The League: Season 3 Premiere Bitches – “The Lockout” Review

And were back!!! Season 3! For those of you living under a rock, The League is a weekly, 30 minute comedy on FX that follows 5 friends try to balance their personal and professional lives with their love, I mean obsession – fantasy football. Each season we follow the guys weekly on their quest to make it to, and win their fantasy football league championship game, the Shiva Bowl.

Each season, the first episode is always centered around 2 things: last years league champion rubbing his reigning title in the face of the other members of the league, and THE DRAFT. This year we kick off with Ruxin doing his own version of the classically terrible 85 Chicago Bears Super Bowl shuffle song and dance aptly named ‘The Shiva Bowl Shuffle’ with his top three fantasy football players Maurice Jones-Drew, Sidney Rice, Brent Grimes.

The player cameos they are able to swing are pretty amazing, like the Ochocinco from the Season 2 premiere, that was a classic. Besides the league champion gloating, we also catch up with what the guys have been up to during the “off-season”. Andre, last years Sacko Bowl winner for last place, has been getting tortured for loosing by Pete. His punishment?? Not being able to have his goatee and Captain Picard halo hair, and to play the flute dressed like a hippie at a city bus stop. Mega-creepy!

Ruxin has pretty much spent the entire time basking in his greatness, and unveils his championship trophy to they guys. This years sacrilegious league trophy, a Shiva Bowl championship ring that he had made to resemble a Super Bowl ring. Taco apparently spent the last seven months traveling the world with only a back pack and his world-wide network of Eskimo Brothers. What is an Eskimo brother your may be asking? Well, it’s a special bond you share with another man when you have slept with the same girl. He also became a well-known Algerian soap opera actor during his travels. He apparently played an American Rapper/Cowboy/Cautionary Tale with a famous catch phrase, “Bang! Bang! What’s the hang?”

Fo-shizzle, Muzlizels! And then there is Kevin and his wife, Jenny. Kevin, who apparently wanted to spend the off-season knocking up his wife so he could feel like a man before his draft, only wound up with a puppy which his wife is training. I only mention this because Jenny discovers Kevin responds to the dog training techniques she read in her puppy training book which is used throughout the episode.

We next join the guys in Kevin basement where they are determining this years draft order by drawing names out basket. The first name drawn for the first pick, turns out to be Ruxin who is conveniently not present at the time. After group consensus, they decide re-pick the number one pick and place Ruxin 5th. After they finish, Ruxin, shows up from getting his new ring fitted, only to be informed he missed the order. After which, in his conspiracy rant, he accuses the guys word for word of what really went down and how they screwed him. Kevin who is about to crack and tell Ruxin, is silenced by his wife when she uses the dog training on him. After the draft Pete approaches Jenny about what she is doing and reveals he has been doing the same thing to Kevin since college with two clicks of a pen. More on this later. I have to say, after last years draft order race through airport security between the guys, I was disappointed with how this years took place. I was expecting something just as over the top, not just a scandal storyline that I am sure Ruxin will prove at the end of the season.

We next join Pete, Kevin, and Ruxin entering a library where Pete promises a surprise that will cheer them up. Enter in Rafi aka “El Cuñado”, Ruxin’s brother-in-law. By far one of the best reoccurring characters of all time. Go back and watch season two for hilarious Rafi moments. Rafi apparently is working in the porn business with Dirty Randy, who is played by Seth Rogen. As Andre’s final Sacko punishment, Pete has decided have Rafi and Dirty Randy shoot a porno in Andre’s loft with the lead character named Andre and let him live unaware of what transpired for weeks. The episode where this comes to light will surely be hilarious.

Andre NoDick

This brings us to the all important draft. This is where glorious fantasy football championships are ultimately born. Unlike the previous two seasons, the guys are drafting via computer station and not the draft board as in the past. Kind of another let down I must say. As they all congregate in Andre’s apartment, without out Andre, Taco overhears Jenny and Pete talking about who will control Kevin and informs them that he too has training Kevin, but on a much deeper level. Apparently, Taco got Kevin high once and hypnotized him and programmed him. Why all this build up about Kevin being trained?? Well, prior to the draft Ruxin invites the gang up to the roof to celebrate the Reign of Ruxin before the draft. Kevin, decides to join him upstairs and reveal what happened when they picked the draft order since he can’t live with all the lies. As he goes up the stairs Jenny, Pete, and Taco chase after Kevin to stop him from telling Ruxin. This time, it appears Jenny and Pete’s training techniques are not working as Kevin continues up to the roof. Just as they all get up there and Kevin starts to tell Ruxin what went down, Taco yells “Pumpernickel” and Kevin passes out. Oooooh taco. Hilarious.

“Pumpernickel”

Ruxin goes on none the wiser. This is where things go awry for the group. Taco gets a text and leaves the group to go answer the door for the Dirty Randy and Rafi who came early to shoot the porn. As he leaves he locks the door, and thus locking the group outside where they inevitably watch the computer auto-draft their teams for them while a porn is being shot at the very computer they were going to use. Nooooooooooo! Auto-draft!!

Show comes to an end in true league fashion where some terribly hilarious happens to the previous winners sacrilegious trophy. Last year is was Andre falling on his trophy ‘The Dre’ with a piece breaking off inside his ass. This year, the porno actor playing Andre puts on Ruxin’s ring and gives one of the porn actress an exam…… WITH HIS FIST!! HEYOOOOOOO!!

So all in all I thought the episode was good as far as a tv comedy goes, but after last year’s season premiere/draft day in Vegas, I thought this one was kind of weak and lacking. Don’t get me wrong, I still think the show is great, with much better writing and acting than a lot of other networks fall line-up (anyone who is watching Whitney or Two Broke Girls should be shot.) I guess I just expected more over the top scenes that we got last season. Oh well. 3 out of 5 grizzlies.

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