TV review: New season of “The League” as steady as fall football

By Columbus Alive
From the August 29, 2013 edition

Most people think “The League” is a comedy for fantasy-football geeks, but it’s not exclusive to those who — let’s face it — should have something better to do on Sundays. Look, my 23-year-old sister loves “The League” and has a social life like many girlie things, and has never played fantasy football. She also has a good sense of humor.

“The League” is basically a group of dudes and one very awesome woman (Katie Aselton) who play in a fantasy league together. But most of the structure — loosely-used term as much of the dialog and humor is improvised —is about s--- talking, pranking and one-upping your friends. Anyone can relate to that.

With that said, those looking to check out “The League” for the first time when it makes its Season 5 debut (moving from FX to FXX) may be a little lost—whether you play fantasy football or not. Over the course of the series, “The League” has built up a wealth of running jokes based on its cast of miscreants and their long-running friendship/rivalry.

The problem newbies will have:hey may not understand the humor in Andre’s (Paul Scheer) constant and unsuspectinghomoerotic lingo,Kevin’s (Stephen Rannazzisi) scatological schadenfreude TacoJonathan Lajoie) blissfully ignorantburnout, Ruxin’s (Nick Kroll) smarminess or Pete (Mark Duplass) being Pete.

Those who’d like to give “The League” a shot would be better off hitting Netflix for the early seasons. Those who know, and probably like, the show shouldn’t expect anything drastically new.

Andre is still on the bottom of the pile. Pete’s still out-smarting the group and dropping one-liners. Kevin is still lucky to be married to Jenny (Aselton). Ruxin is still a hilarious douche. Taco is always high. And Rafi (Jason Mantzoukas) pops up occasionally to creep the s--- out of everyone.

Veteran or rookie, most will enjoy the juvenile folly of “The League.” And much like fantasy football, i may take a while to get your footing. But once you do, you’re hooked.