"THE LEAGUE: THE COMPLETE SEASON ONE"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: **** (out of 5 stars)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Mark Duplass as PETE ECKHART
Stephan Rannazzisi as KEVIN MCARTHUR
Nick Kroll as RODNEY RUXIN
Paul Scheer as ANDRE NOWZIC
Jon Lajoie as TACO MCARTHUR
Katie Aselton as JENNY MCARTHUR
Jason Mantzoukas as RAFI
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A group of friends love to play fantasy football each year. However, they take things more seriously than the rest of the nation. They will fight tooth and nail, jeopardizing their jobs, friendships and other relationships in order to win the coveted “Shiva,” which is what they call their fantasy football trophy. Shot in handheld style like it’s sister show on FX “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” this series relies on inappropriate humor and improvisation to work.
WHAT I LIKED
I’m not a sports fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I totally fell in love with “The League” when I watched it. A lot of this comes from the fact that whether or not you understand or even like sports, you can really appreciate the comedy. Like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “The League” is a damn funny show, killing sacred cows and reveling in crassness.
And that speaks to me, people.
Aside from how crazy some of these characters are with each other, it’s how they rank everything else in their lives below the importance of fantasy football that makes me laugh. In one episode, the characters (who are lawyers) use fantasy football trades to negotiate a plea bargain for their clients.
Also like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “The League” has only six episodes in the first season. This helps the show a bit, actually, because they only have a few episodes to get through the entire storyline. With so few episodes, this runs only about three and a half hours and allows the quest for the Shiva to move forward without stagnating.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
While I just said that the short season does benefit things a bit, this is a bit of a bummer if you really start to get into the story. Like a BBC series, I felt a bit let down with so few episodes. I wanted more, and that’s a good thing for the series. As a consolation, new episodes are currently airing on FX this fall.
Like any first season of a television show, “The League: The Complete Season One” has some great bonus features. First, all six episodes are presented in extended editions, including some pretty raunchy moments that aren’t even appropriate for FX. There’s also a bunch of deleted scenes as well as “Alt Nation,” which features multiple hilarious takes on some of the funniest lines of the series.
There’s also several bizarre but funny feaurettes in the spirit of the show. There’s a full video of the “Vaginal Hubris” YouTube video from the show, the full version of “Birthday Song,” a pitch to “Legalize Kevin’s Pubic Smoke” and “Mr. McGibblet’s Fun House & Dojo,” which is a highly inappropriate but hilarious attempt by Taco to make a kid’s show. And then there’s the “3 Penis Win Infomercial”... well, you’ll have to watch the show to understand that one.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
People who like the comedy in the spirit of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”