‘A League Of Their Own’ Reboot Embraces ‘Queer Culture’ And Modern Gender Theory, Gets Panned

A League of Their Own
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Prime Video

Fans already knew the television reboot of “A League of Their Own” was going to be a woke nightmare; the creator bragged about it during interviews after the project was announced. But it turns out the finished product is even too cringe for one reviewer who called the show a “noble effort.”

Early reviews are in for the Amazon series, which becomes available for streaming August 12. While some critics are heaping praise on the historical drama for delving deeper in “queer culture” and gender topics, at least one reviewer dubbed the remake “preachy not peachy” despite agreeing with the overall aim.

Dave Nemetz from TV Line said the new “A League of Their Own” made a “noble effort” but that the series so far is “a little too eager to make its point, sidelining the baseball elements and getting bogged down in heavy-handed subplots.” He mentions that there’s a lot of narrative, but not a lot of actual baseball.

The original “A League of Their Own” starring Geena Davis and Tom Hanks told the story of how women played professional baseball during World War II while the men were off at battle. This expanded TV version focuses on the same team, the Rockford Peaches, which were a part of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). Only the Amazon version delves deep into modern social issues that the movie only touched on. 

“There was a much bigger story there that wasn’t just about a team, but that was really about a whole generation,” series co-creator Will Graham said earlier this year. “That’s a big part of why we wanted to make it. It was just this feeling of—especially with queer stories, women of color—having a story that’s really centered on joy.”

The TV Line review notes how the relationship between Dottie (Davis) and her younger sister Kit (Lori Petty) in the original movie is touching and memorable, but that same chemistry is absent in the relationship between the main characters in the reboot. For the new version, Abbi Jacobson plays Carson Shaw, a married woman who leaves to join the league while her husband is away fighting in the war. She begins having feelings for another woman on the team after joining.

“We’re not trying to retell the stories that are told in the film,” Jacobson told ET during a recent interview. “We are really attempting to tell the stories that were missing from the film, and about this league in particular. The more we researched the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the more we researched queer culture at the time, the more it just felt really important to show those stories.”

Nemetz says the women’s romance is “soppy and predictable.”  

“We may not have seen anything this explicitly gay in the original movie, but we’ve definitely seen LGBTQ storylines like this many times before,” he writes. 

Some other reviewers had the opposite reaction, however. The Collider reviewer said “A League of Their Own” is “full of profound stories of sisterhood, identity, race relations, and queerness.” Screen Rant called it a “near-perfect update” to the original. Two days before the show’s release it had an 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 18 critic reviews. 

Audience scores won’t be available until the show is officially released Friday on Amazon. 

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