The League: The Curse of Shiva
By Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)
After a year of being cursed by the one and only Shivakamini Somakandarkram, the league members spent the season four finale reflecting on a miserable 2012 for all.
The episode did not exactly center around one story interestingly enough, with each character’s plotline getting essentially equal airtime. We see depressed Pete deal with the loss of his “girlfriend” Gina and learning that his best fantasy player in Adrian Peterson is now dating her. Ruxin continues to deal with the fact that his sperm is unfit for baby making and the return of Rafi and the rest of the gang partake in a juvenile game of “scrote-squat”.
The cameo by Peterson was fantastic to see and lines up with the fact that he’s been an absolute fantasy football machine this season. It’s great when the show’s dialogue or guest appearances portray the gang’s league taking place in real time. Ruxin’s storyline was interesting not only because of Rafi’s return but by the hilarious scenes where he’s mumbling to himself or drunkenly tinkering with his fantasy lineup.
Just on a side note, I’m not sure how The League directors and producers train the NFL players who come on the show for their lines but whatever they do works. Almost none of the cameos this season featured bad dialogue by the football players.
The only ones (besides Rafi of course) having a good time during this episode were Taco and Andre actually. With Taco trying to find ways to make his second fortune as he blew his money made of the Dallascowboys.com domain sale and Andre enjoying time with his new fiancé.
Unfortunately for Andre however, the Shiva curse came upon him as well when he discovered his fiancé is allergic…to semen. This prompts the gang to beg Shiva to lift her year-long curse so they can begin the New Year on a fresh note.
The League has always done a great job of having recurring minor characters make an episode feel special but also adds depth. Characters like Shiva and Rafi aren’t just in the episode for a quick cameo; they move the stories along and make the show more enjoyable in the process.
That theme was certainly present in the finale but I can’t say the episode was homerun altogether. Though there were some nice moments, the decision to have only Pete in the Shiva Bowl and the overall lack of interest in the fantasy finals by the characters was a bit disappointing.
It’s understandable that after a year filled with misfortune for all league members they wouldn’t be as into the finals. Even then though, given how much the league means to them I was expecting the episode to feature everyone rallying Pete into winning the Shiva Bowl. They would be trying to ensure off-screen member; Ted did not win in his first season in the league and keep the trophy in Chicago.
Instead, the gang was just kind of mopey for much of the episode. The “scrote-squat” scenes were a little fun and Andre’s misfortune was an unexpected one but didn’t have enough to make the episode a solid five rating. It was a good finale overall but there was a feeling of the episode lacking the usual excitement the characters possess.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars