Abbi Jacobs is best known for the series Broad City, which she co-created with Ilana Glazer. It was a comedic gem that had no difficult storylines, but focused on the everyday lives of two volatile friends living in New York. After the final episode aired, Jacobson focused more on fine art, as well as dubbing (she named the lead character in the animated film Family on Flashlights) and screenwriting. Together with Will Graham, she decided to remake the 1992 film The Big Victory. In the series of the same name, which is available on the Amazon Prime streaming platform, Jacobson played the lead role of Carson Shaw.
Photo: Amazon Prime
Jo (Melanie Field), Carson (Abbi Jacobson) and Greta (D’Arcy Carden).
Looking “Feminine” While Playing Baseball
Big Win is treated in such a way that you don’t need to understand baseball at all to enjoy it. It is the period of the 2nd World War and in the US they decided to establish the first baseball league for women. However, the organizers do their best to make it reflect the moral and ethical values of the time – so the players have to be painted, smile constantly and look “feminine”.
We meet a wide range of young women who have decided to play for the Rockford Peaches. The original film emphasized comedy, but the series sticks to a more dramatic line, sometimes brightening it up with touching or funny moments. Its biggest contribution is that it addresses key themes that the 1992 film neglected.
The main character, Carson Shaw, leaves a quiet life to pursue her dream of playing baseball. Under normal circumstances, she probably wouldn’t go, but her husband Charlie (Patrick J. Adams) is fighting in the war. Carson not only gets to know the new city, but also himself. He begins a romance with his teammate Greta (D’Arcy Cardenová), who on the one hand is a very confident and cheerful person, but on the other hand follows strict rules to avoid being exposed.
However, The Great Victory isn’t afraid to go beyond showing one gay couple, as almost every series or movie does these days. The makers are well aware that heterosexuality in the world of women’s sports is the exception rather than the norm. That’s why there are several lesbians in the team, who somehow automatically form a secret alliance together.
The viewer gets the chance to experience the atmosphere of a secret gay bar and how special it was in the 1940s to find a more or less safe place full of relatives. Interestingly, Rosie O’Donnell, who also starred in the original film, played the part of Vi, the owner of the gay bar.
Abbi Jacobson portrayed Carson in a way that retained something of her Broad City rendition. She lacks confidence and often finds herself in embarrassing situations, which almost always lead to comedic moments.
Different paths to fulfill the dream
In addition to feminism and homosexuality, the series also addresses the issue of race. In addition to Broskýň’s storyline, we also follow the story of Maxine (Chanté Adamsová), who literally lives off baseball. The creators made a very smart decision to separate the story of the white woman and the black woman, as they were able to show that their ways to achieve the same dream are different, despite their similar abilities – you could even argue that Maxine much better at baseball than Carson.
However, because of her skin color, she couldn’t get to the Peaches, so she had to take a much more demanding walk, which lasts for the entire eight episodes of the series. She also struggles with family problems related to her desire for independence and coming to terms with her own sexuality. She was helped by her transgender uncle Bert (Lea Robinson), who takes her in when she has nowhere to go.
Abbi Jacobson (left) and Ilana Glazer together at the season two premiere of Big Little Lies. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have been a comedy duo for several years in their original series Broad City.
Bert showed her that even someone like him could build a stable house with a loving wife and close friends, despite being separated from his original family. The friendship between Maxine and Clance (Gbemisola Ikumelo), who loves comics and makes them herself, is also a lot of fun. Carson and Maxine’s friendship seems a little more intimate, which, while very random, offers the viewer a deeper understanding of their characters.
The original Great Victory was primarily built around the person of Tom Hanks, who played Coach Broskýň. However, the series’ creators decided to focus mainly on the women, because it’s their story, so the character of coach Casey “Dove” Porter (Nick Offerman) doesn’t have much room. Plus, they were realistic in their portrayal—although he acted like a friend like the others, he thought the women’s team was just a joke not to be taken seriously. After all, the girls can do without him.
Big Victory is a high-quality period series from a sports setting, which focuses on all the important topics, provides entertainment, but also dramatically tense moments, which are certainly not to be missed. The producers are already planning the 2nd season.