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When we last left our band of miscreants, they were setting the Shiva on fire. Season 3 of The League was their most explosive yet. Rodney Ruxin (Nick Kroll) suffered from a stroke after he found out the guys lied about the draft order. Jenny McArthur (Katie Aselton) is pregnant with her second child and Kevin (Stephen Rannazzisi) finally won the Shiva.
Last thursday was the season four premiere and it did not disappoint. Ruxin is just as crazy and ridiculous, Andre is absurd and ridiculed, and real football players – Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson - guest.
That is just the first five minutes.
The creators packed a lot of action in this episode, including: a dream sequence, a trip to Dallas texas, Jenny’s pregnancy and the birth of their second child. The biggest change: Ruxin is commissioner meaning this season will be messy.
The episode also featured Taco’s newest business venture – Cowboy that sing your bad news. “Because everything sounds better when it comes from a cowboy.” This venture prompts him to buy the domain name Dallas Cowboys .com.
Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, flies just the guys – because Jenny is about to burst, she’s huge – to the Cowboy training camp. It is here that the first pick lottery occurs.
The challenge: first person to get across the field with the football in hand. Sounds easy? Not with Matt Kalil, Felix Jones, Brandon Carr, Jason Witten, Jay Ratliff, DeSean Jackson pelting, pounding and pressuring you to back out.
I have to say Andre (Paul Scheer) looked pretty spectacular on the field in his fedora and vest. He really blended in – it was beautiful.
Taco (Jon Lajoie) really won this episode. By stripping naked, he was the only one to get across the field gaining first draft pick. He was awarded $250, 000 dollars for the domain name – after Jones delivers my favourite line “It’s like talking to a mountain of pudding” – and in the surprise ending, Taco gives up his first round pick for naming rights.
Rannazzisi said this about the name: “There’s some confusion as to what the new baby is going to be called. I don’t want to give it away, but there are two very very very different names. So we’ll see which one sticks and which one doesn’t.”
Taco deemed the child’s name, through singing cowboy no less, as Chalupa Batman McArthur. This will not end well.
Jenny wasn’t the only one to have a child, series creators Jeff and Jackie Marcus Schaffer had a child the day before shooting began.In an interview with TV Guide Magazine, Marcus Schaffter said: “We were trying to explain to him that we had [all] of these professional football players lined up for the next day!”
The two even leaked a few details about the rest of the season. Rafi’s (Jason Mantzoukas) back! The interview with the Schaffer’s included this gem: “This season, you’ll also see Rafi in some very odd situations. Like taking Ruxin’s kid to swim class. Rafi and a pool full of four-year-olds. Enjoy that image.” More relatives will be introduced, including: Julia Duffy from Newhart and Robert Wagner.
This episode features so much craziness with the McArthur family that Ruxin and Pete (Mark Duplass) get to sneak around pulling pranks without anyone realizing. Ruxin makes secret deals, and Pete becomes custodian of the Hall of Records – essentially embarrassing all members.
This season has already shown how crazy it will be and I for one am thrilled. For those of you who want to check it out, the show airs on FX Thursday’s at 10:30.
*Also, for those who don’t follow football and were wondering about the asterisk joke, here’s the explanation from the show runners: “It’s gonna come at a price. You know how with the replacement refs in the NFL, people have been saying there should be asterisks next to some of those games? Three months earlier, when we started shooting, we’d already been calling Kevin “Kevin McAsterisk” because they all think his championship should have a qualifier.”