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In Prime Video’s revival of A League of Their Own, married housewife Carson Shaw (Abbi Jacobson) leads the Rockford Peaches, a team of amateur baseball players in the All-American League, a women’s championship designed to entertain the masses while the men of America are away fighting in World War II. An inspiring revival of Penny Marshall’s 1992 classic of the same name, Jacobson’s on-screen leadership doesn’t end with just her character as, along with co-creator Will Graham, the Broad City star’s fingerprints are dotted all over this new series; from its goofy humour to its message of friendship, Jacobson has left a queer imprint on a cult classic like no one before her.

It’s that imprint that I really want to get into here. For context, in case you didn’t know, the 1992 cult film is just that; a beloved classic that found a home in the hearts of lesbians, queer WLW (Women Loving Women) and non-binaries who thirsted for the female *cough, cough* friendship they saw on screen. But speaking to GAY TIMES earlier this year, Jacobson summed the film up pretty perfectly, saying, “A League of Their Own is such a gay film and not gay at all, simultaneously.” So while there’s no on-screen mention of queerness, we know that for any pre-2010s media, it’s all in the subtext – because what part of butch girls playing baseball doesn’t sound queer? Oh, and Rosie O’Donnell’s there. See, we told you!

So when Jacobson announced she was working on a television revival of the 1992 film, queer hearts were set aflutter; would queer justice finally be served? Would wlw everywhere finally see A League of Their Own with explicit queerness? Or would we be once again dealing with the dreaded queer subtext? Well we, along with the thousands of TikToks, tweets and Instagram fan pages, are so happy to say that not only is A League of Their Own queer as hell, it’s rewritten history to include queer stories, people and our struggles – do you know how fucking cool that is?

Let’s delve into just how well Prime Video’s A League of Their Own has queered this story and why, right now, this series couldn’t come at a more important moment for LGBTQ+ storytelling. (And it goes without saying, but spoilers ahead!)

The queer storylines in A League of Their Own

I love that when it comes to the queer storylines and characters in A League of Their Own, I simply don’t know where to start. Let’s go with our leads first: Carson, played by Jacobson and Max, played by the brilliant Chanté Adams. Their stories sit narratively side by side and intertwine more than once, with both being ambitious baseball players looking to crack their dreams. But, Max sees hers cruelly taken away for much of the series owing to the racist policies of the All-American League. While Carson and Max go on separate sporting journeys, they connect on another level as they start to embrace their individual queerness. The endearingly awkward Carson falls hard for D’Arcy Carden’s Greta Gill, a fellow closeted queer who, along with best friend Jo Deluca (Melanie Field), have rules in place to keep them safe in the dangerous world of 1940s queer dating. Carson’s and Greta’s romance is full of yearning, stolen glances and secret meet-ups – it’s the stuff of dreams for WLW, let me tell you. Max goes on a more inward journey of queerness. Yes, we see her gloriously kiss, dance and flirt with multiple women, but it’s the newfound bond she explores with her Uncle Bertie (Lea Robinson), a trans man who encourages Max to explore her gender identity, that forms the backbone of her story arche.

All this is going on while we’re also introduced to fellow queer Rockford Peaches, Lupe García (Roberta Colindrez), Jess McCready (Kelly McCormack), and the aforementioned Jo DeLuca, who bring new experiences of queerness to the forefront of a show not fulfilled by just the typical cis white experience we often see on-screen. Lupe and Jess are at the heart of pure queer joy when Carson follows them into an underground queer bar after she fears Lupe is about to leave the Peaches for a competitor. “This is so wrong, I can’t believe you’re trying to play for the other team!” Carson shouts as she confronts Lupe flirting with the enemy. Only when Jess asks Carson to look around does her *gay panic* fully set in and she realises exactly where she is. The whole scene is hilarious, sweet and heartwarming, and it only gets gayer when a cameo from none other than the tuxedo’ed butch, Rosie O’Donnell, wanders in as the bar owner.

Why A League of Their Own matters right now

These character highlights and plot points barely scratch the surface when it comes to queer nods, hints and references in A League Of Their Own, because it’s simply embedded in the fabric of the show. We really have our co-creators Jacobson and Graham to thank for this, who did their utmost to queer the show. “Will and I are both queer, and it was part of our initial conversation of what types of stories we felt were not told in the film,” Jacobson previously told GAY TIMES. “The more research we did, the more we found out that the league in particular was really queer. Also, queer people didn’t just show up in Stonewall, we’ve been around forever!”

You might still be asking right now what makes A League of Their Own so special after years of our community (finally) being celebrated with nuanced representation in film and TV. To really understand that, we urge you to watch the show. Until then, you won’t truly see how effective our co-creators dedication to spotlighting queer stories like never before is. Because A League of Their Own is a triple threat; it’s in rebellion of its source material, it tells an intersectional story of historical queerness through the lens of multiple POC, gender and sexual identities and it does all this in a climate of cancellation for LGBTQ+ TV shows. None of these hurdles are easy to overcome but the fact that A League of Their Own passes every base with ease demonstrates just how Jacobson and Graham completely knocked this series out of the park.

Watch the full first series of A League of Their Own on Prime Video now and catch the trailer below.