Review: A League of their Own: European Road Trip Special (Episode One)

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Hysterical

Unapologetic hilarity guaranteed for one hour of your viewing pleasure.

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A League of their Own is a British sports-based game show hosted by James Cordon, with Jamie Redknapp and Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff serving as team captains. Typically released on a weekly basis, the show welcomes all manner of comedians and sports stars as they compete in a host of challenges and physical activities. Promising laughter and shock, A League of Their Own repeatedly wins fans over with its rivalries and team jealousies. You simply can’t go wrong.

In 2016 and 2017 the show produced two series featuring the guys as they undertook a road trip across the United States. Ultimately, the success of these led to Sky One commissioning the European Road Trip series, with episode one airing on Thursday night. Now, before I go any further I must be honest with you. Full disclosure: I’m no pro when it comes to sports. I claim to follow Spurs (because of my Dad) and I love watching rugby but couldn’t tell you the rules. I’ve dabbled in cricket, avidly watch the Olympics and I’m on the rowing team at university, as the cox – for those that don’t know, my job is to sit there are shout (and steer, but mainly shout) at the rowers. Nevertheless, A League of Their Own doesn’t require viewers to understand all the ins and outs of every sport, the truth is, not much of the show has much to do with the sports themselves, at all.

With slapstick comedy and a constant flow of witty comebacks, anyone can easily be fan. And so when I sat down on the sofa to watch this special unfold, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, although I did know I was going to be in hysterics pretty quickly. The episode opened by telling us that Flintoff and Redknapp would be setting sail across the channel, with the help of two pro sailors and a couple of million pound yachts. In a race against each other, it quickly became clear that the captains were not alone. Flintoff was joined by world class cricketer, and previous England captain, Kevin Pieterson, whilst Redknapp had the joys of being accompanied by “chatty man” Alan Carr. The former was likely not too pleased with the scenario, following Pieterson’s controversial end to his tenure as England captain, whilst the latter didn’t have high standards for the help he may receive from Carr. Nevertheless, the boys set sail across the channel in a race with plenty of moments of hilarity. From Flintoff and Pieterson’s constant attempts to inflate each others life jackets, to Carr’s relatively ineffectual shouting, the race proved to us that what these boys may lack in seamanship, they make up for in banter and effort.

Once the professional sailors safely delivered the boys to France, they hopped in a car (questionably driven by Flintoff) and headed for Paris. It became quite clear, quite quickly, that the boys were in for a proper treat… and viewers were in for an even bigger treat. The boys were to perform in the famous cabaret/burlesque show at Le Lido. Under the care of a very patient teacher, Jane, the boys learned how to dance in this racy style, with varying degrees of success. A mixture of spanking, duo dancing with professionals and topless struts across the stage pushed the boys to their limits. Could they perform the show whilst remaining serious in their facial expressions? Could they remember all the routines, and all their entrances and exits? Was Alan even going to make it to the end? And who was going to come out on top?

Well, you’ll have to watch to find out. Episode One was certainly comedy gold – what will next week’s instalment bring? Who knows, but you’ll have to tune in to find out.

A League of Their Own: European Road Trip is available to watch on Sky One, on Thursday nights.

 

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