Here’s how I started watching FX’s The League, don’t worry it’s not a long story, but I think it’s interesting how we come to certain blocks of entertainment. I had heard that show about a group of friends in a fantasy football league existed, but didn’t know anything about it aside from the fact that Paul Scheer was in it. Then I started hearing the hilarious Nick Kroll on various episodes of Marc Maron’s WTF podcast (here’s my previous post about the podcast, and here’s the official site). After that I watched and loved the first season of Louis CK’s Louie on FX. Then I finished watching Party Down and Xbox Instant recommended The League. With the combination of FX’s new-found in my headspace, a desire to see Kroll in action and the desire to simply watch another fun comedy, I was in. Boy, I’m glad I did because this show is fantastically funny, honest and often terrible all in wonderful ways.
Like I said, the idea is that these five high school friends (well four high school friends and a brother of one of the guys) are in a league. Much of the humor comes from the ins and outs of their relationship and the pressure that get to fantasy fans, but there’s also a lot of relationship stuff going on that is right on the money. Kroll plays a lawyer whose married to the maid from My Name Is Earl and has a young son. He’s kind of a jerk and overly intense about things he shouldn’t be (like fantasy football of course). Scheer is rich, but super gullible and mostly terrible in the league while Mark Duplass is the lovably ass-ish Pete. Then you’ve got Kevin who’s married to Jenny who actually runs his team. They have about the cutest little girl on TV and she is utilized perfectly from the episodes I’ve seen. Finally, you’ve got Kevin’s stoner brother Taco who is incredibly stupid, but also comes up with some great songs throughout the series.
Personally, I’m not a fantasy footballer. I tend to like doing, watching or experiencing things without feeling the need to get much deeper than that. With comics, I just read comics and now write about them on here, I don’t need to go all over the internet telling everyone what I think and why they’re dumb. When it comes to football, I just want to watch games, get into them and then move on to other stuff. I don’t mean to disparage people who do like fantasy leagues, it’s just not my thing. However, I get the intensity that comes with being a big fan of something and I’ve been watching a lot of Mike & Mike on ESPN 2 in the mornings, so I’ve got enough knowledge to laugh when they’re talking about playing or benching certain players even if I’m not really sure what half of the fantasy league jargon even means. Not a big deal.
Like the other shows on FX that I’ve liked, like Louie or It’s Always Sunny which I’m way behind on, The League revolves around realistic characters who maybe don’t have to deal with the consequences of some of their jerkier actions which makes it a great kind of release for regular people. Pete might be the biggest jerk on television, but he’s got that boyish charm that you just can’t stay mad at.
I don’t know if I’d want to be friends with guys like these because of the huge amount of ball busting going on at all times, but I love watching them in their natural habitat. I don’t think I’ve laughed louder or harder at a comedy in quite a while and the best part is that there is a whole third season not yet on Netflix Instant that I can look forward to watching.