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Recommended: A League of Their Own on Amazon Prime Video

This movie adaptation is pure girl power wish fulfillment, but what's wrong with that?
  • The cast of A League of Their Own. (Photo: Prime Video)
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    A League of Their Own | Amazon Prime Video
    Hourlong Dramedy (8 Episodes) | TV-MA

    What's A League of Their Own About?

    The Rockford Peaches are back on the screen in a (somewhat) true-to-life adaptation chronicling the World War II-era formation of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

    Who's involved?

    • Series creator Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) stars as Carson Shaw, a Midwestern wife who runs away from her life in order to play ball. Surrounded by confident women, she tentatively experiments with speaking her mind and kissing the girls she's never allowed herself to like before.
    • Chanté Adams (Roxanne, Roxanne) plays Max, who isn't even allowed to try out for the league because she's Black. Undeterred, she finagles a job at the local screw factory so that she can play on the company's team. Meanwhile, she navigates her family's expectations for her future and her own secret attraction to women.
    • D'Arcy Carden (The Good Place; Barry) is Greta, a free-spirited loudmouth who takes Carson under her wing.
    • Gbemisola Ikumelo is Clance, a professional illustrator, new bride, and Max's best friend.
    • Nick Offerman is Dove Porter, the washed up Major Leaguer who hopes he can restart his career by coaching a bunch of girls, even though he doesn't think they're real players.
    • Rosie O'Donnell is Vi, the bartender at a lesbian saloon.
    • Will Graham, who produced Prime Video's Mozart in the Jungle, joins Jacobson as co-creator and producer.

    Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?

    If you're a fan of the Penny Marshall's 1992 film, this series will fire your pleasure receptors from the very first scene, where we see Abbi Jacobson racing toward a moving train that will carry her to league tryouts. The ghosts of Geena Davis and Lori Petty practically run along beside her, and it's easy to spot the show's corollaries for the characters played by Tom Hanks, Madonna, and O'Donnell. Plus, those iconic peach uniforms are trotted out fast, as are the 40s fashions and hairstyles so crucial to the League experience.

    All that said, this is no cheap nostalgia trip. It doesn't take long for the series to build its own identity out of familiar parts.

    That's partly thanks to all the lesbians. What was only hinted at thirty years ago becomes overt here, with multiple characters learning to be themselves. Even though they're surrounded by men who dismiss them, belittle them, or think the league is actually dangerous to the strucutre of American society, they nevertheless find freedom with each other.

    And in scene after charming scene, we see all the women, gay and straight, give each other the confidence to shrug off the chaunvinist jerks who catcall them from the stands or criticize them in the press. That's not to say the show is flippant or naive. In fact, it puts obstacles in front of these women at almost every turn. It just assumes they're vibrant enough to thrive anyway.

    That certainly applies to the Black women. Max and Clance are constantly beset by sexism and racism, but even in the midst of their anger and shame, what comes through most is their vitality. Adams and Ikumelo have such great chemistry that their friendship seems unassailable, and the writers let both characters prove their mettle time and again. Whether it's something small like figuring out how to get crab for a family dinner or something major like getting a job at a discriminatory factory, they always find a way

    And if all this reads as wish fulfillment... so what? The world can feel short on hopeful and empowering stories, and it's a joy to spend time with so many characters who have the pluck and grit to push through adversity. From that perspective, it even feels right that the show is filled with anachronisms, from Janis Joplin on the soundtrack to characters saying "literally" like modern-day college students. These are clues that all of us are welcome to participate in this nourishing fantasy.

    Pairs well with

    • Minx, HBO Max's saucy series about a feminist who founds a porn magazine. 
    • 37 Words, the ESPN+ docuseries about Title IX, which created equality for women in sports.
    • Raising Hope, FOX's raucous sitcom about a family that doesn't let an unexpected pregnancy ruin their zany fun. (Streams on Hulu)

  • A League of Their Own
    Complete first season premieres August 12 on Prime Video
    Created by: Abbi Jacobson and Will Graham. Based on the 1992 film.
    Starring: Abbi Jacobson, Chanté Adams, D'Arcy Carden, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Nick Offerman, and Rosie O'Donnell.
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    TOPICS: A League of Their Own, Amazon Prime Video, Abbi Jacobson, Abbi Jacobson, Chanté Adams, D'Arcy Carden, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Nick Offerman, Rosie O'Donnell, Will Graham