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Baseball’s About To Get A Whole Lot Gayer — ‘A League of Their Own’ (TV Review)

3 min read
A League of Their Own (2022)

As the men depart to war, the women come out to play… that is. 

Following The Rockford Peaches as they battle their way through America's first female baseball league, Prime Video'A League of Their Own explores sport, sexuality and what it means to be queer female baseball players in a world that is simply not built for them. 

Right from the first frantic sprint, this show is a chaotic and evolved descendant of the 1992 film. Echoing genre-accurate sporting montages and a plucky team of underdogs, this remake spotlights stories and intersectionality often ignored in media — and even more so in period pieces- as creators Abbi Jacobson and Will Graham use baseball as a lens for exploring queer and female identities in the 1940s. 

This baseball diamond is decorated with an ensemble of diverse players where every role is fully formed and every character is queer until proven straight. 

Abbi Jacobson and D'Arcy Carden lead the team, with the natural chemistry of their platonic and romantic relationship often leaving watchers breathless. Carden's fan-favourite role as Greta Gill is particularly charismatic as she deviates from her straightlaced The Good Place fame to offer a saucy and sassy leading lady.

Personifying the intersectionality that accompanies being a black queer, female baseball player, Chante Adams hits it out of the park as disregarded pitcher Maxienne Chapman. Juxtaposed against the white Peaches' more immediate success, Max's run is a slow burn, subverting expectations as she fails, grows and discovers how to succeed when there is “no version of (herself) that makes sense for the world.”

This is a show about women taking up space. Queer women taking up space. Black queer women taking up space.

A League of Their Own often looks like a 2022 pride parade dressed in 1940s decor, with an ensemble cast of black and white ‘Friends of Dorothy' waiting at the gates of the ballpark, ready to throw the first pitch and tell their story. 

A League of Their Own (2022)
Courtesy of Prime Video.

In fact, there doesn't seem to be a single episode without a lesbian kiss. This show is working hard to promote unabashed queerness, fully formed characters and longstanding LGBTQ+ communities, encouraging viewers to see that the world has always been gay.  

And yet, it isn't naive. A League of Their Own contrasts joyful explorations of sexuality with historically accurate heartbreak and persecution. 

It is still 1940s wartime, where queer folk are considered sexual inverts, trans men are freaks and queer communities can be shattered by police raids. Tragic and memorable, certain sequences are bound to stick with viewers, long past the final pitch is thrown. 

Throughout the season, any semblance of predictability and clunky dialogue is overshadowed by the gallons of creativity and heart that are poured over it. Light visuals, emboldened production design and vibrant costumes construct an authentic and believable setting for our crew of queer baseball girls to race through. And race they do. 

An enjoyable, comedic and empowering story, A League of Their Own often feels like those last 10 seconds of a movie sporting match – before the ball sinks through the net, the try is scored, the baseball is caught. It leaves viewers holding their breath, hoping that this unique and relatable ragtag team will succeed, not just in the next game but in a wider world that just isn't built for them. 

This home run of a debut is ladened with female friendship, positivity, intersectionality and queerness, where its final sprint is bound to draw tears — even if there is “No crying in baseball.”