All this season, just like last season, I’ll be recapping episodes of FX’s The League, a tribute to fantasy football culture in sitcom form. Stop by every Friday to discuss the highlights of each episode and commemorate the best trash talk and one-liners. Bang-bang! What’s the hang?
What better way to begin a season of The League than with The Shiva Bowl Shuffle from Ruxin and his entire fantasy team from last season? I especially enjoyed the Sidney Rice bit: “I’m hip to IR.”
But do you guys see the “George Clooney stubble” on Ruxin? I don’t think I do. Then again, I don’t think I could say I did…even if I did.
At last The League has returned to us like a prodigal son going to Vegas and only giving us periodic, seasonal updates on his winnings who finally comes in the door stinking of booze, bankruptcy, and bad decisions.
In the season premiere, we got caught up with what’s happened in the offseason â€” mostly just the guys punishing Andre as much as possible for winning The Sacko while Taco walked the earth â€” and we pushed ahead into how the league is going to screw Ruxin and get away with it. I don’t think they will…do you?
We should all be so lucky as to steal a few moves from The League penance playbook. For being last in the league, Andre had to grow out his hair, play a flute at a bus stop for strangers, take last pick int he draft, AND draft from an alternate location while the league held a draft party at his house. That’s just cold…but so good.
Andre, your life is terrible, but I want to steal all of these ideas for my own leagues.
Taco would be the one to find himself cast as the American cautionary tale on Algerian television, wouldn’t he? He may make all Americans shamefaced in Algeria, but at least he blessed the world with his music.
I’m not sure what a Kevin baby would look like, but the entire time he was talking to Kate about having one, I was imagining what a “rankings slave” baby would look like. Would it try to get out of the womb first, before its peers? Or would it rather stay in the womb until after the due date and be a sleeper baby? Also, would it be as susceptible to dog training as Kevin?
My leagues always talk about a cool way to pick the draft order each year. Personally, I think it should involve some kind of unrelated and uncontrolled competition like a turtle race or a WNBA game. In that regard, Season 1′s No Child Left Behind foot race remains the best way to determine draft positions that I’ve ever seen.
Inevitably, my leagues always end up drawing names or numbers out of a hat like the league did this season with the cobra box. So sad.
How the hell did Ruxin know exactly how they screwed him in picking the draft order? He walks in and called it like he had a mic in the room. And who is Chuck? So many questions! WHEN DO THEY OPEN THE HATCH?
Kevin’s always the weak one. It kind of makes you feel worse for him than Andre because he has the perception of power. He gets trained by half the league through various forms of mind weakness â€” dog training tricks, pen clicks, and high-notizing. If he wins the league, it might only be because someone guides him to the Shiva like a puppet.
To cheer Kevin up after the draft, the league turns to the dirtiest of Randys, Dirty Randy. And Seth Rogen is perfect for the part. I can actually imagine him being a porn director in between his mainstream movies, but maybe that’s just the Zack and Miri Make a Porno effect on his image.
Before we talk about the porno, by the way, I must say I did not understand how it would have been feasible to draft online with only one computer like Ruxin had planned.
In a perfect world, people would walk up, make a pick, and sit down, but this is not a perfect world. Stickers and a paper draft board I get, but I’ve never seen an online draft go well without everyone having their own computer on which to queue players.
Unfortunately for all, the draft plans go awry as Ruxin’s celebration of self runs long on his rooftop shrine. While he rants about LinkedIn and league rules, Taco lets the Dirty Randy crew into Andre’s place to start shooting, and in classic Taco fashion, he locks the rest of the league on the roof.
The highlight of the porn shoot for me â€” well, besides the porn star screaming “You have hair! It’s awesome!” to Dr. Nodick â€” was the Taco, Rafi, and Dirty Randy discussion of middle eastern politics and culture. There’s a color analyst among those three. I just know it.
I’d say it was a successful first episode from the writers this season. There’s plenty of drama to be had now that the entire league â€” other than Andre and the mysterious outsiders like Chuck â€” autodrafted. Maybe we’ll see some more trading this year? Yes, please.
For now, we got our The League fix, plus a little porn and plenty of terrible ideas to punish those who finish last in our own league. What more could you ask for in a season premiere? No, really? I’d like to know.
Memorable quotes from Episode 1:
PETE: “It’s definitely less creepy when you follow them onto the bus.”
RUXIN: “Andre, do you see yourself more as like a rapist who does magic or a magician who also likes to rape?”
ANDRE: “With me, magic always comes first.”
RUXIN: “A little Shiva-lingus? Come on, Kevin, find out if it tastes the same.”
ANDRE: “You are Sauron.”
TACO: “Bang-bang! What’s the hang?”
TACO (as Cowboy of Algerian TV): “Back in the USA, we get venereal disease from our cell phones, and homeless people know karate and carry guns.”
JENNY: “I, as much as I wish I could, cannot give birth to a Shiva.”
KEVIN: “It hurts so bad when I pull hard!”
RUXIN: “And then we’ll let the other three lemmings keep their act together as long as they can without exploding with the shame of diarrhea that is currently soaking their pants.”
RUXIN: “Why don’t you put the guns away, anorexic David Crosby?”
TACO: “Blood oath. Kevin, give me your penis.”
RAFI: “I am day drunk. (In song) Get ready to SEE my dick!”
DIRTY RANDY (to Ruxin): “You, though…I’d film the SHIT out of you.”
DIRTY RANDY: “Puns are as vital to the porn industry as they are to the pet shop industry and the child hair salon industry.”
RAFI: “It’s like a white rain of 1,000 loads.”
RUXIN: “You don’t do morally bankrupt…but me? I swim around in it like Scrooge McDuck in a pile of coins.”
RUXIN: “Don’t invite me to join LinkedIn. It just reeks of dudes with cell phone holsters.”
ANDRE: “You have have two kickers? I don’t even have ONE. I KNEW it was a kicker year!”
KEVIN: “You know, I’ve been watching football my whole life â€”I don’t even know who this person is.”
RUXIN: “Oh, Shiva ring, forever UNCLEAN!”
JENNY: “This porn is disgusting, you guys. Is this what you like?”
KEVIN (softly): “No…”