The League Review: “The Bully” (7.05)

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<i>The League</i> Review: &#8220;The Bully&#8221; (7.05)

For a show that thrives off the nasty, acrid banter that flies between the members of this fantasy football league, I have to hand it to them for finding a way to make me laugh without dialogue. The funniest moment in tonight’s episode came when Andre told his friends to keep quiet if they didn’t have anything nice to say about him. So as he described his homoerotic experience in hot yoga, Kevin, Pete and Ruxin looked like their heads were going to combust Scanners-style as they held in their cutting remarks.

The rest of the episode spent a lot of time analyzing the gang’s ability to deliver perfect burns on one another. Where better to get inspiration than middle school? At least that’s the source of “chode juggler,” the insult that a little bully (played by the same oddball looking kid that harassed Richard in Silicon Valley’s first season) uses on young Ellie in sex ed class. Like the immature duo that they are, Kevin and Jenny can barely stifle their laughter when they hear it, and can barely contain their excitement when they are able to use it on their friends. Once again, The League is working overtime to damage egos and insert deliciously crass language into the American frat boy vernacular.

Or they’re just trying to corrupt the youth of Los Angeles by casting a gaggle of them to be part of Taco’s mentorship startup: The Little Eskimo Brothers Program. The idea is to have an adult who uses the EBDBBnB to help a youngster on site. What it turns into is an army of child laborers given bizarre and menial tasks like vacuuming the grass outside and polishing trees. I can only hope the producers gifted these burgeoning actors with gift bags filled with the previous six seasons of the show on DVD. You know…for research.

Despite all of this, the episode felt like a throwaway, really. Or to use football terms, an offside pass meant to stop the game clock. It didn’t really have much to latch onto or laugh about other than the stuff mentioned above. So instead why do I stick it out with this show, other than the bit of money I get thrown each month to write about it? Some of it is a strange dedication I have to following the careers of Paul Scheer, Nick Kroll and Jason Mantzoukas. There’s an undeniable appeal to seeing Katie Aselton on screen each week. The core of it is what likely appeals to all folks like myself who are without a gang of frenemies to trade filthy bon mots with. What dude wouldn’t love to have that kind of catharsis in their life on a regular basis? Like the life of a disturbingly handsome ad executive or a chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin, I can only live out this magical existence vicariously through my TV screen. Unless y’all wanna come over for a BBQ so I can call you a shit sipper with a huge grin on my face…

Robert Ham is a Portland-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.