{TB Talks TV} The League Review: “The Hot Tub”

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Tweetable Takeaway: Rafi makes a pitch perfect appearance to accentuate Kevin’s shame.

Airtime: Wednesday nights on FXX
By: Jeff Iblings, Contributor

 

Something changed this week on . I’m not sure why it’s been such a long time since an episode really clicked, but this time it did. They even got the “Rafi Paradigm right!”

Last week a tore “The League” a new one over the poorly executed the use of Rafi. In the past, they’ve completely gone against everything that allows the character to work so well. Tonight, they nailed it. Rafi shows up during Kevin’s utter embarrassment. He’s able to turn this horrible moment into something far worse. This is exactly what this character is for. You throw him into a situation and he’ll make it worse, and hopefully pull another character down to his level. In this case Kevin is kicks and screams to avoid the Rafi Paradigm, but it’s no use.

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Maybe I’m looking at this episode through rose tinted glasses, but it worked for me. I’m not going to get my hopes up and expect it to happen again next episode. As a Vikings fan, hope is a deadly thing. If you allow yourself to give in to it, you’re just setting yourself up for a big disappointment. If everything goes well one week, your star running back may do something felonious the next. Instead of a success two weeks running, you’ll most likely view an embarrassment the next time around. I expect episode six to be the Christian Ponder moment for The League. It’ll have all the building blocks for success, but lack something crucial to make it all cohere.

I’m writing this as my team is preparing for a clobbering at the hands of Green Bay, so please forgive me if I’m a little cynical. After hammering at how the last few seasons have crammed far too many storylines into each episode, this week was a breathe of fresh air. Each character blended well and lent help to the main storyline involving Kevin.

I’d like to see more of this. Why isn’t this happening all of the time? Are they out of story? Seinfeld ran for almost a decade and was consistently well written. Perhaps the main problem is that the League has too few writers. Even though they really just come up with a breakdown for the actors to improvise around it. The thing is, Curb Your Enthusiasm is usually really good and they do the same thing. I think they need some fresh perspective. The Seinfeld room had a pretty good rotation of writers over the years, but there have been eight writers (not counting the actors) over the last six seasons of The League. That’s too few for a show that eats up story so fast. Time for some new blood, but at least that got this episode right.

After an awkward moment ogling Ruxin’s wife Sophia, Kevin wants to prove to his wife that he only has eyes for her. Since he’s been having blood flow problems downstairs, it’s suggested he try “love pants”, the thinnest pants legally possible. He runs into Sophia at a cramped flower shop. She helps pick out flowers for Jenny, but ends up rubbing up against his ultra thin pants, until he accidently finishes on her leg.

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Some thoughts from The League office:

–  Ruxin is back after a two-episode disappearance. The Nick Kroll Show must have finished filming. If you haven’t seen it you should, it’s a consistently funny show.

–  Since Ruxin is back from Korea, he uses baby wipes after he takes a #2. Kevin asks him why he doesn’t use toilet paper like normal people. His answer is priceless: “Let me ask you this, do you pick up mud with a wet towel or a dry towel?”

–  I’m still not sure what’s going on with the entire Taco storyline this season. The Mark Cuban angle is annoying, and I feel like Taco hasn’t been used to his full potential. I can’t even remember the last time he had a song in the show. It’s too bad, the songs are one of the funniest parts of the show.

–  Kevin spoke the second best line of the night while getting arrested: “I’m just a regular guy who came in his pants.”

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For six months out of the year Jeff is holed up in his home with nothing to do but shovel snow, watch television, write, and dream of warmer climates.
Twitter: @OfSoundnVision

Keep up with Jeff’s “The League” reviews here!
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