Gina Gershon

Rupert and Rodney Ruxin (above).

The resemblance in looks and manner between Jeff Goldblum and Nick Kroll is scary, making his casting as Ruxin’s dad on The League brilliant for more than just Goldblum’s brilliance.  Perhaps you recall Goldblum as himself way back on The Larry Sanders Show, in a love triangle with Larry and Gina Gershon replete with a foot fetish, seeming to make Gershon come right in front of Larry on his living room couch from a foot massage.  As for Kroll, you know we love the comedic talent (by the way, Kroll will reprise the voice of Stu on The Life and Times of Tim when Tim returns to HBO for the start of season 3 on Friday, December 16th @ 9 PM EST), but we now appreciate his other talents much more and the obvious chemistry between him and Goldblum, as we are left wondering if they might really be related.

Never was their chemistry better than with regard to the cardio bet plot line.  Because Ruxin is so prone to lying and completely morally bankrupt, the group forces him to wear a strap on pedometer so they have proof that he has actually done his pre Thanksgiving cardio in compliance with their bet.  Ruxin has discovered that the pedometer calculates any movement, and therefore has been circumventing his cardio by wearing the device on his wrist when he masturbates.  When he is sitting down to watch porn with the pedometer attached to his wrist and his father interrupts, he explain to the elder Ruxin, visually, how the pedometer racks up numbers by simulating the motion of jerking off.  A disgusted Goldblum tells him to stop and declares, “…a bunch of morons you hang around with.”

Goldblum is a consistent show stealer.  When Pete (Mark Duplass) tells him over drinks that they used to raid his liquor cabinet when they were kids, Goldblum says ‘that’s why I got there first and peed in all the bottles.’

Andre: “That’s why the Mescal never tasted the same.”

A good deal of the credit goes to Paul Scheer, who plays Andre, and to Scheer and Kroll, who wrote this brilliant episode.  Another pearl delivered by the sexually naive Andre comes when Ruxin tells the group he is looking forward to his wife’s trip so that he can jerk off freely. Andre tells him not to put any Noxzema on it.

Ruxin: ‘Why would I put Noxzema on it?’

Andre: ‘Because it’s cold and tingly like a woman’s vagina.’

Speaking of vagina, could they have possibly riddled out a more perfect role for Sarah Silverman, as Andre’s slutty nympho sister, Heather?  Who, coincidentally happened to deflower Kevin (Steve Rannazzisi), Pete, and Taco.  How about the conversation between Heather and Jenny (Katie Aselton) in the kitchen about cunnilingus? ‘I know how happy you make him’, she says, ‘and how happy he makes you.  Orally.  Because he learned from the best.’ She then points both her thumbs back at herself.  “This guy.”

They proceed to have an awkward conversation about female oral and Heather offers to re-teach Kevin how to ‘go to church’ and show him what to do with the labias majora and minora.  One might have figured the episode’s climax would’ve been the conversation at the Thanksgiving table about eating ‘sorbet’ in which Jenny tells Kevin how to eat the sorbet and then Heather provides her tutorial about eating the sorbet.  Then Taco adds ‘don’t be afraid to stick your finger in the sorbet’ and then Ruxin’s father provides his sorbet eating tips, discussing and demonstrating how he likes to keep “an active tongue” while eating the sorbet.

But it’s not the climax because when the turkey tastes a little funny and Andre  spits out a little purple name tag that says “Shakespeare”, it becomes clear that the missing pet hamster has been cooked and eaten along with the turkey.  Get them a palate cleaner for their palate cleaner for their palate cleaner.

Heather: ‘So you’ve got 8 minutes to stuff your face, then make an excuse that you’re going to the bathroom, and we’ll meet back here where you’ll lick my vagina.  GAMEPLAN!’

If you love funny, you’ll love The League.  Despite the sports talk, this show could command a large opposite sex audience, because it’s funny and well done, similar to the way Sex and the City had a strong male following.  And the Thanksgiving episode could have hardly been funnier, even though Ruxin’s brother-in-law Raffi (Jason Mantzoukas), our favorite League guest character by far, was not on hand to eat hamster.

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NYC does eat its young (the t-shirt logo above) except on HTMIIA where NYC eats cannabis tincture spray.

HTMIIA’s 2nd season has gone by in a blink. While we like it enough to write about it, some of it, for a city boy, is imminently despised. Let’s talk Domingo first.  Kid Cudi.  Wow. This guy plays a clown.  Maybe the show wanted a clown in which case then he’d be a fine clown indeed.  But we only like funny clowns and not the kind of clown Domingo is…a THC tincture spray making/selling, red jeans shorts wearing, friend’s girl fucking moron.  By the way, we just pulled up that track “All of the Lights” that he raps on, for fair measure, and we had to turn it off after 45 seconds and weren’t even able to get to Cudi’s rap because it’s about as bad a song as we’ve ever heard.  Word.

Tincture spray?  This is not Cali, Vancouver, or Amsterdam, and as big as we may think our weed scene is here, it simply isn’t as big as it is in places where cannabis is legal.  NY-made tincture made for mass production underground?  Please.  And Domigo’s got the spray bottles all whipped out with the artsy Rasta Monster labels.  Please give it up.  What a retarded storyline. The diehards are cringing.  Domingo is also the kind of punk that defies the guy code. That says it all.  Why did he do it (fuck Rachel)? Because he thinks his own shit is always more important.  It just happened?  That’s a cop out on both their parts.  Cam (Victor Rasuk) and Ben (Bryan Greenberg) should lose his number.

BTW, what kind of whore is Rachel (Played by Lake Bell, who did a nice guest spot on an episode of The League, which we just talked about yesterday in this space.)?  Bad instincts, bad judgment, bad friend, skank. Bad.  How does she leave a job like that in design with a boss that’s so cool, who is her friend, really her only girlfriend, who is giving her good advice, and throwing her nice swanky birthday dinners as well? How does Rachel not just quit but blow up her friend’s entire business?

Because she’s Rachel and her tits are beautiful and her pussy is “hot cakes”?  These things seem to give her license to do whatever, whenever.  Or else she is just too flighty to put her life together correctly and too unlikable for us to care.  And yet she’s giving Ben shit about his career, within the context of the back story and early episodes of Season 1, like only the King of England would be good enough for her.  At the end of the day though, she simply kisses off her career because of a bad romantic choice, runs away, then says fuck it, I’ll just become a magazine writer, like she’s all along been the embodiment of hot shit, this raw naked talent, and now she’d just channel her inner Tom Wolfe.  Yeah, but in the HTMIIA world of happy endings, that stupid article she wrote on that moron from Brooklyn (such bad casting with James Ransone as James Dean) that got her fired will be picked up by someone like the president of Random House who will find the piece accidentally and offer her a 3 book deal like she’s James Joyce.  Back to Rachel as a whore.  She obviously has fallen for Ziggy from The Wire even though she is fucking Domingo so that was justice when that jap got japped in the steam by a real Brooklyn girl and cracked her head.  But seriously, for her to fuck Domingo, a close friend of Ben, and then to target the Neanderthal kid, who Ben despises, is not just skeevy but also pathetic psychologically.

Speaking of whores, um, Gina Gershon.  She’s ancient and her skin looks like leather and she trapped Ben up similar to how Rachel got trapped up last season by the rich fag, by blurring romantic and career lines.  BTW, how did that guy think he could get away with making out with a dude while rolling in a club, right in front of his girl?  Anyway, we just had to ask.   Frankly, the similarities between Ben’s love life this season and Rachel’s last season reeks of deus ex machina.  For the laymen, that would be bad writing.  Lazy recycled plot lines with predictable outcomes.  And if that means that Rachel ends up on Ben’s doorstep, or vice versa, at the end of this week’s episode, entitled “What’s in a Name?”, then we’ll puke our guts up.  If anything is to be read into the show title then we may assume that Ben and Cam will let Yosi have the name Crisp, and then they will re-brand themselves and start a new line.  That would be a nice turn about, especially since we are so tired of the ‘we need money’ storylines, and think it would be fun to see the guys party like rock stars next year, while Domingo is off walking a French poodle.  Maybe Ben can find some young ass then too, like the kind he never ever should have turned down (especially not OUT OF TOWN ASS!).  Instead of going off to fuck one of those young blond buyers, he instead opts to go make faggy candlelit smooth smooth romance with an old married hag.  What an idiot.

But we like Ben.  He’s human.  Everybody gets schooled sometimes.  He is usually smarter than that, and was right to blow off Rachel, who turned out to be a megawhore and he is the creative talent behind Crisp. With all the neat ‘everything works out in the end’ nonsense that Mark Wahlberg has imported from Entourage, we see things working out rather well for him.

We love Luis Guzman who is perfect as Renee and his posse is also all quite good.  Of course we love Kappo (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and we would be very worried about him in Otisville if we thought he was actually going away, though we are quite certain things will work out for him too. Cam, Ben, Renee, and Kappo make this show, and the others, while bad, are at least tolerable.

Sure it’s all fantastical pastry puff bullshit at the end of the day where faggy weed dealers are handing out herb like nothing  in the big green cloud of smoke they call NYC–where in reality you may have to work 6 days a week for 10 yrs to catch a break, but where Ben and Cam can’t walk a block of city without running into the hottest designer that minute doing threads who is willing to toss them a bone without even sniffing the hint of a sample–but it has enough funny moments to tolerate its drawbacks.

It definitely is not actually how to make it in America, though the blueprint does seem like the plan for how to make it on HBO these days…the new HBO…which despite the drop off in creativity, numbers of and quality of shows, still manages to entertain us a lot of the time.

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