‘The League’ Recap, Episode 1: The Lockout

Welcome to another season of recaps and quotes from the The League, the funniest show on TV nobody knows about.  Well, that isn’t completely right.  After two seasons, the show (which plays on FX at 10:30) has attracted a cult following of fantasy football freaks and Larry David afficianados (the co-creator, Jeff Schaffer was a former Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm writer).

Last night’s season premiere was like watching a 4th of July fireworks ceremony.  Twenty six minutes of relative mundanity leading up to a 4 minute grand finale.  But oh, what a finale it was.

Let’s recap where we last left our band merry fantasy misfits.  Ruxin, a lawyer by day (and depraved fantasy lunatic by night) is basking in the glory of taking home last year’s Shiva trophy (named for a high school classmate from India), so much so that he recruits members of his fantasy team, including Maurice-Jones Drew, Sidney Rice, and Brent Grimes to perform the “Shiva Bowl Shuffle” so he could rub his victory in the faces of his competitors.  Meanwhile, Andre, “winner” of last year’s “Sacko” prize for having the worst team in the league is reprising his customary role of being tormented by the other cast members.  Jenny has a new puppy, and has decided to use her training tactics on her husband Kevin, prompting best friend Pete to reveal that he’s been doing the same thing since college with a simple click of the pen.  And Taco, of course, has just returned from a 7 month around the world expedition, where he served in the Taliban (“worst April of his life”) and was an Algerian soap opera star (with the catch phrase, “bang bang, what the hang”). All make sense?

With that setup, the show, aptly titled “The Lockout” posed the age old question: what do you do if you’re locked out of your fantasy draft because you’re shooting an adult movie and your league is set to autodraft? Answer: impotently watch both in agonizing pain/intrigue.  While the show was a little light on its customary witty repartee and turn of phrases that (in my opinion) make it one of the best on TV, the absurdly hilarious, er, climax was definitely worth the wait.

Below are some of the best quotes from The League last night:

Ruxin to Andre, who was forced to grow out his hair and learn the flute as part of his “sacko” punishment, “Do you see yourself more as a rapist who does magic or a magician who likes to rape?”

Taco, sealing the competitors’ diabolical plot against Ruxin, “Let’s make it official, blood oath.  Kevin, give me your penis.”

Rafi, being Rafi, “What’s up jerks? I am day drunk and ready to see my dick.”

Referring to Dirty Randy, played by Seth Rogan, “That dude who looks like an illiterate Wolverine?”

Ruxin, trying to break Kevin into admitting the plot against him, “You don’t do morally bankrupt well.  Me? I swim around in it like Scrooge McDuck in a pile of coins. But you? You’re drowning in it.”

Ruxin, releasing his 2011 fantasy manifesto, “Don’t invite me to join LinkedIn.  It just reeks of dudes with cellphone holsters.”

Taco, recognizing that Ruxin’s ring is being used as a prop in “Dirty Randy’s” film, “That’s what I call Shivalingus!”

If you haven’t seen the show yet, here’s a little taste of what you’re in for