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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The League: "Ramona Neopolitano"

Illustration for article titled The League: "Ramona Neopolitano"
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I didn't really like "Ramona Neopolitano" for the same reasons I haven't liked the last few episodes. The story, which in the early part of the season successfully straddled the line between outrageous and realistic, has veered into crazytown. And in the meantime, Taco tries to provide "comic relief," only making matters worse. I'm not sure how much more there is to say on that subject, but here goes.

Tonight, there are essentially two stories happening and three misc. character quirks being revealed. Pete is caught slacking off at work, checking his fantasy stats far more than he's doing anything to complete his deadlines. His boss, though, is a huge fantasy football player and agrees not to fire Pete if he can turn the struggling team around. Pete's story was the strongest because the boss acted as a de facto straight man. When Pete replies to all the boss' inquiries with the same bland, noncommittal replies, the boss finally says, "Do you have Asperger's or something?" The show also does everything it can to make the office seem super mundane, so when Pete busts out his amazing climbing skills in the elevator, it's all the more surprising. And yet still plausible.

What I truly don't understand is why Ruxin would tell Sofia he had a previous wife. So he calls into the Sirius radio show and lies about having a dead wife to get advice, and Sofia catches him. Rather than go with the most obvious route of "I lied about you to get advice," he instead lets her believe he had a wife before her who passed away. For a three-minute YouTube video, that's fine. But The League is a show that must go on, and there's no way in hell that Ruxin could live the rest of his life having manufactured a former wife. It's simply not a decision that a relatively sane person would make, even for the sake of comedy. Or, if he did it out of the utmost desperation, he certainly didn't show it.

I think The League would benefit from establishing some boundaries as to the characters' behavior. Oh sure, they can be comically expanded ones, but they need to exist. So Andre ate a lot of soy and grew man-boobs, then nursed Sofia and Ruxin's son (who seemingly appeared out of nowhere). If that's what the show wants to happen, then fine. But having him grow the breasts from "soy" is a little short-sighted. There's no way they're going to be able to stick to having soy make that kind of impact.

The early part of the season used the character momentum established in season one to let its actors fuck around. They took what was given to them and abused the hell out of it. There's not much of a reason for The League to shake things up, and because the show was so outrageous to begin with, those shakes are making the foundation wobbly. We've definitely seen what works, and now it's time to burn off what isn't working.

Stray observations:

  • Rather than having Taco introduce something really random, then stick with it, perhaps he could make his jokes and move on to others. The obituary thing was good for a chuckle ("swallowing accident"), but there wasn't much of a reason to have him keep it up.
  • "Foot & Balls .net, that one could go either way."
  • "We're also dealing with bereavement issues." The guest stars on this show continue to be great.