Charlie – Michmutters

A League of Their Own TV reboot is both the same and vastly different

The streaming reboot to Penny Marshall’s beloved 1992 film A League of Their Own is both the same and vastly different.

It is that special sauce of reboots in which it keeps the vibe of the original alive while updating it for a modern audience – and it actually has something to say.

That’s a hard balance to straddle and most reboots and revivals fall over because they tilt too much in either direction, and usually by clinging on to something that no longer works outside of its original context.

A League of Their Ownthe new version, is a sharp and delightful series, which takes the defiant spirit of Marshall’s film and elevates it by expanding its universe to tell more inclusive stories about sexuality and race in 1940s America.

Set during World War II, the series is about the establishment of the women’s professional baseball league while the men are serving in Europe and the Pacific. The league is the brainchild of the confectionary tycoon who needs to fill the stands of his stadiums.

Recruited from around the US and Canada, the women are told to fit into a standard of what constitutes being a lady while copping horrendous sexism from all quarters, including their own supposed fans.

In those elements, the TV reboot and the movie version are similar. They share the same DNA and hit many of the same story beats.

But when it comes to the characters, the series created by Abbi Jacobson and Will Graham sprints away from the confines of the original film.

Rosie O’Donnell, who played Doris Murphy in the 1992 movie, famously said she played her character as a lesbian, even when Marshall explicitly told her she wasn’t. Jacobson and Graham doesn’t just correct the exclusion of queer characters from the story but made them the stars.

There are two leads in the 2022 series, Jacobson as Carson Shaw and Chante Adams as Max Chapman – two characters whose narratives could not have been centered 30 years ago.

Carson is a married woman who joins the team because she wants to play ball. Ella’s husband Charlie (J. Patrick Adams) is serving overseas so she sees this as her shot from her. After meeting the vivacious Greta (D’Arcy Carden), a seductive dance reveals that Carson’s desires for her are more than just athletic success.

Carson’s discovery of her queerness is both wonderful and full of risk. The judgment and repression of the era is a constant threat.

What’s great about Carson’s side of A League of Their Own is that it’s not a case of, “And here’s the token queer girl, we’ve checked that box”, but a commitment to exploring many queer characters and their experiences.

And it’s not just about their sexualities. It’s one facet of each character, they’re not defined by it. They really also, really love baseball. The series intersects all the different aspects of their lives and ambitions for fuller portrayals.

For her part, O’Donnell returns for an emotionally resonant guest role in a later episode in the season in which she plays the owner of an underground gay bar.

The other story strand follows Max, a young black woman who is denied even a tryout despite her indisputably superior throw.

Max is champing to play baseball however she can and contrives a job at the screw factory just for a chance to be considered for the company team. Max’s raw and unappealing appetite for her butts up against the “realities” of the day, which includes her mother for her who expects her to take over the family business. That her mother de ella boasts the first black-owned business in the neighbors does n’t mean nothing.

Max is a richly textured character whose experience intersects race and queerness, contextualized in a vividly drawn side of Rockford that takes place in black spaces.

If there’s any quibble, it’s that the series takes its time to weave the two plotlines together and sometimes the intercutting between the two can drag the pace.

It’s a small thing in a series that is pumped full of fantastic performances from Jacobson, Adams and Carden but also the likes of Dale Dickey as the team’s empathetic chaperone, Gbemisola Ikumelo as Max’s friend Clance, and Rockford Peaches Melanie Field, Kate Berlant, Molly Ephraim, Kelly McCormack and Roberta Colindrez.

Marshall’s film will always have a place in cinema history – and deservedly so – but it’s stirring that a movie which couldn’t include other stories is now the launchpad for a fresh, terrific and inclusive series. It really is a league of their own.

A League of Their Own is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video



Craigmore boy whose death is being investigated suffered stomach pains, cardiac arrest before dying, his family says

The father of a young Adelaide boy whose death is being investigated by police has spoken of the “saddest day” he laid his son to rest.

WARNING: This story contains content that some readers may find upsetting.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised this article contains the name of a person who has died.

Kaurna-Narungga boy Makai, aged seven, died on February 10 but police yesterday revealed they have been investigating his death — the second suspected neglect case brought before the taskforce in less than a month.

ABC has spoken to Makai’s family and has obtained permission to use his name.

In a social media post, Makai’s father wrote the boy has been laid to rest in the new Kaurna Repatriation area at Smithfield Memorial Park in March.

“My son, Makai, will be the first Kaurna person to be laid to rest in a new location, designated for the Kaurna People,” he wrote.

“What an historic moment this will be and yet it will be the saddest day for me.”

In an earlier post, I thanked close family and friends who supported him and his child through “difficult and challenging time”.

“No father should watch his son die. Wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Not even my worst enemy,” the father wrote.

“The system I put my faith and trust in, failed me and my son,” he wrote in a separate post.

“I miss him so much, I wish he was here with me. I LOVE HIM,” he wrote on a different day.

Makai’s heart stopped three times

Makai’s relatives have claimed on a fundraising page that the Craigmore boy had suffered stomach pains in his final days.

The primary school student visited a doctor and had x-rays after complaining of stomach pains on February 7.

His doctor reviewed the x-ray results the next day and prescribed Makai laxatives.

Police Commissioner Mal Hyde
Former police commissioner Mal Hyde will lead a government review into the agencies’ interactions with Charlie and Makai’s families.(abcnews)

However, Makai took a turn for the worse the following day, where he could not move and started to hallucinate, his relatives wrote on the fundraising page.

On February 10, Makai — with a swollen belly — was rushed to the Lyell McEwin Hospital by his father.

His heart stopped beating and he went into cardiac arrest twice, and doctors were able to revive him.

Makai underwent emergency surgery and was placed into an induced coma to be transferred to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

During the ambulance trip, Makai’s father was told the boy might not survive the journey to the hospital.

After arriving, Makai’s heart stopped for a third time and doctors were not able to resuscitate him.

The coroner’s report released the following week showed the seven-year-old had died from pneumonia in both lungs, sepsis and the MRSA superbug, a drug-resistant form of golden staph.

A photo of Charlie wearing a cowboy hat
Police are investigating the death of Charlie for suspected neglect.(Supplied)

Makai’s relatives wrote the diagnosis was “a shock”, because pneumonia was not picked up at the Lyell McEwin Hospital nor by radiology.

The boy’s death is being investigated by Taskforce Prime, which was set up last month to investigate the death of six-year-old Charlie.

A government review — led by former police commissioner Mal Hyde — is underway to examine the interactions that agencies had with both children’s families and to identify any gaps in the child protection system.



South Australian police investigate seven-year-old Craigmore boy’s death from suspected criminal neglect

South Australian detectives have launched a second investigation into the death of a child by suspected criminal neglect.

WARNING: This story contains content that some readers may find upsetting

The new case involves a seven-year-old boy, who died soon after he was taken to the Lyell McEwin Hospital by his father in February.

The boy’s five siblings, aged between seven and 16, were later removed from their home at Craigmore in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

Police say they have examined volumes of evidence from child protection authorities, alongside a post-mortem report and advice from a pediatrician at the hospital.

“There is an enormous amount of records and we’ve only had a cursory look at those since we’ve got them, but it seems sufficient to launch a criminal investigation,” Detective Superintendent Des Bray said.

“Several serious health issues were identified but in themselves [were] not necessarily cause for immediate concern.”

He urged neighbours, friends and workers in government and private agencies to come forward and contact Crime Stoppers to assist the investigation.

“Essentially a case of criminal neglect occurs when a person who has a duty of care to a child fails to take all reasonable steps to protect the child from harm and the child dies or is harmed as a result of that neglect and the neglect is so serious that it warrants a criminal sanction,” Superintendent Bray said.

Police have now referred the boy’s death to Taskforce Prime, which was set up a fortnight ago to investigate the death of another child, a six year-old girl named Charlie.

A young girl smiling with her eyes closed while clasping her hands together
Charlie, aged six, died soon after arriving at the Lyell McEwin Hospital last month.(Facebook)

Charlie died soon after arriving unresponsive at the Lyell McEwin Hospital last month.

While there are no links between the two cases, police say there are some similarities.