“The League” has finally done it. They went there. They went to a place where even I was uncomfortable watching. It started with Kevin’s homophobia and ended somewhere around the time Jenny was pretending to have breast cancer while Taco gave a speech to breast cancer patients about the importance of the breasts they no longer have. The whole thing was inappropriate. Sure, there were some hilarious moments, and I get that the NFL throws Breast Cancer Awareness Month in your face every chance it gets in October, so naturally a show about fantasy football would touch on it, but the episode just went too far. It probably didn’t help that I was watching the show with my mother who was in town, but then again, Joan and I are tight and we’d just seen Ben Affleck’s penis in “Gone Girl,” so I don’t think that was it.
Breast (Cancer) Awareness Month
There were two parts to Breast (Cancer) Awareness Month in this episode: Jenny pretending she had breast cancer (the first time accidentally, and the second time intentionally) and Taco starting his own charity called Breast Awareness Month to raise awareness for actual breasts, not cancer. It all starts when Jenny wears a pink bandana and a ribbon to take Ellie to get fro-yo. She ends up getting it for free while being oblivious to the fact that everyone thinks she actually has breast cancer. This was kind of funny, but it was a bit like watching a train wreck in slow motion–you just knew it was going to get a lot worse. Taco’s new charity leads to some pretty hilarious lines, which make up the majority of the best lines from this week. It’s harmless Taco fun at first, but when Jenny and Taco cross streams (anyone who has ever seen “Ghostbusters” knows you NEVER cross streams) that’s when “The League” reaches an all new level of “I can’t believe they went there.” Jenny doesn’t want to bake cookies for Ellie’s Breast Cancer Awareness bake sale, so the MacArthurs show up empty handed. When Kevin starts to get ridiculed by the resident Stepford wife, Jenny puts her bandana back on and pretends to have cancer. Let’s just reiterate that: Jenny wanted so badly not to bake cookies that she pretended to have cancer. Well, this backfires hard when the Stepford wife brings over a real cancer patient to meet Jenny. Jenny and Kevin get roped into a support group meeting–at which Taco is the keynote speaker. The whole thing explodes in everyone’s face when the group figures out that Jenny doesn’t have cancer, and that Taco is talking to a bunch of women about the importance of their breasts, although many of them have already lost or will be losing their breasts. It was all bad. I’m not sure if each storyline individually would have been the end of the world, but the combination was too much to handle.
An Asian Thing
One of our astute commenters pointed out last week that I marginalized the fact that Pete was banging Brenda Song. I can’t avoid it this week, because Pete’s Asian fetish was back in action. I’m not sure how Mark Duplass pulls it off, but he consistently convinces the writers to let him pretend to bang hot chicks on this show, which is even funnier because his wife in real life is Jenny. This week, Pete picks up another Asian coworker at the bar, and the group tells him if he bangs two Asian girls in a row, it’s considered “having an Asian thing.” Pete gets the idea to quickly bang a white girl in between, and he picks the most painfully awkward girl in the office. The tables get turned on Pete, though, when the white girl breaks up with him and he finds out the new Asian girl was sandwiching him in between two black guys so she didn’t end up “having a black thing.” I didn’t think this storyline was any funnier than Pete’s storyline last week, but I needed to point out Pete’s ability to pull hot chicks.
Pete and Andre have had back-to-back bad weeks with their storylines. Andre’s this week was about how much he has been masturbating, and therefore, developing a vice like grip with his hand. He crushes people’s hands during handshakes and also crushes Kevin’s balls when Kevin asks him to perform an inspection for testicular cancer. Why was Kevin asking Andre for help? Because Kevin found out his urologist is gay.
This was the bookending storyline for the episode. The show opens with Kevin once again getting checked out for his low T count. Kevin learns that his urologist is gay, and he starts acting homophobic. Kevin returns to the office at the end of the episode, desperate to make sure he doesn’t have testicular cancer. This time, the doctor turns the tables on Kevin, proposing that perhaps Kevin is a closet homosexual. He asks if his wife has a boyish figure (a running joke throughout the episode) and whether he is close with his male friends, maybe even too close. Nothing particularly funny here and the homophobia just felt unnecessary. Are we still making jokes about homophobia in 2014? Also, I will reiterate that this low T storyline needs to die.
Best One-Liners Of The Episode
• “If you want the best penis doctor, you’re not going to find anyone more expert than a gay man.” – Pete talking about Kevin’s urologist
• “When he first met you, he thought you were a pre-op transsexual.” – Taco reading Ruxin’s text message insulting Jenny
• “Did you ‘Bling Ring’ Elton John’s house?” – Jenny in reference to Andre’s all pink outfit
• “You date two out of my four Asians, that’s a thing.” – Pete’s boss talking to Pete about his Asian thing
• “People equate bandanas with cancer, just like they equate fanny packs with tourists, and long skirts and high collars with bipolar. It’s a disease.” – Kevin talking to Jenny about how she was mistaken as a cancer patient because of her bandana
• “When you do it yourself, it’s a self-exam. When you have someone else do it, it’s foreplay.” – Jenny to Kevin about examining his balls
• “Vaginas have always gotten their due credit as they should; the past 15 years have been great for asses, but what about the breast? Been a little forgotten.” – Taco discussing Breast Awareness Month
• “Open up your wallets and bras and donate” – Taco
• “It’s a charity, I’m not going to use my own money” – Taco when asked why he isn’t donating
• “One in three nipples goes to bed unfondled.” – Taco promoting Breast Awareness Month
• “Is that Mom?” / “Yeah that’s Mom in the ’60s. Her breasts looked great until you ruined them.” – Kevin and Taco discussing Taco’s breast poster
• “Hello, my name is Take-o.” – Taco mispronouncing his own name during a presentation
1. (1) Taco – It appears as if Taco actually cashed his check and is now devoting himself to charity. For cashing the check alone, he remains in the top spot.
2. (-) Russell – Russell is making his debut in the power rankings this week. I thought about it last week when Andre commented that Russell was killing it in the league, but decided to hold off. Russell didn’t appear in this week’s episode, but one of the comments last week reminded me that there is precedent for an absent character winning the league. Ted won the league in the fourth season, despite almost never appearing in any episodes.
3. (2) Pete – Pete may have gotten dumped by the awkward girl and sandwiched between black guys by the Asian girl, but he is still pulling hot chicks.
4. (3) Jenny – Rough week for Jenny. Pretending to have breast cancer to get out of baking cookies is a new low. Luckily for her, the sad sacks below her didn’t fare any better.
5. (4) Andre – That outfit. They keep getting worse. Also, Salami Vice means Andre hasn’t gotten any in a while.
6. (5) Ruxin – Absent from another episode. I read somewhere that Nick Kroll’s schedule is preventing him from appearing in every episode. This is a tragedy.
7. (6) Kevin – ENOUGH WITH THE LOW T COUNT.
Prediction to win the Shiva: Taco
Prediction to win the Sacko: Kevin.