Archive for December, 2015

December 13, 2015

The League bows out… (And sort of stumbles and falls off stage)

I think this was a suitably poor episode to end a sub par season. The show went out with some nice, quiet, very understated warmth, but to say it has jumped shark by this point, is perhaps a little misguided. It quite simply fell to pieces in the past two years, and was being propped up by caricatures of what has gone before, and the acting ability of the cast.

The product placement was absolutely vile. This show didn’t need an extra $10,000 to hollow out its soul like this. The whole group should have been against it and Draft Kings and such could easily have been the butt of jokes on the show.

The Kevin Jenny story is faintly ridiculous, and the pay-off wasn’t funny enough, like so many story-lines in an increasingly surrealist turn. But the worst is saved for the Meeghan and Andre/Pete baby story. This didn’t need to happen.

If there was one character that should have received a kind of solution or peace then it was Andre, and if there’s one whose selfishness never really had any redemptive supplementing quality, then it was Pete. Surely there could have been a better conclusion than Pete being the father to Andre’s baby.

Ruxin and Jenny’s decision not to tell Andre was equally disappointing. This moment was a real sigh for me, and speaks of a lack of genuine closeness that had never before been truly tested. As it turns out, we were wrong to assume that deep down it was there.

That all said, the writers were so determined not to go out with a whimper, that I do retain some minimal respect for this. Their experimentation with animation, killing off a minor character completely unnecessarily and in such seemingly ill-conceived timing does show some defiance to the usual trundle out of the limelight that great shows opt for (US Office springs to mind). This show walked a tightrope between happy and despicable and they finally came down hard on one side here. Perhaps, in a better executed way, and with a little more craft, this last season could have been incredible, but to say that bad structure and chaotic design were its highlights speaks volumes.

The affinity towards organic free flow of not just dialogue, but structure too, has been a philosophy that made this series as funny as anything in it’s formative and middle years. But they lived by the sword, and suitably have died by it in this bitter end, and we all should have been prepared for that, if not for Andre’s cuckold by his best friend.

A truly great series is rest, and hopefully it is remembered for it’s vibrant youth and dynamic middle years rather than it’s lackluster and scattered later years.

 

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