Katie Aselton, Paul Scheer, Bobby Lee

What a disjointed half-hour of television “Epi-Sexy” is. So many episodes of The League often feel disjointed in a good way, a way that allows the narrative to splinter off in multiple directions and then often circle back to fold in on themselves and come together. For the most part, this tends to work because of the quality of the writing. In “Epi-Sexy” it just creates odd pacing and half-done plots that never fully come to a satisfying conclusion.

Picking it apart bit by bit, each of the characters has something to do this episode but none of them have any particularly interesting or funny to do (even when the situations do, sort of, sound good on paper). Andre’s whole thing is that he is now wearing glasses because he wants to, not because he needs them, and he is adamant about pretending to be suddenly near-blind although everyone knows that it’s a total scam. He’s mostly paired up with Kevin who tries to guilt Andre into admitting he’s faking it by putting a heavy emphasis on the honesty aspect of their friendship. The two are against each other in fantasy, which is basically the only mention of fantasy football in the last few episodes, and agree to set each others lineups but Andre gets screwed over and yeah, yeah, it all goes down in a pretty lame way.

Meanwhile Pete, who has slowly graduated from amusingly annoying to mostly pointless, is dating a new girl who has seizures during sex (Erinn Hayes, whose appearance is the episode’s brightest spot because she is always amazing) which leads to him trying to induce her seizures (I did like the use of the visualizer in his music player). It’s a nonstarter that goes nowhere especially funny. Maybe that’s the theme of “Epi-Sexy.”

Then there is Jenny who is tasked with making chow mein for her daughter’s class after she’s been lying to Ellie and passing off Chinese takeout as a homecooked meal. She has to learn to cook so Taco hooks her up with his one of his Eskimo step brothers (“We had sex with the same girl in an exercise class”) who apparently kills it in the restaurant business. This is where “Epi-Sexy” goes totally downhill for me.

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I’ve come to terms with The League simply being not as good as it once was and I can, in reasonable amounts, adjust my expectations enough to not harshly judge it based on those first few seasons that I still thoroughly enjoy. It’s the sixth season of a sitcom with a premise so flimsy that it’s downright impressive that it even made it to a sixth season. But. I’m just not on board with the return of Bobby Lee’s mentally-challenged character Lee Wei Lee — the league so adorably refers to him as “frittata” — who doesn’t really do much but cover himself in dough and dump spaghetti on his head and shits himself while fighting Rafi. It’s hard to really find humor in any of that because it’s one of those plots that’s so trying but doesn’t accomplish anything. The League has never been the smartest show on television but it has routinely been clever enough to wring laughs out of the ridiculous, the mundane, and the somewhat offensive. This was more bizarre than anything else and jarring.

It’s a shame that such a little bit took me so out of the episode because I did laugh a bit at some of Taco’s lines and him stashing his weed in the dryer because he figured Jenny never uses it. The convergence between Jenny and Taco’s plots and the payoff to Jenny’s storyline was actually unexpected for once — he stashes his weed with the spices that she later uses to cook with for Ellie’s class, resulting in a group full of elementary school children getting high. It’s actually pretty funny (especially after such an unfunny episode) and ends on the best note: the teacher, realizing she is definitely going to get fired, points to a student and cackles “I never liked you!” More scenes like that, please, and less scenes like everything else.

Stray observations:

  • Thanks to David for taking over last week! I finally got a chance to catch the episode and it didn’t really hold my attention at all. I’m starting to worry it won’t be able to turn it around at all this season.
  • “We don’t have to be honest anymore? …. I love you guys.”
  • Rafi had a pretty good entrance this week, at least. But I wasn’t really impressed with his plot either.
  • Katie Aselton delivery of the week: “I have a man” which was only made better by Taco’s reaction.
  • Much like The League itself, I temporarily forgot about my own league over the weekend but still managed a win somehow.
  • Seriously, Erinn Hayes needs another sitcom ASAP.

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