Okay, The League, that was a little more like it. After coming out of the gate a little sluggish with the first two episodes, tonight’s third episode didn’t really do much to advance anything resembling a “plot” (then again, that’s never really been a priority with the show), but it was filled to the brim with one liners and the trademark catchphrases the show likes to invent. In this case, we can safely put Dick Chicken and Slot Shaming into the official League lexicon, I think.
It was pretty freaking awkward to take a moment to basically do a promo for Draft Kings in the middle of the episode, of course, but that’s neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is, this was the funniest episode, and the most tightly constructed episode, of the season so far. It also happens to have been the first episode devoted to watching football, which probably helps.
The episode gets its title, “The Blind Spot,” from a fairly bizarre plot device that nevertheless fuels the main storyline for this episode. With Ruxin on his own while his wife and kid are in Puerto Rico, he’s trying to turn his home into a place to “chill with his bros and gal pal.” Unfortunately, he’s got to deal with security cameras that his wife is constantly checking in on to make sure he’s not eating junk food or, in general, being the version of Ruxin that we, the audience know, but which he hides from her at every turn. You know, the disgusting, gigantic asshole version of Ruxin.
And then, he finds a single blind spot where none of the cameras can actually spot him and sets up camp there – there being Rafi’s former pee corner in the living room. There are some solid callbacks to old storylines scattered throughout tonight’s episode, including “the bounce test” website that Ruxin so enjoys watching for his, er, extracurricular pleasures.
We also get a big callback to Taco’s EBDB (Eskimo Brother Database, in case you’d forgotten) as the B-story tonight. In fact, basically anything that’s not dealing with Ruxin’s blind spot and/or the gang’s efforts to watch football (specifically the Bears/Packers game from week one) are filled with Taco trying to force EBDB Prime on his friends, and in true Taco fashion, obliviously ruining everything in the process. Look – Taco is an idiot, clearly. And while it made for some decent satire, his conversation with Kevin about canceling Kevin’s EBDB Prime account – with Taco acting like he was on the other end of a phone line, rather than standing in a trailer in a driveway, talking face to face with his brother – felt a little forced and hamfisted.
That said, Taco’s insistence that EBDB Prime become the one and only source of entertainment delivery for Kevin and Jenny led to a great throwaway gag in which Taco pops in a DVD of himself, in a homemade cooking show called “Taco Making Tacos.” Fantastic.
I mentioned the one liners, and really, the one liners and jokes were what really made this particular episode work more than any particular element of the story. Things are certainly trending upward, at least for this week. We’ll just have to wait and see if next week takes another nosedive, or if the cast can sustain this week’s level of joke-a-minute humor to provide another solid installment. It would have been nice to give Andre a little more to do, but I guess after basically getting a showcase episode last week, they decided it’d be okay to ease on the brakes with Paul Scheer this week.
Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with playing slot receivers, no matter what Pete tries to tell Jenny. Julian Edelman and Randall Cobb are always terrific plays. Suck it, Pete.