For anyone who watched the first eight episodes of the show last summer, that was a belief that seemed to be held by the show’s creative team as well.

So it’s equal parts surprising and satisfying to see so many assumptions that the show made in its initial run get re-examined, now that the show about a rehabilitating baseball announcer has returned.

With Hank Azaria in the role of Jim Brockmire, a substance-adoring, golden-voiced pinnacle of play-by-play debauchery, this show has a Swiss Army knife at its disposal.

Azaria has always served the character in the way that the show has asked him to, sinking his teeth into lengthy diatribes and not-so-lonely soliloquies.

Given the emotional range and self-awareness that both character and show have found, it’s like picking up that knife and discovering for the first time that it also has a toothpick, a screwdriver, and a corkscrew.

What started as a silly podcast subplot last year has suddenly become one of the cornerstones for a more show far more in touch with its emotions.

The sold-out tapings, filmed like an off-Broadway one-man show is a place w its host runs through his past experiences, regrets, and shortcomings.

With a more firmly grounded Brockmire, the rest of the cast don’t have strain themselves to avoid it seeming like any given scene features characters from two different shows.

Because this show is so tied to the exploits and understanding of its central figure, as he expands his horizons, the show benefits from that same perspective.