'The League': Seth Rogen gets down and dirty

League-Seth-Rogen

Image Credit: Patrick McElhenney/FX

The cast and crew of The League, FX’s raunchy comedy about a pack of dudes who compete in an intense fantasy football league, spent the whole summer answering questions about how an NFL work stoppage would effect their show. So it made perfect sense that its season 3 premiere was titled “The Lockout.” But last night’s kick-off wasn’t just memorable for its ironic twist on the traditional draft day episode; it finally introduced Dirty Randy, Rafi’s porn-scout pal who was the most intriguing sitcom non-character since Cosmo Kramer’s partner in crime, Bob Sacamano.

Ruxin (Nick Kroll) was just beginning to enjoy his reign as defending champ, and as always, he didn’t hesitate to rub it in. As a tribute to the great 1985 Chicago Bears squad, he recruited the star players from his fantasy roster to participate in a homemade music video, “The Shiva Bowl Shuffle.” Yes, the Shiva is officially back, banishing the poorly fashioned Dre trophy to the dustbin of history. Meanwhile, The Dre’s namesake, Andre (Paul Scheer), was forced to play the anti-Pied Piper of Chicago public transportation as punishment for finishing last in the league. If only that were the worst of his hazing.

Andre was also banned from attending the draft, and his frenemies couldn’t resist one last gag of hiring a crew to film a porn in his loft apartment. Enter Dirty Randy, i.e. Seth Rogen, the pun-minded filmmaker behind the adult classic, Sh–ler’s List. In previous episodes, Rafi had built Dirty Randy up to be some Rasputin-like force — “Don’t let him in if you’re alone. He preys on the weak.” — but Rogen’s portrayal was a more conventional mix of his characters from The 40 Year Old Virgin and Zach and Miri Make a Porno. Actually, since I have Kramer’s coterie of halfwits on the brain, Randy was a little like Brody, Seinfeld‘s ill-tempered pirate-video auteur. But his My Orgy at Andre’s opus backfired on the pranksters, as the gang locked themselves on Andre’s roof and then had to watch their fantasy-football teams draft on auto-pilot while some porn stars stained the apartment.

The B-story of Jenny (Katie Aselton) puppy-training her husband, Kevin (Stephen Rannazzisi) opted for cartoonish over clever, though it almost became worth the effort when Taco (Jonathan Lajoie) commanded him to sleep with a single suggestive trigger-word (“Pumpernickle!”). They might not ever be Coach and Tami Taylor, but Jenny and Kevin are already one of my favorite married couples on TV. They have great chemistry, and Jenny’s ability to keep up with the boys — or is it lower herself to their level — is one of the show’s most charming qualities. Together, men are idiots, but it’s nice to think that the intelligent, sexy women who love said idiots are just as willing to engage in the frivolity.

What did you think of Dirty Randy? Were you disappointed that the show “wasted” the character on such a big star, thus likely eliminating the prospects of a recurring role? Where do Jenny and Kevin currently rank on the list of best TV couples?

Read more:
‘The League’ creators talk trash, Vegas, and football

Comments (15 total) Add your comment
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  • Gray

    This season opener dissapointed. Coming off the spectacular season finale, I expected more. The ode to the ’85 bears was hilarious but the whole ‘training’ of Kevin thing was seriously unfunny. And Andre and the flute? Taco on an Algerian TV show? Come on! These guys had me rolling last season. And my current favorite TV couple is probably Brad and Jane from ‘Happy Endings’.

    • Kevin

      You were disappointed in last night’s episode but you actually LIKE Happy Endings? That is the worst show on TV besides Whitney.

      • taco

        ha!

  • Tim

    I was disappointed that it got away from the classic draft episode. First off, picking the draft in Season 1 was one of the most hilarious scene of the season, and in Season 2 was pretty funny as well, but sitting the garage picking names out of a hat, was the most unfunny scene the series history! Major disappointment! Taco made me laugh the entire episode. To answer your question about Kevin and Jenny, the best. Does not matter if they are fighting with each other, being sub-par parents, or making love, they on-screen chemistry is unmatched.

  • UGH

    I wonder if Seth Rogen will play the same character that he always plays again and again and again….

  • Geronimo

    Looking forward to seeing this episode once it’s available on hulu, but not because of Rogen. Katie Aselton’s character is the only thing that makes this show tolerable. When it’s just the guys, it is nowhere near as interesting. Jenny just adds a whole different element to the show.

  • The Dude

    An OK premiere, but I do think it was a bit disappointing overall. The best part was the end when everyone’s picks went on auto-draft and Andre thought everyone was making brilliant picks and had trouble keeping up. “I knew it would be a kicker year.” HA.

  • charles

    the show was great, did anyone notice that dart board, it had feild goal & touchdown on it, in the garage sence, is that a new game thats out? plus the ring was a great touch..

  • taco

    classic line “i knew this was the year of the kicker!”

  • pumpernickle

    As a draft episode it was kind of odd — the comp just ends up going on auto-pilot and making picks for everyone? okaaaay — but still a strong ep. I’m not sure it would be good if Dirty Randy kept coming back anyway but was great here, producing one of the filthiest scenes of dialogue I have ever heard certainly in a library but for most other places as well.

  • Kaitlin

    I loved the episode. I am so glad it’s back. And for the record, I love Jenny as a character in and of herself, but I love her marriage with Kevin.

  • Melissa in CA

    I love The League!! As a female football fan, I love the character of Jenny being able to keep up with the boys. One question: why were Dirty Randy and Rafi calling Kevin Brian?

  • kelsey

    Last night was my first time watching this show, and I found it hilarious and entertaining. I’m just glad Paul Scheer and Nick Kroll have found steady jobs. Looking forward to the next ep.

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