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The League: The Complete Season One

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 06-10-2010


Product Description
Get drafted into the hilarious first season of The League, a full-contact look at the hyper-competitive, hysterically unrestrained world of fantasy football! The League’s members are a tight crew of long-time buddies, but that doesn’t stop an all-out blitz of trash-talking, deceit and ruthless extortion. Watch as their obsession with winning the highly coveted, yet utterly absurd championship trophy impacts their careers, sex lives, families and above all — their d… More >>

The League: The Complete Season One

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Comments (4)

In an effort to capitalize on the audience from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” the FX network has tried a number of promising shows. “Sunny,” to me, has always been a completely inspired bit of lunacy that defies everything about the age of political correctness in which we find ourselves. It is so wrong–but that’s what makes it so right. Unapologetically demented and offensive, the show has moments of brilliance. “The League” does work as a companion piece, albeit with a bit more unevenness and with mixed results. In some ways, the show tries too hard to push boundaries, to be as edgy as “Sunny.” Instead of relying on its genuinely funny cast and an effective premise, the show strains for shock value. Still, I enjoyed Season One of “The League,” but I don’t feel as if it has reached its true potential.

Part scripted, part improvisation, “The League” revolves around a group of friends and the mania that accompanies their yearly fantasy football league. The easy camaraderie and the edge of competitiveness are present in equal measure–but let’s face it, the show is about guys behaving badly. In brutal and funny sequences, the guys goad and insult one another in the ultimate game of one-ups-manship. The cast of semi-familiar faces features a great performances by comedian Paul Scheer as one of the more aggressively in-your-face competitors and newcomer Jonathan Lajoie as the most clueless and unaffected of the group. Indie favorite Mark Duplass (“The Puffy Chair”) is the nominal lead and perhaps the most sane of the bunch. Stephen Rannazzisi, whose wife wears the fantasy football pants, and Nick Kroll, the smarmiest and most over-confident contestant, round out the primary cast.

If you’re looking for a show that is football centric, “The League” is not particularly a show about sport. It’s about brotherhood and friendship and true caveman spirit! The jokes can be hit or miss, as can whole episodes, but the entire cast tries gamely. There is lots of energy, and generally when something doesn’t work–something else quickly follows. It’s fast paced mayhem with a heart. Season Two is starting up on FX any day now and I wish the show well. An enjoyable initial outing, I’d rate the first season of “The League” at 3 1/2 stars with some room to grow.

Rating: 4 / 5

Not for those easily offended by profanity or sexual innuendo, The League is the most entertaining, refreshingly witty show I’ve enjoyed since Arrested Development. The humor is simultaneously blatant and subtle, which may be due to the show’s semi-scripted nature and the timing and the delivery of the actors, which are very well cast.

You don’t need to understand football, or be a fan of the NFL to enjoy The League, although it helps if you are familiar with the teams and the names of the players, if for nothing else to understand why the characters get so excited about the draft order and picks. If you have ever worked in, gone to school with, or been in a situation with a group of friends involved in any ongoing competitive event like a Fantasy Football League you will understand and enjoy this show, provided you have a broad sense of humor.

Tonight was the second season series premiere, and in true FX style it’s aired practically every hour. I’ve watched it twice and my abdominal muscles are sore from laughing. Watch the first season “marathon” style before viewing the new episodes if you have the opportunity.
Rating: 5 / 5

A friend of mine kept telling me how great this series was. So I just went out & purchased it. I can’t believe this is the first I’ve seen of The League. It’s hilarious. I play in a similar fantasy league with life long friends that are also generally relentless in their “smack talk.” It’s well written & the characters could easily be any one of a few different people I know in real life.

It does air on cable for a reason, but that actually only makes it all the more funny. Can’t wait until I can bring season 2 home with me.
Rating: 5 / 5

6 Episodes on 2 Discs, released September 14, 2010

“The League” is a semi-scripted comedy created by Jackie and Jeff Schaffer about a fantasy football league. This installment shows the first six episodes and it has been renewed for 13 episodes in the second season. It follows around men and their wives obsessed with football and how it interferes with their daily lives. One example of this is in the pilot, two lawyers are negotiating a plea bargain that involves some fantasy football trades in exchange for a shorter sentence for the criminal. Wow.

Even without knowing much about football (though I bet it helps quite a bit), this is a comedy that can be enjoyed just poking fun at what losers they all are. Vulgar guy humor plus one of the most popular testosterone-driven sports in existence equals a guy show. Usually I like guy shows, this isn’t one of them. It’s funny but actually gets pretty gross beyond my taste level which surprised me.

There is situational humor with a couple trying to have a baby, a couple trying to get intimate after having a baby, the torture of wives who want you to sit at the dinner table when the game is on, the shame of your wife picking your team for you, trying to ensnare a child prophet to help you, and the challenge of trying to be on two leagues at the same time. I totally recommend this for guys who like vulgar humor and football. Everyone else can safely steer clear.

Bonus Features:

Since one character turned out to be a singer/songwriter/rapper, there are quite a few songs in full in the bonus features including “Birthday Song” about how a little girl was conceived, “Vaginal Hubris” about a proud vagina, and “Legalize Kevin’s Pubic Smoke” encouraging legalization of a joint with Kevin’s hair in it among others. Eww.

There is a featurette for Andre called “Dress with Style, Win with Style” where he articulates the inspiration for his wannabe wardrobe that he gets picked on for anyway. There are a few more minor ones, but they aren’t really worth discussing. You also get the pilot episode to a series called “Archer” which appears to be a cartoon James Bond-ish series with vulgar humor.
Rating: 3 / 5

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