A League of Their Own (2022) review: Explores diverse issues but fails in execution

A League of Their Own (2022) is an Amazon original comedy-drama that follows the lives of American women baseball players during the second world war. The players struggle to balance their lives in a patriarchal society and their passion for baseball.

Story

Women from across North America arrive in Chicago for the tryouts of the Rockford Peaches. Max Chapman, a black woman, arrives at the tryouts with her best friend but is not allowed to participate due to her race. 

The Rockford Peaches and Max struggle with their gender, sexuality and racial identity. The coach, Dove Porter, and the sponsors discard the talent and ambition of the baseball players. At the same time, Max is torn between her gender and racial identity as she struggles to find her space in professional baseball. 

A romance brews between Greta and Carson, leaving Carson conflicted between her sexuality and marital life. Greta’s best friend gets arrested at an LGBTQ+ bar and is traded to the rival team, The Blue Sox. The Rockford Peaches help their injured old friend playing for the rival team and lose in their final match against The Blue Sox.

Max finally gets a baseball offer and leaves after a disagreement with her mother. Max’s best friend, Clance, starts working on her own comic after her husband is drafted into the war. Clance finds out she is pregnant.

Carson and Greta kiss each other goodbye. Carson’s husband, Charlie, is shocked after accidentally witnessing the kiss.

Performances

The extraordinary premise and the characters of the show demand an equally terrific cast who can bring the nuanced identities of the women baseball players in front of the audience, and they certainly get that here.

Abbi Jacobson is the creator of the series with Will Graham and plays the role of Carson Shaw. Her understanding of the character allows her to justify the character’s decisions.

D’arcy Carden, the Emmy-nominated actor, gives a charming performance. Like many other characters playing for the Rockford Peaches, Greta’s lack of depth in the script does not let her connect with the audience. 

Chanté Adams and Gbemisola Ikumelo excel in their portrayal of the friendship between their characters and the struggles of black women in a racially segregated America.

Positives

Inspired by A League of their Own(1992), the show uses the same premise but shifts its focus from the coach previously played by Tom Hanks to the actual struggles of women in that era. 

The writers indirectly comment on their issue with the 1992 movie through the character of Clance in the first episode as she criticises the absence of Wonder Woman in the majority of the narrative in a comic named after her.

The show does not limit the challenges faced by the women to merely their gender identity but also explores their struggles with sexuality, racial identity and linguistic gap. 

The show performs pretty well in its comedy aspect with its quirky characters and witty jokes.

Negatives

While the concept of the show and its premise is nearly perfect, the show fails with the execution.

A majority of the side characters in the show lack depth and do not connect with the audience despite their relatable surface-level issues and traits.

The plot split between the Rockford Peaches and Max Chapman struggles with uneven pacing and disproportionately divides the interest between the plotlines.

Verdict

While the premise of the first season of A League of Their Own (2022) promised a lot, the comedy-drama is somewhat disappointing in its execution of character complexities. The plot is still engaging and leaves a little hope for future seasons. 

A League of Their Own
A League of Their Own (2022) review: Explores diverse issues but fails in execution 1

Director: Jamie Babbit, Ayoka Chenzira, Katrelle Kindred, Will Graham, Silas Howard, Anya Adams

Date Created: 2022-08-12 10:30

Editor's Rating:
3

Also Read: A League of Their Own (2022) ending explained: Do the Peaches win the final?