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Amazon’s ‘A League of Their Own’ Reboot, Another AMC ‘Walking Dead’ Spinoff, and Apple Adapts Sheri Fink’s ‘Five Days at Memorial’: What's Upstream for August 11-17

Amazon Prime Video's 'A League of Their Own'
Amazon Prime Video's 'A League of Their Own' (Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon Prime’s series reboot of Penny Marshall’s 1992 film A League of Their Own has been in the works since 2018. The eight-episode series is not a close adaptation of the Marshall’s movie starring Tom Hanks and Geena Davis, but rather a modern take on the story with storylines that tackle sexism, racism and sexuality. It doesn't feature characters from the original movie, but instead follows a new version of the Rockford Peaches during the first season of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1943. Interestingly, the Amazon series is not the first time the movie has been adapted for television. In 1993, Sony produced a sitcom based on the film that starred Sam McMurray (Raising Arizona) and Carey Lowell (Law & Order). The show premiered on CBS, but only five episodes aired. 

A League of Their Own (Amazon Prime Video, August 12)

A reboot of Penny Marshall’s popular 1992 movie, this eight-episode series also focuses on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (1943-1954), but will not be about the Rockford Peaches. Instead, the Amazon series, co-created by Will Graham (Mozart in the Jungle) and Broad City actress-show-runner Abbi Jacobson, is a modern take on a different 1940s all-female professional baseball team. Jacobson stars in the hour-long drama, which incorporates storylines that embrace sensitive topics. “The very good TV series A League of Their Own is a worthy sleight of hand that lures you in with the promise of nostalgia for its predecessor before going hard on the homophobia, racism, and sexism of the era that even a movie made just 30 years ago could barely acknowledge if it still wanted to attract a mainstream audience who wanted to see a swing dancing Madonna and a peeing Tom Hanks,” wrote Paste Magazine’s Whitney Friedlander.

Five Days at Memorial (Apple TV Plus, August 12)

Vera Farmiga stars in this adaptation of Sheri Fink’s eponymous bestselling non-fiction book about the first five days in New Orleans Memorial Medical Center after Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005. The book and this eight-episode series explore how and why 40 dead bodies were found in the hospital following the natural disaster. Ryan Murphy wanted to turn the terrifying story, which includes the alleged euthanasia of several patients by hospital staff, into an American Crime Story season. But when that didn’t work out, Oscar-winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) and Emmy Award winner Carlton Cuse (Lost) got behind the book. Entertainment Weekly’s Kristen Baldwin wrote, “Five Days at Memorial is a high-quality, extremely grim retelling of a low point in American history. This is not a series that anyone is going to enjoy watching, for what I hope are obvious reasons. But it’s a show that absolutely should be watched, if only because in the 17 years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, our planet’s climate crisis has just gotten worse.”

Day Shift (Netflix, August 12)

In this film, Jamie Foxx stars alongside Snoop Dogg and Dave Franco as hard-working, blue-collar Bud Jablonski, who kills vampires when he’s not cleaning pools in the San Fernando Valley. Slaying vampires allows Jablonski and his family to continue to afford to live in Los Angeles. Trouble is Jablonski is not part of the slayers union, like fellow vampire killer Big John Elliott (Snoop Dogg), who gets paid quite a bit more for his efforts. This action-horror-comedy was co-written by John Wick: Chapter 3 and John Wick: Chapter 4 writer Shay Hatten. We couldn't find any reviews for Day Shift, which suggests that Netflix is in no rush for critics to see it. 

Secret Headquarters (Paramount Plus, August 12)

In this family spy comedy 14-year-old, Charlie (Walker Scobell) discovers that his boring father (played by Owen Wilson) is an internationally renowned superhero. When villains attack, Charlie and a handful of his friends are forced to defend Charlie’s dad and the world from destruction. Secret Headquarters stems from Paramount Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films, the film companies behind Top Gun: Maverick. Directed by Catfish co-creators Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the film features an impressive cast that includes Wilson, Michael Peña (Narcos: Mexico), and Jesse Williams (Take Me Out). One more plus: the story is an original idea from Thor: Ragnarok screenwriter Christopher Yost. “All in all, Secret Headquarters makes for a very entertaining ride for kids and adults,” wrote IndieWire’s Jude Dry.

Never Have I Ever – Season 3 (Netflix, August 12)

This coming-of-age comedy series co-created by Mindy Kaling follows Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) as she navigates the treacherous high school years. This season, Devi and Paxton (Darren Barnet) are still dating, but Ben (Jaren Lewison), Devi’s other former love interest, is expected to wreak some havoc on the relationship. “Never Have I Ever,  already an outstanding comedy manages to be even better in its sophomore run. Everything about the show is more confident,” wrote Salon’s Melanie McFarland.

The Fool (Hulu, August 12)

Chris Estrada’s life and stand-up work are the inspiration behind this 10-episode, half-hour comedy series. Estrada stars as Julio Lopez, a 30-year-old South Central Los Angeles man who still lives at home with his mother, Maria (Julia Vera), still dates his high school girlfriend, Maggie (Michelle Ortiz), and finds any excuse not to deal with his problems. Over the course of the series, Julio goes on a quest to overcome his co-dependency issues while spending his days working at a non-profit run by Minister Payne (Michael Imperioli) that specializes in helping ex-gang members. While it may not sound like a comedy, the series successfully finds the humor in everyday life.

The Princess (HBO Max, August 13)

Yes, this is yet another film about the late Princess Diana, but this documentary about her short life stands out from the rest. Instead of talking heads, director Ed Perkins (Black Sheep) relies on archival audio and video footage, including news reports, photo-op appearances, and old interviews, to tell the story of Diana’s complicated public life. The film unfolds as if it were in the present, allowing viewers to experience the overwhelming adoration and intense scrutiny of Diana’s every move and the constant judgment of her character. The doc premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and is being released by HBO Max just over two weeks before the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. “The Princess is a perfectly timed, compulsively watchable once-over-lightly documentary,” wrote Variety’s Owen  Gleiberman.

Tales of the Walking Dead (AMC Plus, August 14)

Olivia Munn, Parker Posey and Samantha Morton star in this anthology spinoff of The Walking Dead, which began airing on AMC in 2010. Previous branch-outs include the series Fear the Walking Dead, which launched in 2015, and the limited series The Walking Dead: World Beyond, which was released in 2020. Each hour-long stand-alone episode of Tales of the Walking Dead will feature new and existing characters from the zombie apocalypse franchise. “For all its flaws, Tales of the Walking Dead is the first time (the franchise) has been genuinely unexpected and inventive in a long while,” wrote Collider’s Chase Hutchinson

Legacy: The True Story of the L.A. Lakers (Hulu, August 15) 

If you enjoyed Winning Time: Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, HBO’s scripted version of the rise of the Showtime-era Los Angeles Lakers, then Legacy: The True Story of the L.A. Lakers is a must-see. The 10-part docuseries directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) features interviews with Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lebron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West, and Pat Riley. The 75 interviews that Fuqua conducted for the series shed light on what the HBO series got wrong about the Lakers’ road to success. To hear from the players and coaches about what was going on behind the scenes, both on and off the court, makes this series captivating. The docu proves that truth is always stranger and often more entertaining than fiction. Former LA Lakers player Kobe Bryant, who passed away in 2020, will be the focus of one entire episode.