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If last week’s The League had all the things that irk me about the show, this week’s episode reminded me why exactly I like it. “The Au Pair” brought the life-ruining antics of the group down a notch, back from swastikas on the driveway and revenge pornography into good old-fashioned lusting after Ruxin’s au pair and scheming against each other’s line-ups. When I said that The League has heart, I don’t mean that it needs to veer into warm and fuzzy territory to be good, just that part of the strength of the show is the relative believability of the characters’ interactions with each other. So the Curb Your Enthusiasm level cringing that “The Sukkah” induced just didn’t work in terms of the logic of the show. This week, everything was clicking into place.


Andre is apparently on the prowl again, setting up a dubious online dating profile with Taco’s amazingly incoherent videography skills. (The scenes of animals mating spliced between Andre’s assertions of his manhood were priceless, as was Taco’s decision to enter an operating theater with nachos.) Ruxin, on the other hand, is on the lookout for a luscious au pair now that Jeffrey’s chances at getting into Jewish day school have been shot to pieces. Predictably, the gang shows up to her ogle her. (Taco’s excuse is that he wants to use the urinal. Ruxin: “We don’t have a urinal, it’s a shower you pee in.”)

The dynamic around the au pair—the dudes desperately trying to cower up a football fight when she shows up and trying to convince Sophia that the au pair’s “big fat meat earlobes” made her unattractive—was one of the bright spots of the show. My favorite scene was Ruxin, singing slurredly while snarfing jelly and crackers from the kitchen counter, then sweeping the mess into a drawer when the au pair pads into the room and somehow making a martini appear in one hand.

Kevin, meanwhile, meets fantasy football guru Matthew Berry at a bar and has to learn how to hide that fact from his former teammate (and, oh yeah, wife). I didn’t love the whole Kevin-is-a-horrible-doofus-with-obvious-tells thing, but I was pretty sold after the montage in which Ruxin teaches him how to lie to people. “You need a low level maintenance liar like Pete,” Ruxin warns, “I’m the guy you come to when you want to perjure yourself to protect an Australian mining consortium.” But, no surprise, Ruxin is pretty good at defrauding basically everyone, and Kevin manages to keep the secret from Jenny—barely.


That is, until the convergence of Andre’s online date with Kevin’s secret meet-up with Berry. Andre, still stinging from Pete poaching all his date ideas, assails Berry for moving in on his date. At which point, somehow, Andre punches Kevin and Berry storms out, but not before laying some great fantasy football termed dating advice on Andre. (“I’ll convert all over you right now!” was Andre’s reply.) Oh, and obviously, Pete slept with the au pair and Andre’s first date. All in all, “The Au Pair” kept me laughing. One thing with this season is that there’s actually been very little football involved—this week didn’t suffer that much from it, thanks to Berry, but I’m hoping that they bring in more of the actual fantasy league later in the season.

Stray observations:

  • The difference between Taco and Andre’s dating systems was great. Andre: “I’m taking her rock climbing! Tell me a girl who’s not a fan of Mission Impossible 2.” Taco: “I’m going to go date Nicki in the bathroom.”
  • “The night you proposed I asked ‘What’s that bulge?’ and you said ‘What? No! I have testicular cancer.’”
  • “Just having a martini after a long day of defending the innocent.”