FX's "The League": A Review

11/19/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Todd Larkin

Whatever you think about FX's “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”--love it, hate it--chances are you'll feel the same way about new comedy series, “The League."

I’m not an avid "It's Always Sunny" watcher but do find it pretty amusing. "The League" made me cry--I was laughing that hard. It follows a close group of guy friends who play in the same fantasy football league every year and since I just happen to be an avid fantasy football player, I found their jokes believable and outrageous without being over the top.

The five guys are League Commissioner Kevin (Stephen Rannazzisi), a married father; Kevin's best friend Pete (Mark Duplass), the reigning champ; Kevin's brother Taco (Jon Lajoie), a stoner slack-off ladies man; Ruxin (Nick Kroll), an intense defense attorney with a sexless wife; and Andre (Paul Scheer), a plastic surgeon--and terrible fantasy football player.

The interactions between the men are amusing and realistic. Anyone who has spent a lot of time in the company of men will find that the pranks and ragging on each other ring true, and sports fans will enjoy the football dialogue.

However, when the show moves away from the fantasy group, it takes a walk in the "It's Always Sunny" territory--and that may lose some viewers.

An example. At Kevin’s daughter Ellie’s 5th birthday, his brother, Taco, sings a sexually explicit song. Not only is it hard to believe someone would write a song like this in the first place and actually think it's appropriate for a child's birthday party, but there's not a chance Kevin's wife, Jenny (Katie Aselton), would have let Taco go on as long as he does. Therefore, the joke falls flat to most audiences--though I have to say that my 15-year-old comedian inside laughed out loud and rewound it about four times.

Jenny’s character needs more attention. While both Pete and Ruxin have controlling girlfriends, it turns out Jenny is quite the fantasy football expert to the point of running Kevin’s team. Hopefully, she continues to be "one of the guys" because her character is just that.

Overall, "The League" leans more heavily toward funny shtick and not as heavily toward the dirty and absurd of "It's Always Sunny." FX is starting to have a hefty setup of great shows--this is just another. Being on a cable channel, “The League” should pull in solid numbers with the only downfall being Thursday night’s huge primetime lineup.

Oh, and for the record-- I'm currently second (out of 10) in my buddy fantasy football league. In my other league, I'm tenth (out of 10), which shows you how much I enjoy “The League.”

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  1. Terri said...

    OMG love this show and I'm a girl who plays ff.

  2. Edward29 said...

    I'm not a football fan at all, but I like Sunny, so I'll check it out on Hulu.
    Nice review.