A bit over a month ago, I was lucky enough to stumble upon Amazon’s remake of A League of Their Own (2022-) while trying to find a new show to watch with a friend. I was immediately hooked.
The show follows Carson Shaw and her journey with the Rockford Peaches, a newly-formed team in a women’s league created to boost morale and fill the gap of men’s professional sport as the Second World War was waged overseas. In it, we witness Carson and the Peaches fight for a sense of legitimacy and a chance at a championship, while pitcher Max Chapman, a Black woman denied a chance to play in the All-American Girls League on the basis of her race, must pave her own way to follow her baseball dreams.
Here are the top ten reasons why now is the perfect time to catch up on A League of Their Own.
1) It is Inspired By Real Events
The Rockford Peaches were a real baseball team. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was formed in 1943 as a form of temporary wartime entertainment, but grew so popular (and the level of play was so advanced) that, by its peak in 1948, they drew over a million fans to the stands. Though the league dissolved in 1954, its many achievements are an incredible part of women’s history in North America, a piece of history which gets a modern spotlight in this series.
2) Its Style is Completely Original
Set in the United States during the Second World War, A League of Their Own combines period-specific clothing, settings, and social conditions with modern dialogue and humour, producing a style which is entirely unique. History meets modern commentary in really creative ways, making for a viewing experience which is both immersive and accessible.
3) It’s More than Just a Remake
As previously mentioned, A League of Their Own is a remake of the 1992 film of the same name. The creators’ love of the original film (which is often considered a queer classic) comes through in the show. However, when it was announced that a television show was being made, the creators stated in an interview that they wished to delve deeper into the stories of race and sexuality which were not given a chance to shine in 1992. The focus on Max Chapman and her struggles against racism, sexism, and homophobia is one of the most powerful storylines in the show, because it spotlights a perspective that has been mostly excluded from the historical conversation around the All-American Girls League. She is even based on three real women who played in the Negro Leagues: Toni Stone, Mamie Johnson, and Connie Morgan. In contrast to the current trend of pointless remakes, this series is anything but, appealing to previous fans while also creating a whole new story with an entirely new focus.
4) It is Essential Viewing for Pride Month
The show has been described as “euphorically, unapologetically, and incredibly gay”. Many of the featured characters are queer, some just realizing their queerness and others figuring out how to express themselves in a hostile environment which demands they maintain their femininity and appeal to the male gaze. While the gravity of their situation is emphasized, queer joy, love, and family are always put front and centre.
5) The Show’s Creators are Queer
One of the co-creators and lead actresses, Abbi Jacobson, is an openly queer woman, while the other co-creator, Will Graham, spoke about his love of the original film as a queer youth in this interview. The authenticity of the queer stories that are told speaks to the importance of letting marginalized communities the space, freedom, and agency to tell their stories on their terms. The impact on audiences is undeniable, as is demonstrated in the following tumblr post.
6) The Cast is Stacked with Queer Powerhouses
Jacobson is not the only openly queer member of the cast. She is joined by Roberta Colindrez, Melanie Field, and Lea Robinson, who have all spoken about the show’s personal importance. In their respective interviews, these actors speak about highlighting a Latinx experience in women’s baseball, exploring queer friendship, and giving a voice to gender nonconformity, all of which adds an extra layer of credibility and authenticity to the series. It is a queer story told by queer people for queer audiences, and that is what makes it feel so powerful and so honest.
7) Gender Non-Conformity is Explored and Celebrated
Not only does A League of Their Own deal with queerness in terms of sexuality, but also in terms of gender. In order to avoid spoilers, I will not delve into specifics, but a Black, trans character is featured prominently in the series’ latter half.
8) The Series Criticizes the Sexualization of Female Athletes
The All-American Girls League notably limited its players’ abilities by forcing them to adhere to heteropatriarchal gender norms. True to the league’s history, the fictional Rockford Peaches are forced to wear skirts and makeup and are given constant guidance on how to maintain “the highest ideals of womanhood,” as determined by the male league executives. The series asks us to reconsider the pressures and expectations that are put on women due to restrictive standards of beauty and femininity, especially in the area of sport performance.
9) It Invites us to Explore our Own Queerness
Queerness is never presented singularly, as having one face, one look, one experience or one mode of expression. The series instead portrays a varying spectrum of queerness, with the most important message being that however you choose to identify and express yourself, and regardless of how long it takes you to realize your queerness, you are valid. Many scenes highlight the various voices, mentors, and community members that are required to allow a person to fully come into their queerness and what that means to them. These fictional mentors reach out to the audience, inviting us to consider our own queerness and to imagine new ways of living, loving, and being.
10) It was Renewed for a Second Season
Season two is currently in the works! Amazon released an official announcement about the show’s renewal for a second and final season earlier this year. Now’s your chance to get caught up before the next season drops.
If you choose to watch the show, happy viewing, and regardless of that, thanks for reading! Happy Pride Month!
Featured Image Credit: Amazon Studios
Hi! I’m Brynn, and I’m super excited to be writing on the blogs committee this year. I am a third-year Women’s and Gender Studies student with interests in film, feminism, theatre and social justice. Blog writing provides me with the perfect opportunity to combine all of these passions. I hope you will join me on my blog journey!