Everyone remembers the classic “There’s no crying in baseball” moment from A League of Their Own. Prime Video is releasing a brand new series with the same name, and I reviewed the pilot today.
I am heading into the pilot with an open mind, but I am a bit skeptical about the attempt to make the classic film into a TV Series. However, some talented people are involved in the project, so I have some hope in that regard.
Plot: Comedy series about the WWII All-American professional women’s baseball league.
The episode begins with Carson (Abbi Jacobson) chasing down to try and catch a train. The man didn’t want her to board the train, but she was determined to make it on that train and did. Quickly we learn that Carson is on her way to the ballfield. She gets off the train and is lost trying to find the field. However, she overhears two people talking about the tryout and starts to follow them. They call her out and invite her to join them on their trek to the field.
They arrive at tryouts, and there is a HUGE amount of people, but they are more enamored by the ballfield and just being there in general. They had one incredible score playing in the backdrop here as they walked onto the field, and it was such a great moment.
Things aren’t going exactly as planned for the leaders running the tryout. The ladies aren’t acting very “lady-like,” but Marshall (Nat Faxon) promises to get them in line. I love seeing Nat Faxon involved in this project because he is incredible in the Apple TV+ series Loot.
Next, Carson gets to the plate and drills a ball into the outfield, impressing her new friends. Finally, we see Max show up, and the security stops them and lets them know that ‘colored people’ wouldn’t be allowed to play on their team. Max threw a dart from the outfield and impressed the girls, but they still got thrown out.
Greta meets with Carson in her hotel room, and they get a little personal about Carson’s relationship. Her husband sent her a letter that he was coming home from the war, and in turn, she ran away to head to the baseball tryout. Greta helps Carson craft a letter to send to her husband. After a night of fun, Carson is passed out when one of her friends walks into her room and wakes her up to tell her they have announced who made the team.
She runs downstairs and finds out that she has made the team! However, Carson is trying to remember what she did the night before. Greta tells her she wrote a letter to her husband and is freaking out about what she said in it. Greta gets her to calm down and reminds her that she is now a professional baseball player and the letter needed to be sent.
After not making the team, Max is back working at the salon when she is confronted by her momma, wondering what “concert” she went to when she took off work. Her momma casually knows she is not telling the truth and can’t lie her way out of it. Momma doesn’t want her playing baseball and wants her to take over the salon when she retires. A distraught Max gives in and says she will start to focus on the salon moving forward.
Next, we meet Beverley, who tells the ladies what they can or cannot do. For example, they can’t wear pants in public, no drinking/smoking, the curfew is at 10 PM sharp, and if they are late, they will have their pay duct. Finally, trouble-making, Greta rings the bell and tells everyone they have two and half hours to party and need to find a bar. What’s the worse that can happen, right?
As the ladies are partying up at the bar, Max and Glance are out on the town and talk to Glance’s husband to confront him for telling everyone she was going for the tryout. These two said actually about a hundred times (It was a funny exchange). Glance’s husband tells Max the ladies from the team are at the bar, and she goes in to take a peek at her competition.
Next, we see Greta and Carson talking over dinner, which leads to them kissing in a hallway? Uh-oh! What just happened. Carson kisses back, but then Greta realizes something and leaves. However, moments later, Carson sees Greta with a man who is off to take him to the sights, and Carson is confused.
As the episode ends, Carson and Max meet in the hallway. Carson tells her she had an incredible throw at the tryouts, and Max hits her with the “I know” and walks away. MY GOODNESS, what a scene. We shift to the dugout, where the ladies look at their uniforms and are as excited as they can be to begin this journey. The montage is mixed with Max throwing some balls at a wall. What a perfect ending.
One of the biggest things the pilot got right was the casting. I really enjoyed the friendship between Carson and Greta. D’Arcy Carden and Abbi Jacobson play the two, and their chemistry is perfect. Having some strong leads is essential, and they both deliver the goods. Another stand-out was Chante Adams, who SLAYS as Max. An overall great ensemble that made the pilot worth watching.
As far as I am concerned, they knocked this pilot out of the ballpark. First, they laid some serious groundwork with our pivotal characters, which makes us want to care about their journeys. Next, they set the glorious tone of this era that made it aesthetically pleasing and ultimately sprinkled in the good bits of baseball on which the foundation is built. I loved the pilot and can’t wait for episode two.