Set during the World War 2 era, it follows the journey of Carson Shaw as she starts a new chapter in her life after the induction of the All-American professional women’s baseball league, while her husband remains away fighting in the war.
It is a weird mix-up of genres and concepts, as generally the period of WW2 is associated with war and the consequences that befall the affected. However, this story is not about that, it’s a women’s sports drama that dwells on the personal life of the drafted players. Adaptation of the 1992’s film of the same name, the series offers a lighter-hearted tone with new characters and storylines.
Bound by the conservative thoughts that were deeply rooted within the society, baseball was widely seen as a men’s sport, so the idea itself of setting up the All-American professional women’s baseball league was revolutionary itself, although it was purely a commercial move. It was greeted by a society filled with stereotypes, mainly by men as they sought to dictate the kind of image women can or cannot have to exist. Ball-Players were asked to wear short skirts to please the crowds, all while they were verbally harassed by them, and they weren’t allowed to complain since it was all about profit.
The series follows a modern trend in a historic setting, which isn’t bothersome and works in the interest of the existential plane it ceases to exist specifying the type of tone it wants to emit. Even the type of difficulties they faced was explained without going off-tone while respectfully addressing the varied difficulties they faced, which adds to its advantage.
They handled the romance within the series quite decently, exploring homosexual relationships, which were a punishable offense then, and considered ‘queers. The love triangle of Carson Shaw, Greta Gill (Carson’s teammate), and Charlie, Carson’s husband, was a complicated affair that was interesting. The thing is, it is more of a personal drama than a sports one, and while some of the personal life circles are intriguing to know about, I wished there was more of the tactical versatility explored accompanied by sharp game sense. Baseball is there for a considerable time however, the engagement behind it fades away due to the messy match experience that has been mishandled at times, although it can potentially garner interest now and then.
The differences in the team dynamism of the Peaches, the team in which both her and Greta were drafted, were interesting along with the inclusion of the coach Dove Porter, a former superstar of the game. He was unserious regarding the sport and didn’t believe in what he was doing. The solitary purpose he took this job was only because he wanted to use this opportunity as the stepping stone to coaching a men’s team in the future. The versatility within the group was certainly a welcoming one, coupled with the internal conflicts, which soon changed with the budding solidarity of the group, and an attitude change from the coach. This stability was long gone following the exit of Dove Porter, which prompted another crisis on deck.
There is another character that the story heads towards importance which is, Max Chapman. Her life as a black girl, growing up in a majorly racist America, was given weight in the story. Fuelled by her dream to become a baseball star, and confidence in her abilities, she was stopped from participating in the try-outs which led to the drafting of Carson Shaw in the first place. Her story trajectory is in the right place followed by character development, but most of the people surrounding her life are a distraction as the plot laments towards the family drama in her household. She and Carson form a strange acquaintance with each other, which is unpredictably good.
Another point worth noting is Abbi Jacobson is the weakest link as the protagonist, although she is not particularly bad, she delivers a casual performance to which some of the blame also lies writers due to the nature of the character. D’Arcy Carden, on the other hand, is brilliant in the side role alongside Patrick J. Adams, who is there briefly, but his presence is certainly charming.
A League of Their Own has its faults, as its quality remains inconsistent, mostly declining in some components after the first few episodes while not compensating enough for others. However, it’s still a watchable show.
Final Score – [6.5/10]
Reviewed by - Devyansh Anand
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