The League: The Anchor Baby and Bro-Lo El Cordero Review
By Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)
For this and the next two weeks, FX has decided to give The League fans a double-dose of new episodes of the series on Thursdays. The first edition of this new approach for the network paid off big time.
“The Anchor Baby” centers on Ruxin’s paranoia regarding his wife Sophia changing her pubic landscape. He fears that the recent change from pizza slice style to “full on baguette” means she will soon realize that she could get more attractive fish in the sea than himself.
This storyline makes perfect sense with Ruxin’s character because throughout the series the audience has witnessed him either brag or become self conscious of Sophia’s hotness. What is a bit bothering is that his paranoia is only the focal point of a few scenes and this plot almost gets wrapped into Pete’s where he’s trying to get rid of an annoying acquaintance that’s in town.
Taco though, as he often does, was the highlight of this episode. The gang believes that Taco has rented a new apartment, previously owned by a psychiatrist who recently passed away.
While Taco is unpacking his things, one of the doctor’s old patients comes to the door looking for a session; which Taco is happy to provide. The audience then watches a montage of Taco “helping” several of the previous tenant’s patients during the week.
Like with Ruxin, it seems the writers just know how to put Taco into situations that most fit his character. He’s the most over the top and “out to lunch” member of this group and nothing he does should surprise any longtime fan. This unrealistic but hilarious scene works great considering the characters past decisions and habits.
Eventually this all leads to Andre seeing his friend for psychiatry sessions where ‘Dre finally expresses the fact that he is the butt of most of the group’s jokes. Taco suggests a group session in his new apartment, in which only the former and Andre take completely seriously. As things start to get unraveled and chaotic, Taco’s former tenant’s children show up and proclaim that Taco is actually “squatting” and did not legally obtain the apartment.
This was an overall borderline hilarious episode but there were some parts that urked me. Ruxin’s storyline is the first one introduced, yet it is the most underdeveloped of the three that come up in the episode. Taco’s was the highlight of the show but that’s because his storyline received the most development and airtime. He’s a great character who creates plenty of punch lines but sometimes the series tends to lean on him a bit too much to make things funny.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
With “Bro-Lo El Cordero” we see a much more over the top group of events than the previous, which make sense considering Raffi makes a surprise appearance.
In the night’s second episode, Kevin explains to his friends that his health insurance is requiring him to take a colonoscopy test. After a few jokes out of Andre and Ruxin about this news, Pete explains that he has rather big news of his own, that his grandfather, “Grumpa Duke” has been moved to a retired person’s home.
Pete storylines have never been ones that I’ve felt were appropriately executed, like the Vaspora Sport one but this time was a bit different. It actually worked a bit for me and I found it to be probably the most funny of all the Pete storylines the show has done.
Pete goes to visit his Grumpa Duke at the home after his grandmother has explained that the reason for his move there is due to possibly suffering from Alzheimer’s. After some rather vulgar passes at several women at the home, Pete begins to realize his grandfather is not mentally ill, but rather hiding behind the excuse in order to commit adultery.
The storyline ends anticlimactily with Pete bringing his grandmother to the home and the two catch Duke in the act, to which his wife simply says “you’re coming home and doing the dishes.” A bit too calm and underwhelming a response from a woman who just witnessed her longtime husband cheating on her.
Back to the colonoscopy. Throughout the episode, Kevin is clearly dreading this exam but goes through with it. Ironically, the doctor and nurse performing the procedure are named Pete and Jenny respectively (I don’t think I need to make the connection for you, nerds!) After the procedure is over however, Andre visits Kevin in the hospital and “roofie-trades” with him. Taking advantage of Kevin’s drugged up state, Andre convinces his friend to trade Trent Richardson and Reggie Bush for Pierre Garcon. Not the most fair of deals ever done.
Because of the nature in which the trade was agreed upon, the league members demand a ruling from commissioner Ruxin on whether it should stand or not. Upon the rest finding out that Ruxin helped Andre commit the act however, Taco suggests that the unbiased Raffi intervene and rule.
The scenes in Raffi’s dive of an apartment were entertaining simply thanks to Raffi’s responses to the gang’s questions. His sheer unbelievable behavior makes it almost impossible not to laugh at most things he says. The hospital scenes in which Ruxin, Kevin and Andre recall how the trade went down were also well done. While Andre’s rendition was boring, Kevin and especially Ruxin’s were extremely entertaining and made gave the situation a lot of substance.
Raffi does indeed agree to make the final ruling, which leads to him drugging and kidnapping Andre, Kevin and Ruxin and bringing them all to a lucha libre wrestling tournament. Raffi forces Kevin and Andre to “wrestle to the death” to settle whether the trade stands or not.
Kevin wins the fight and thus vetoes the unfair trade and the gang witnesses Raffi attempt to wrestle with Ruxin over the rightful father of the latter’s child for a brief time. The episode ends with the diabetic Raffi going into a seizure and the only way to save him is through giving him sugar. The only sugar product around just so happen to be the edible underwear Jenny was wearing for her and Kevin’s scheduled date night.
The lucha libre scene was probably the most over the top thing the series has done since the paintball episode or season opener, so that was great to see them go back to that here. It was great hearing everyone’s lucha names, watching Kevin and Andre fight like 12-year-old girls and a few actual wrestling moves executed as well.
The ending with Jenny also worked well because it calls back a minor scene from earlier in the episode along with the running continuity that she and Kevin do have weekly date nights. The show is much more Seinfeld than it is Friends in terms of using continuity and its history so whenever it calls back things like that is great to see. Plus, I mean the episode have Raffi in it, that alone gives it an instant .5 star upgrade.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars