Back in the Game is full of stale jokes and crude humor that isn't very family friendly.

audience

50

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 6

My Rating

Season Info

A divorced single mom and former softball all-star coaches her son's baseball team of misfits after they're rejected by the local Little League squad, and gets help from her beer-guzzling father, a once-promising ballplayer with whom she's forced to live after being estranged for years.

Network: ABC

Premiere Date: Sep 25, 2013

Cast

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Episodes

1
Air date: Sep 25, 2013

Pilot

After striking out on her own, Terry and her son, Danny, move in with her father; when Danny fails to make the local youth baseball team, Terry offers to coach a new team of misfits. -- (C) ABC

2
Air date: Oct 2, 2013

Stay In or Bail Out

Terry looks for a job so she can move out of her father's house. Meanwhile, the Cannon tries to cure the Angles of their fear of getting hit by a pitched ball by taking them to a prison for some unconventional instruction from the warden; and a bedroom and bathroom in the Cannon's house go mysteriously unused.

3
Air date: Oct 9, 2013

Play Hard or Go Home

Terry wonders if her dad had a girlfriend he might be more pleasant to be around and nicer to the team. Meanwhile, Danny goes on a mission to tell Vanessa how he feels about her.

4
Air date: Oct 16, 2013

The Change Up

Danny gets advice on girls from the Cannon, who tells him that bad boys have better luck with women. Meanwhile, Terry has a girls' night out with Lulu.

5
Air date: Oct 23, 2013

She. Could. Go. All. The. Way!

Terry tries dating again, but the Cannon and Dick team up to sabotage her new relationship with a guy she likes. Meanwhile, the Cannon learns that Danny has been helping other kids cheat on tests.

6
Air date: Oct 30, 2013

Night Games

Danny goes trick-or-treating with the Angles, but first must devise a plan to outsmart the bullies who are scaring his teammates into submission. Meanwhile, the Cannon shows his competitive side during a visit to a cemetery; and Lulu treats Terry to an adult Halloween.

7
Air date: Nov 13, 2013

Safety Squeeze

The Cannon and Dick are sent to sensitivity training after an incident at practice; when Dudley's parents forget to pick him up, Terry takes a special interest in him. (C) ABC

8
Air date: Nov 20, 2013

No Crying In Baseball

After Danny gets teased, the Cannon tries to toughen up the team; birthday party planning tests Terry and Lulu's friendship. (C) ABC

9
Air date: Dec 4, 2013

Massive Election

Terry's Christmas plans for a family celebration are spoiled by the Cannon, who would rather spend the holiday with his old war buddies. Meanwhile, Danny and the Angles deliver a present to Terry in the form of their first win.

10
Air date: Dec 11, 2013

I'll Slide Home for Christmas

The Cannon decides to spend Christmas with his buddies, even though Terry wants a special family holiday; Danny asks the team for help with a Christmas gift for his mom. (C) ABC

Friend Ratings

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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (13)

A show that includes crude lines about dad passing gas and pulling out his junk and has 10-year-olds saying things adults hope is too advanced for their age ends up being sweet but still strikes out as a comedy.

October 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Buffalo News

While Game's casting and writing is solid, the premise might not be unique enough to score a sizeable audience.

October 10, 2013 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

Back in the Game is more than a bit rough around the edges; it has some serious flaws, including Caan's apparent desire to scenery-chew his way through every on-screen moment.

October 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Winnipeg Free Press
Winnipeg Free Press

There's no denying that Back in the Game is heavy on charm, and feels very at home on the Disney-owned ABC.

October 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out Chicago
Time Out Chicago

A great fit for ABC's Wednesday night lineup.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: CinemaBlend.com
CinemaBlend.com

We'd all prefer originality, but in this case, at least, what's been borrowed is less important than what the show has made of it.

September 26, 2013 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today

It's not bad to the point of being offensive, but it is insulting in its flagrant mediocrity.

September 26, 2013 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

However many points you dock it for lack of originality, you've got to give back double for ferociously funny execution.

September 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald

Nothing groundbreaking, but every so often a sports-themed show is de rigueur.

September 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Under the Radar
Under the Radar

Caan's perfectly clipped delivery and his daughter's well-timed comebacks make Back in the Game at least a standup double if not a sliding triple.

September 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Uncle Barky
Uncle Barky

Familiarity isn't always a bad thing for this sort of show, and should all else fail, it could join the Friday night farm team of Neighbors (which aired in this time period last fall) and Last Man Standing.

September 25, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide
TV Guide

I'm not saying every comedy needs to reinvent the wheel but the treads are too worn on this one.

September 25, 2013 Full Review Source: HollywoodChicago.com
HollywoodChicago.com

There are possibilities here - but there's also the possibility that this could totally strike out.

September 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Little League isn't the most common of sitcom subjects, but Back In The Game still mines from a bunch of established tropes.

September 25, 2013 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

It will be interesting to watch this internal struggle for the soul of Back in the Game play out in future episodes.

September 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Caan and Lawson have comfortable on-screen chemistry - which makes their back-and-forth banter more believable.

September 25, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post

With Lawson as with Caan, it underutilizes a good actor.

September 25, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News

The family conflicts are facile and easily resolved on Back in the Game.

September 25, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times

I could watch Lawson do just about anything for a half-hour each week. Plus Caan as a beer-drinking, cantankerous coach and grandfather has a lot of appeal.

September 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter

Don't be fooled by the teasers: Back in the Game is about as family friendly as a lap dance.

September 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

Trouble with the Curve meets Bad News Bears in this so-far-not very-funny show.

September 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

The cast throws this curveball that catches the plate for a strike.

September 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday

It could retreat into family fuzziness or it could dive deeper into the suburban weirdness suggested by its supporting characters.... I've got my foam finger out rooting for the latter.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Grantland
Grantland

What's here has the potential to hold its lineup spot between leadoff hitter The Middle and ratings slugger Modern Family.

September 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety

The cast and characters have enough energy to suggest the show could settle into a groove in future episodes now that the exposition and premise-building is finished.

September 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Media Life
Media Life

Producers persist with this fixation on adult children who fall on hard times and move back in [with their parents]; it's both the worst and funniest premise...sitcom writers can conceive. So far, it's worked mainly as an indicator of quick cancellation.

September 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post

Could we have some fresh jokes, please?

September 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

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