This time around, our beloved 1943 Rockford Peaches are comprised of Carson Shaw (Abbi Jacobson), Greta Gill (D'Arcy Carden), Jo DeLuca (Melanie Field), Lupe García (Roberta Colindrez), Jess McCready (Kelly McCormack), Shirley Cohen (Kate Berlant), Esti González (Priscilla Delgado), and Maybelle Fox (Molly Ephraim). Assigned to the team are also Beverly (Dale Dickey), the team's chaperone, and an MLB pitcher with a short-lived career, Dove Porter (Nick Offerman), who serves as their coach.
While Dove Porter isn't the burly alcoholic that the original film's Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) was, both characters are certainly not too thrilled about their coaching jobs, though Porter makes more of an effort to at least appear interested in the task at hand—though even that doesn't last too long.
As is common with most teams when they're first getting their footing, the Peaches are a bit disjointed, missing easy plays and being thrown off by the insults hurled their way from the sparsely-filled stands. The catcher, Shaw, ultimately emerges as the leader of the pack after Porter proves to be flaky and unfit, though earning the respect of her team ends up being tougher than the practices and workouts combined.
Because this is an eight-episode series and not simply a two-hour film, the characters are allowed the time to ebb and flow and fall into the right and wrong places instead of having to immediately mesh and pull off a championship win in the blink of an eye. That time proved to be the most sacred of all, giving characters the space to be a little indecisive, confused, and most of all, human.
That humanity is what's central to A League of Their Own: it's not as flashy as the original, which isn't to say I don't adore the flashiness of the original. But, you know, the series doesn't have Madonna swing dancing in the middle of a bar. And for a show like this, it works, because it's not just about baseball—and maybe it never is.
If we learned anything from the Wizards of Waverly Place theme song, it's that everything is not what it seems, and in that sense, the women of A League of Their Own aren't what they seem. The league owners want them to behave like "proper" women: play in makeup, wear dresses on the field, and remain unfazed when a man in the stands makes verbal assaults at them.
The main problem (for the league) with all of this is that the majority of the team isn't going to sit back and take these rules without putting up a little bit of a fight.