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Coming into its final season, FXX’s The League needed to give its fans one last reason to stay tuned, and boy did it succeed. Creators Jeff and Jackie Schaffer filled the first episodes to the brim with the classic dirty humor, Andre (Paul Scheer) jokes all around, a problematic draft day, Taco (Jon Lajoie) in his Mr. McGibblets suit and of course a few guest appearances from the NFL’s most talked about players. Season 7 of The League certainly started out with the momentum it may have lacked in the previous few opening numbers. With Season 6 ending in Andre’s favor, The League’s final run had every opportunity to present a riot of disappointment and hilarity, and if the previous season finale wasn’t enough, then the premiere is bound to tickle your fancy.
The first episode starts off with a bang. With a quick look at the final days on the beach, the crew moves forward into a different type of fantasy league setting. One that Andre, still fitted in his absurd apparel choices, can totally get behind-- fantasy soccer. Not one character is thrilled at this attempt to avoid the discomfort that is football off-season, but in no time we’re back to the ragtag group of frenemies getting back together in excitement for the days leading up to the draft.
No event in each individual character’s life is dismissed. Ranging from Kevin (Stephen Rannazzisi) and Jenny (Katie Aselton)’s difficulty in potty training their kid, all the way to Andre receiving his brand new trophy (since the last Shiva was ultimately destroyed), the first episode of the season makes sure to give each character their due time in the limelight. Of course there is no lack of The League classy one-liners, with even a comparison of DeflateGate to Andre’s balls thrown in there, but for the majority of the opening episodes, everything runs incredibly smoothly, until Rafi (Jason Mantzoukas) gets involved.
Rafi ruins things. We know this. And as fans of The League we get why his type of humor sometimes fits nicely into the fold of the show. But the only aspect of these first two episodes that felt anywhere out of place was Rafi’s over-involvement. The first episode featured him nicely, in his classic, popping up completely out of nowhere for some quick and uncomfortable dirty input. But in the second episode, when Rafi joins in on the drafting fun, we do get a little too much Rafi time.
The League Season 7 is off to a strong, if not the strongest start we’ve seen in a while. Finally inserting more women into the storyline by bringing back Pete (Mark Duplass)’s infamous ex-wife Meegan (Leslie Bibb) we can see that the series is going to start taking big, bold turns into even more chaos than what the group often creates internally. The first couple of episodes featured a number of throwbacks, and there’s a feeling afoot that the final chapter of The League is going to continue with that theme, bringing about all the best nostalgia for its fans. But it is doing so creatively by still inserting new arcs.
Best (or worst) of all, we are getting to know a different side of Andre. As the butt of every joke, and taking the role unknowingly, we’ve started to feel a bit bad for Andre. He’s ridiculous. This is fact. But still the guy, even after winning the Shiva can’t catch a break. Andre may finally getting the respect he (sometimes) deserves. After a badass fight scene that shows off quite the impressive side of the fedora-favoring man, the group’s mouths have dropped. Is this going to be the season where Andre rules them all? With a perfectly matched woman by his side, who also seems to have her football facts down pact, Andre may be the biggest force to be reckoned with as Season 7 progresses. It’s an unlikely man at the top, but it may just be the perfect formula for The League to leave the show on its highest note yet.
The League will kick off its final run when Episode 1 premieres on FXX on September 9th at 10 p.m. ET.
Photos Courtesy of FXX.