A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN -- A More Realistic Portrayal of These Women and Their Story
Review by Dan Skip Allen
A League of Their Own, the Prime Video series, isn't just based on the 1992 film of the same name — it's based on the true events and people involved in this woman's baseball league of the 1940s. The series is a little more true to life than the film, and that's something that can be looked up on Google. The film is exaggerated, especially the Jimmy Dugan character played by Tom Hanks. It's good to see a more realistic version of this story and these women's legacy they left behind.
This show is a more in-depth series of events involving the All American Women's Professional baseball league. It deals with Carson Show (Abbi Jacobson), an Idaho farm girl married to a WWII soldier, Greta (D'Arcy Carden) and her friend Jo Deluca (Melanie Field), who are looking to travel and meet men/women, the manager Casey "Dove" Porter (Nick Offerman), who is annoyed by being around all of these women and their female issues, and Max (Chante Adams), a Black woman trying to prove herself in a world that doesn't respect women or African-Americans in this day and age.
This show deals with many women's issues that are prevalent today and back in the '40s, such as acceptance of the gay and LGBT community and still civil rights in this country. These parallel storylines fit nicely within the context of the film. I feel this show was more authentic to these women's true stories than the film. The movie seemed to go for laughs even though that famous line "There's no crying in baseball!" is still in the show.
The cast is pretty vast besides the handful of members I've mentioned already. There is Lupe (Roberta Galindez), Jess (Kelly McCormack), Maybelle (Molly Ephraim), and Shirley (Kate Berlant), as well as Beverly, played by Dale Dickey. All of these women supplement the main characters very nicely. They all have various subplots accentuating the main plot with the main characters. The show doesn't get bogged down with any side plots, though. It knows where the bread and butter of the story is.
One aspect of the show I felt could have been better is the baseball. It felt forced and not very real when it should have been a central focus of the show. The series got more into baseball playing as it went along, but the said playing of the game felt amateurish. The Negro leagues baseball seemed better, though. Maybe that was a conscious effort by the showrunners. Who knows? I just thought in a show about baseball, the baseball should be performed and portrayed better.
All my foibles about the show aside, I very much enjoyed it. The main storylines involving Jacobson, Carden, and Adams's characters were quite engrossing, and their performances drove the series forward from episode to episode. They kept me interested throughout. I learned a lot about these women that the film didn't talk about. The film detracts from the actual events in these women's lives. That makes this show relevant in the overall context of things.
The production value, costumes, and hairstyling were pretty cool because authentic-looking shows are easier to get invested in. The showrunners covered all their bases, pun intended, with this show. It was nice to watch an updated, more authentic version of this story. People who haven't seen the film can now see the definitive version of this story instead of the fictionalized version. The family members of their relatives surely will be happy with this part of the show.
A League of Their Own streams on Prime Video beginning August 12. All eight episodes reviewed.
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