I’d like to open here with an appeal to all those who have zero interest in sports on behalf of The League. When the series was first recommended to me, the person doing the recommending tried to sell me on it by describing the sitcom as being “about a bunch of guys in a fantasy football league.” Nothing could be less appealing to me as someone who has never understood the attraction of sports (that didn’t in some way involve a Teen Wolf at least), and I responded candidly that “I’m not ever going to watch that.” The thing is, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by the fact that I’m here writing about the fourth season, I did end up watching it. And I realized quickly how inaccurate that initial description had been. This isn’t just a show about guys in a fantasy football league. This is a show about a group of sociopaths for whom fantasy football is merely one of many excuses they find to do horrible, horrible things to people including each other. And in that, the show is absolutely hysterical, and reminiscent of other series such as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and of course Seinfeld before it.
Sure, there’s still a sizable football component to the series which I have absolutely no way of connecting with, but the fact that I haven’t the ability to access that portion of The League should serve as an indicator of just how funny and broadly accessible it is apart from its focus on football. In fact, following Season Two, the series has had almost nothing to do with fantasy football at times, thereby solidifying its broad appeal. That said, if you follow football, you’ll get far more out of the series than my wife and I do, but it’s certainly not a prerequisite for enjoying it. Because a lot of the humor centers around issues of family, friendship, sex and religion, and the guest stars not only include various football players who I know absolutely nothing about, but also a cavalcade of brilliant comedic performers including Season Four’s appearances by Timothy Olyphant and Bob Odenkirk, as well as returning players Jeff Goldblum and Seth Rogen, who play Ruxin’s dad and porn director Dirty Randy, respectively.
A lot of the best material in Season Four revolves around the characters’ families, as Kevin and Jenny welcome a new baby into the house (a baby who Taco winds up naming Chalupa Batman), Ruxin’s father once again turns up out of the blue with an offer to impregnate Ruxin’s wife, and Ruxin’s brother-in-law Rafi decides to replace Ruxin as his Sofia’s husband (yes, his sister). And Taco, thank god, loses the weekly money-making scheme schtick that defined him in Season Three, which allows him to be a more purely wacky character than he had been in that season. But the peak of the season’s hilarity rightly comes in the final episode when the boys declare a two-day Scrote Season during which they engage in a free-for-all of groin shots. Unfortunately for them, Ruxin allows the psychopathic Rafi to participate in Scrote Season with the caveat that he himself is off limits. A series of jaw-dropping surprise nut-shots and incredible, flying groin punches ensues!
Season Four of The League is currently available on DVD and Blu-ray from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and boasts a terrific array of special features, including the always welcome extended episodes, deleted scenes, isolated Taco songs, an informational video composed of material from Rafi’s “Protect Your Holes” bit, Andre’s Witchy Woman Podcast, and a lengthy, side-splitting gag reel that clocks in at around fifteen minutes!