November 3, 2011

The League on FX

I am a recent fan of The League on FX. I heard about because season one was on Netflix, so I decided to check it out. It was only 6 episodes, but it was great. I loved the style of humor and the interaction between characters.

 By this time season 2 was already over, and I couldn't find any way to watch it. I dvr'd a few reruns on FX, but didn't even see half the season. Not that continuity really matters much in the show, but I saw them totally out of order as well. Season three is a few episodes in, and I am becoming even a bigger fan.

I do play fantasy football and I do find the show funny. However, my proclivity to watch has more to do with the general setup and friendships. I am the same age as the guys in the show, and they are living the idealized version of what I thought my life would be like right now back when I was in middle school. And that has nothing to do with fantasy football, the city of Chicago, or bathroom humor. I'm not sure how to explain it except by giving an example of another television show that gave me a similar feeling deep down in the cockles of my heart. I always loved the show "Ed". The characters were great and Stuckyville always seemed like nice place to live. I wanted to spend time at Stuckey Bowl. But specifically I enjoyed the friendship between Ed and Mike, and their group in general. These shows tap into something that I feel my life is lacking, but probably only exists in the fantasy world of television. I mean, who has all this time to just hang out? Especially these guys with kids.

Back in the day I used to have a good group of really close friends... then I went to college and lost them all, but I made new ones, and it was awesome fun haning out again. Then I moved away... and into the real-life working world and something isn't the same anymore. Life with a full-time job, a wife, and a kid doesn't leave much time for just hanging out. And who has the energy to go out and make all new friends yet again? Maybe I want a great group of friends that I can hang out with on the weekends... but most of the time I just want to go home, watch tv, and go to bed. I'm probably getting too old to have friends anyway.

It was strange because I started writing this post and then watched this week's episode of Modern Family (which stars Julie Bowen who was also Carol Vessey in Ed). Phil Dunphy is struggling with the exact same thing. He reminisces about how friendships used to work as a child, and how the cynicism and expectations of adulthood make it almost impossible to enjoy the same type of friendships we had as children. It was a minor plot point, and of course in the end he makes a great friend right next door. I still thought it was pretty cool that I had been thinking about the exact same thing.

Back to The League. It is definitely crude and not all the jokes work for me. But that adds some charm. In real life you'll think you have a great funny comment and it totally bombs. That aspect of the show gives it authenticity. It makes it feel even more like these guys could be your stupid buddies instead of written characters. It keeps me watching for sure and looking forward to the new episode every week. I am still holding out hope that season two will come on Netflix instant so I can watch it all the way through.

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