TV Review: The League 6.1 “Sitting Shiva”
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The League
Season 6 Episode 1 “Sitting Shiva”
Directed by Jeff Schaefer
Written by Jackie Marcus Schaefer and Jeff Schaefer
Starring Katie Aselton, Mark Duplass, Nick Kroll, Stephen Rannazzisi, Paul Scheer, and Jonathan Lajoie
Release Date: September 3, 2014

Describing an episode of The League to friends who don’t watch it makes you seem like an immoral, depraved, sexually deviant, sports crazy psychopath. In others words, it’s freaking hilarious. For five seasons, the comedy about a group of friends obsessed with fantasy football has pushed the boundaries of decency way off the proverbial cliff. Last season, the show’s first on the new FXX network, continued to find new and ridiculous ways for our heroes to squeeze life into their fantasy football schedules. Let’s review where our characters left off in season five.


Andre (Paul Scheer): Andre’s fairy-tale wedding to Trixie (Jayma Mays) is ruined when they forced him to have a bachelor party draft. Well technically it’s not ruined until Trixie finds out about it and goes blind wiping her makeup with a “used” napkin from Andre whose semen she’s allergic to. See why you can’t really explain the details of this show to certain people? Andre falls into a depression and even Snoop Dogg shows up to try to get Andre out of his funk. He gets sued for a botched “toe-besity” surgery and then scammed into going overseas by number one plastic surgeon in Chicago, Dr. Henry Roca (Aziz Ansari). However, Andre comes out ok, as Dr. Rocha has an “accident” and Andre escapes liability.

Kevin and Jenny (Stephen Rannazzisi and Katie Aselton):
Their marriage saw some struggles last season. Kevin’s flatulence ruins a lunch date with possible new best friends, quarterback Jay Cutler and his wife (from whom Jenny stole a bottle of breast milk in season four). Jenny deals with personal issues — she can’t arouse a dog and struggles to get the family to eat healthy, leading Kevin and daughter Ellie (Alina Foley) to eat snacks out of the toilet tank. Jenny’s attempt to become a “lady about town” fails when Kevin shows up to a comedy show looking homeless. As always, they reconcile their differences despite ending the season as polar opposites of each other, one the SHIVA, the other, the SACKO.

Ruxin (Nick Kroll): Ruxin acts like such terrible person constantly finding any and all excuses to skip out on being a decent father and husband. As the Sacko after a disastrous season four, Ruxin is handed the new “RUXIN” trophy and promptly quits. After being kidnapped and forced into the Domination League by brother in law Rafi (Jason Mantzoukas) and Dirty Randy (Seth Rogen), Ruxin battles to get back in. His porn collection gets him in trouble at the airport, and he deals with the struggles of manscaping to entice wife Sofia (Nadine Velacruz) into a particular sex act.

Pete (Mark Duplass): Pete has an interesting year. He tries to be there for Andre and ends up almost having sex ON Andre. Pete’s season in the league is not going well and he up and quits. In one of the many references to Seinfeld‘s George Costanza (Jason Alexander), Pete’s life seemingly turns around as he uses his draft skills to pick his boss a killer work lineup and is thus promoted. When he caves in and rejoins the league, his season continues to spiral out of control thanks to a deceptively long con played by of all people, Andre. Pete barely escapes Sacko duties.

Taco (Jonathan Lajoie): Oh sweet Taco. After inheriting Uncle Frank’s “molester van”, it becomes the home base of the famed Taco-Corp. Whether he’s running a petting zoo (“Heavy Petting”), a food truck (“Taco’s Truck” and NO they don’t serve Mexican food) or Pubercuts(!), a, well you guessed it, pubic hair barbershop, Taco as usual uses his total aloofness to his advantage both in life and in fantasy football. In another Seinfeld tie-in, Taco stops getting high and like George Costanza again, he gets super smart, to the point where the gang must jump him and “re-stone” him.

Now that you’re caught up, it’s time for season six and the debauchery to continue. Episode one is appropriately named “Sitting Shiva.” And since no wedding or religious ceremony is too sacred, let’s destroy a funeral. Before we get to that, Jenny and Kevin’s marital bed is in jeopardy as he is the SACKO and she is the SHIVA! It’s so bad that Kevin is now the group’s new Andre! Pete can’t manage to get one over on the new and improved “Teflon-Dre” as his confidence is through the roof now that he’s the default #1 plastic surgeon in Chicago. Taco invents street golf which is a great way to blow off some stress unless of course you happen to be eating and a golf ball flies into your soup.

As for the funeral, let’s just say a League member passes, but their passing manages to make this year’s League the most competitive ever! One episode in and we’re already hitting on League customs like sex in strange places and cameos from plenty of football pros, as well as introducing new insults like the Weekend at Bernie‘s moment and solo flash mob.

As raunchy as ever, The League‘s sixth season starts with another touchdown as our heroes battle it out again for the heralded Shiva. Look out for episode two and all futures ones on FXX Wednesday nights at 10. Seasons 1 – 5 are available on Netflix, free with streaming subscription. Watch it weekly, or save it for a fantasy binge.



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