A TV series reboot of “A League of Their Own,” airing on Amazon, knocks the original film out of the park by taking a more contemporary look at gender, race and sexuality in baseball.
The 1992 film by the same name followed the true story of a professional baseball league, The Rockford Peaches, founded in 1943 and made up entirely of women during World War II. Directed by Penny Marshall and featuring an all-star cast that included Geena Davis and Madonna, it was lauded at the time for its message of female empowerment. Specifically, the empowerment of straight, white women.
Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson created and stars in Amazon’s ode to the classic, which features a diverse cast and grapples with racism and homophobia over eight episodes.
“Our intention here is to tell the stories that the film overlooked and did not focus on,” Jacobson told the New York Daily News. “[To] really open up the lens to a generation of women who played baseball and who played it so f–king well.”
This rendition of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League includes “The Good Place” actress D’Arcy Carden as Greta, a gay woman who plays first baseman on the team.
“Looking back on it, you can say, ‘Oh, I wish they explored this or that,’ but they really did a lot for the time,” Carden told the Daily News, comparing the original film to the new series. “And now we are able…to really tell the story.”
Roberta Colindrez plays Lupe, who faces her own struggles on the Rockford Peaches as a Hispanic woman, and “Roxanne Roxanne” star Chanté Adams rounds out the cast as a Black woman who is barred from even trying out for the team because of her race.
Maybelle Blair, a former pitcher who came out as queer at 95 and served as inspiration for Madonna’s character in the film, also consulted on the series, and Rosie O’Donnell, the queer icon who starred in Marshall’s film, makes a cameo.
“I think [the show] is a great opportunity for these young girl ball players to come [to] realize that they’re not alone,” Blair said at the Tribeca Film Festival this year. “You don’t have to hide.”