Recently I watched a few episodes of FX’s The League. I’d seen an episode or two before, but it didn’t really like it and wasn’t interested in watching more. My boyfriend, however, kept trying to get me to like it. Everytime I’d ask an innocent question like, “Do you want to watch Toddlers and Tiaras?” or “Do you want to watch Kardashians?” he’d counter with, “How about The League?” Since I’m not an entirely stone cold bitch, I eventually acquiesced and we ended up watching a few episodes last weekend.
I should like The League. Sure, it’s about football, which I hate, but so is Friday Night Lights. Just because it’s about football doesn’t mean it’s about football, you know? I mean, Keeping Up With the Kardashians is ostensibly about the Kardashians, but I see it as a commentary on our rapidly declining sense of cultural propriety. Also, Khloe.
The cast is made up of people I like: Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer, and Mark Duplass (who you know from every movie where Greta Gerwig takes her top off). Lots of people I respect like The League, so I had no reason to expect that I wouldn’t like it.
Except guess what? I don’t like The League. At all.
I only laughed at one character (we’ll get to that later). I felt like the show was trying very hard to say, “This is what dudes are like when they’re hanging out. Just bein’ bros!” Well, if I wanted to hang out with a bunch of homophobic assholes who hate their wives and children, I’d go to a sportsbar. I don’t need to watch TV for that.
The show’s attitude towards women goes beyond unfunny and into downright dangerous. I just the 2 episodes I’ve watched, both the female characters “cut off” their husbands from sex as a punishment. Right, because sex is a favor women do for men. Of course women do not want or need sex for themselves. I really like Katie Aselton, who plays Jenny, but the fact that she’s a good actress doesn’t save the show. Why is she always wearing the tiniest clothes? Where are her pants in this promo shot?
I get it that she’s super hot. I’m not a blind moron, but give me a break.
At one point, a character makes a domestic violence joke. That’s reprehensible and disgusting in any situation, even more so in a show where women seem to be either sex objects or bitches.
Listen, I don’t need likeable characters in order to follow a story; I loved Young Adult, and Mavis was a shitty person. But I do need to at least feel some sort of investment in the characters, and I don’t. So far all I’m getting is bad-sitcom-level jokes about how marriage is awful. At this point, I wouldn’t care if all the characters died.
Except for Paul Scheer, who is a delight! He is absolutely as funny here as he is in everything else he does. Also, it looks like he isn’t wearing pants, either. Maybe I shouldn’t judge.
Will I give this show another chance? Probably not. Life’s short and I’m still not done with Friday Night Lights. I want to like The League, and so many people like it that I can’t believe it’s bad. Then again, so many people think traditional gender roles, violence against women, and elementary school gay jokes are okay, too. I’ve only seen the first few episodes, though, so maybe things change.
Do you watch The League? Do you like it? Should I bother giving it another chance? Let me know!