The League: The Vapora Sport Review

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By Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)

As I tweeted out when watching The League’s newest episode, this show is one of the funniest shows on television when it’s on its A-game. In “The Vapora Sport” there were definitely several flashes of the show at its best.

The show’s two main storylines center on Taco dog sitting for his and Kevin’s parents and Pete’s attempts to get back into shape. First off, the fact that the dog’s name is Ditka (presumably after former Bears coach Mike Ditka) is fantastic. The fact that Taco teaches the dog to sniff out the smell of sex in less than a week with Ditka, is implausible but funny.

We see Ditka sniff out sex early on when Kevin visits Taco and again later when Kevin and Jenny are getting a piano delivered to their house. The moving man gets a peak at Jenny in nothing but her robe after she’s walked out of the shower.

The man then goes to the bathroom and after he comes back out, Ditka gives him a pity bark. Kevin and Taco put two and two together to figure out what the man did in their bathroom and throw the Michael Moore lookalike out of their house.

I thought this was one of the more brilliant scenes in the episode because not only do we get to see Taco and Kevin humiliates the moving guy but Jenny’s reaction to what he did is unexpected. Instead of being disgusted with what the man did in their bathroom, she’s actually more flattered than appalled that she made a guy want to do that. The throwaway line where Kevin tells his wife what happened and calls him Michael Moore was also a great little add in.

The secondary story features Pete who is looking to buy some new running shoes to get back into shape. He goes to the shoe store and is enthralled with these Vapora Sport sneakers; unfortunately so is the wheelchair-bound, black customer (played by J.B. Smoove). The sales associate at the store elects to give the latter the last pair of the sports and Pete has to settle for the casuals, which are uglier and have less traction.

The altercation between Pete and Smoove’s character was an interesting one because the
former is making the point that since his legs work, he needs the shoes more. Pete does this without actually coming out and saying that for much of the scene though, which creates some awkwardness in the air between the associate and the other customer.

Pete later complains about losing out on the shoes to his friends but eventually steals them from Smoove’s character after they both end up at Andre’s work. Watching Pete steal the shoes off a guy who has no feeling in his legs was slightly enjoyable but I’m sure there were some fans who found it a little distasteful. While the show has never been about being politically correct, this was a blatant joke centered on crippled people.

The man leaves Andre’s office searching around for the man who stole his shoes when he is hit by a moving truck, driven by Kevin. The reason Kevin is in the moving truck in the first place is because he is attempting to return the piano, which only plays the racist song “Pick a Bail of Cotton”…not exactly the first song you want your daughter to learn on that instrument.

Kevin immediately gets out and helps Smoove’s character but his wheelchair is broke. Kevin elects to help the man by creating a makeshift wheelchair out of boxes and a dolly when they both spot Pete wearing the stolen Vapora Sports. Kevin helps the man chase after Pete, eventually leading to a stare-down between Pete and Kevin.

While this is happening, the wheelchair-bound man accidentally finds himself speeding down a sidewalk thanks to Kevin letting go of him. The final scene ends with Smoove’s character crashing into the piano Kevin was trying to return as the tune “Pick a Bail of Cotton” plays. Of course, the Michael Moore-looking moving guy gets the final word and says “yeah, you can’t return that.”

The makeshift wheelchair looked hilarious and it was great to see Kevin treat the man with much more respect than Pete has all episode. I also thought the very-Seinfeld scene when Smoove is speeding down the sidewalk in his “wheelchair” was a great homage to a show The League is very much alike.

The only issues this show had was the fact that the stories didn’t seem to be there to be told but rather as a set-up for jokes and gags. It should be the other way around, and it usually is with the show, but it wasn’t in this episode. Another obvious issue with this episode was that it felt almost too un-politically correct. There’s nothing wrong with being edgy, but at some points this one went a little over the edge. Overall though, it was one of the funnier episodes of the season and a great bounce back from “The Tailgate” which was just awful.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


    3 Comments

  1. TheBenson108December 1st, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Passable episode, but not the best… PS-So glad you peoples are reviewing The League!!! Thanks!

  2. Alex HallDecember 2nd, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Definitely agree, Benson, it could have been a much better episode. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the reviews!

  3. DouglasDecember 9th, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    It’s not a racist song. Lead Belly made it famous and he was black. It’s a traditional working man song. John Heny, 16 tons etc. Blacks picked cotton-so did plenty of poor whites-before and after slavery ended. Just ask the late johnny Cash.
    Only the stupid PC’s think it’s racist.
    P.S. It’s a great tune.

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