FX's new comedy "The League" is a strategically smart show to pair with "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Both are crude, male-skewing comedies that will outrage and disgust many viewers while making a niche audience break out in guffaws.
Which viewers will fall into each group will largely be determined by gender and age: The younger and more frat boy a viewer is, the more likely he is to enjoy these often funny raunch-coms.
"The League" (10:30 tonight) begins poorly with too much emphasis on the fantasy football league the guys on the show participate in. For those who play in such leagues, there are probably more knowing laughs to be had -- like when one guy complains about delinquent league fee payments -- but for those who don't participate, the jockeying for draft picks isn't relatable.
"The League" is more accessible in its second episode when the focus is on friendship among the guys and their respective marital relationships.
Pete (Mark Duplass) annoys wife Megan (Leslie Bibb) with his league talk, but Kevin (Stephen Rannazzisi) gets support from his wife, Jenny (Katie Aselton), who secretly helps him make decisions about his team.
Stoner Taco (Jon Lajoie) makes little effort, Ruxin (Nick Kroll) is overly determined to win and weird Andre (Paul Scheer) is the dude designated for mockery by other league members.
In tonight's premiere, the guys decide who will go first in their fantasy football draft based on the outcome of a sack race at a child's birthday party. At the same party, Taco sings a sexually explicit song to the kids.
Next week one of the guys decides to end his marriage, leading to turmoil for the other married members of "The League." Taco explains the term "eskimo brothers" (it's profane) and Jenny, drunk at dinner, brags in graphic terms about the awesomeness of a specific (private) part of her anatomy.
If you're easily offended, you will be appalled by "The League." If you chuckle at smutty, raunchy humor and profanity, this show offers dirty-minded comedic rewards.
Contact TV editor Rob Owen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1112. Read the Tuned In Journal blog at post-gazette.com/tv.