September 30, 2014

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Watching Pete is hoot for fans
Written by Bob Hyle   
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 12:24 AM

Currently, my favorite show on television is Justified, which tells the story of U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens and his friend/nemesis Boyd Crowder.

There’s a lot of violence in the story.You sometimes can lose count of how many people Raylan has shot in a single episode, but the writing is crisp and witty, as you would expect from a show based on characters created by Elmore Leonard.

How cool is the name Raylan. I’ve told my son that had he been born after Justified came on the air I would have pushed hard to have him named Raylan.

Of course, I pushed hard to have his first name spelled G-e-o-f-f-r-e-y instead of J-e-f-f-r-e-y and that didn’t work either.

Marriage is the art of compromise, particularly when it comes to naming children. I fought the good fight for Geoffrey, but alas, my wife had both the tying vote and the tie-breaking vote.

Anyway, I prefer fictional story-telling in my television viewing rather than the reality shows that make up many of the cable channels.

I watch a few reality programs - Survivor, American Idol - after the thousands of singers have been whittled down to a dozen or so, but the hundreds of shows that exploit the peccadillos of our society just don’t do it for me.

Until now, that is. Yes, I have taken to watching Pete Rose: Hits and Mrs.(Mondays on TLC).

It’s about our beloved (?) Cincinnati icon, his model/fiancée, and her two children.

First off, you have to “get” Pete. If you are among those who hate him for whatever reason, you are not going to enjoy his show.

I am a Pete Rose fan. He wasn’t the greatest baseball player in the world, but certainly no one got more out of their ability than Pete.

I was among those who originally believed that Pete didn’t bet on baseball because I couldn’t imagine someone with his street smarts being so stupid.

And yes, even though he violated baseball’s sacred rule against gambling, I wish he could receive his spot in baseball history in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Altogether silly
The show is silly in that Pete’s fiancée, Kiana Kim, is not the Mrs. that the title suggests and I have my doubts that she ever will be.

Kiana is attractive and has appeared in Playboy, which Pete takes some perverse pride in.
It should be pointed out that Pete is the same age as Kiana’s mother.

Attempts to show Pete as some great substitute father for Kiana’s children, a teenage girl and a pre-teen boy, are the worst part of the show.

Pete being Pete
The best parts are when Pete is being Pete. He’s long gone from Cincinnati’s west side, but Pete is still hustling through life, whether it’s selling the image of Pete Rose in Las Vegas several days a week or schmoozing Kiana’s parents with bad jokes and comments about the breast enhancements on their daughter.

The show gets sentimental in parts as none of Pete’s four children attend an engagement party for Pete and Kiana even though two of them apparently live in Southern California, which is where Kiana and Pete call home.

Later in the season, Pete takes Kiana and her kids to Cooperstown to see the Hall of Fame, although Pete stays outside while they discover how great a baseball player he truly was.

You’ll shake your head repeatedly when watching Pete Rose: Hits and Mrs. but if you have ever appreciated Pete, it will bring a smile to your face.

Bob Hyle covers sports and writes a weekly column for The Harrison Press. He lives in Bright.