“Kevin is the New Andre and Ted is Dead”
Greetings, God Hates Geekers. Football season is upon us and with that, our favorite NFL companion comedy, The League, is back for its sixth season on FXX (no, the extra X is not a typo; FX did actually split up their networks for some reason).
When we last left our favorite fictional group of Fantasy Football aficionados, both the Shiva and the Sacko were sitting in the same household for the first time as Jenny (Katie Aselton) pulled out a win with the help of Kevin (Stephen Rannazzisi), who ironically lost thanks to taking advice from Jenny. That is exactly where we pick up at. The show kicks off with a hilarious dream sequence featuring Kevin participating in the 2014 Combine. We soon realize that Kevin is having the masculinity issues that one might expect after coming in last place when your wife took home the gold.
The debut episode centers around the gang doing their annual draft, per usual, but there is a wrench thrown in the spokes when Ted (one of the out-of-town members of the league played by Adam Brody) dies. To keep this relatively spoiler free we won’t divulge the details, but it’s as ridiculously awesome as it sounds.
Pete (Mark Duplass), Rodney (Nick Kroll) and even Andre (Paul Scheer) are having their fair share of fun “sacksually harassing” Kevin over his loss. Andre is in especially good mood, being that he is now the number one plastic surgeon in Chicago– and none of the gangs insults seem to have their usual effect. Being that Andre is the comedic punching bag for the group, this doesn’t last for too long.
Taco (Jon Lajoieis), as always, the focal point of most of the show’s best jokes. Between taking the guys “Street Golfing” and trying to steal the draft board from a coffin, Taco delivers the biggest laughs — but certainly not for any a lack of trying on the rest of the cast’s part. The constantly stoned younger brother of Kevin is only rivaled in this episode by a great gag involving two NFL guest stars, Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron and New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan.
It’s very early in the season to say, but like many great comedies, it seems that The League is really in the middle of its “sweet spot,” if you will. Similar to The Office and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the time spent with the characters up until now has paid off big time. All of the relationships and long-standing inside jokes have marinated to a point of perfection and fans will be enjoying a near constant payoff because of it.
Beyond the usual right to claim the Shiva and the bragging rights, there is a massive prize revealed in this episode for this seasons winner — which looks to make things more competitive than ever. Plus, with Ted’s death the gang will be forced to find a new member to fill his spot. This all sets things up really nicely for the remainder of the season. The only unfortunate thing moving forward is knowing that, even the best comedies in television history rarely had more than six or seven great seasons. So even though we are enjoying the fruits of comedic gold at the moment, that will likely soon expire.
However, for those who like to live in the moment and not dwell on the speculative future, this season is shaping up to potentially be one of the shows finest and should definitely be a bright spot in your weekly viewing for the next few months.
You can catch new episodes of The League on FXX Wednesday’s at 10pm.