'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia,' 'The League' & Chad Ochocinco
Mixed results in the return of two FX comedies
As I mentioned in yesterday's FAQ, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "The League" are two shows that I tend to find too uneven to write about regularly, but that I'll check in on from time to time. Quick thoughts on the season premieres for both coming up after the jump...
In terms of last night's season episodes, I thought "The League" was actually much funnier. Some of the weaker episodes from season one ran away from the fantasy football humor (which, as I've said in the past, is stupid; no one who hates fantasy football is going to watch this show, regardless of whether jokes about it take up 5% or 100% of the episode), but "Vegas Draft" obviously embraced the subject and had a bunch of great gags. I loved the chase through airport security to get the first pick (and Pete being okay with the cavity search that came with Chris Johnson), the helpful stripper(*) finally pointing out that an 8-team league is incredibly lame(**) and that these guys don't know what they're doing, the tension between Kevin and Jenny over whether she could join The League, Chad Ochocinco scolding Andre for using "Child, please," etc. It was just a funny half-hour.
(*) And the stripper was played by new "Human Target" castmember Janet Montgomery.
(**) At press tour, I asked co-creator Jeff Schaffer about the 8-team thing. It's partly a budgetary/dramatic thing - they don't want too many characters, and as it is The League has a handful of phantom out-of-town members whose absence from the draft (even by phone) is always weird - but Schaffer said he once played in an 8-team league, "And it was really competitive. Because everybody's roster was stacked, it became all about who you started and who you sat." Having once played in an 8-teamer myself last year when a couple of guys backed out on the day of the draft, I can only say that this was not my experience; everybody basically put their teams on auto-pilot, and the only difference-making move of the season involved the guy with the highest waiver priority picking up Vernon Davis.
"Always Sunny" wasn't as funny, I thought. I was happy to see Brittany Daniel back as Carmen, the now post-op transsexual, and I enjoyed every single character pointing out that the giant hole in Mac's anti-gay marriage stance, but overall this one felt (even with the To Be Continued ending) a bit rote: Pick a hot-button topic, have at least one member of the gang take a moronic stance on it, and see what happens.
But in general, I've never been as big a "Sunny" lover as many of you. I watch it for the 2 or 3 episodes per season that double me over with laughter, but a lot of the others leave me cold the way "Mac Fights Gay Marriage" did.
What did everybody else think?
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