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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

KELLY: Finally, a show for men

Jack KellyTelevision is driven by women. More and more primetime shows are geared toward the half of the demographic I’m not a part of: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Gossip Girl,” “The Real Housewives.”

It’s not that men don’t have options — “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Lost,” “The Office,” “Always Sunny in Philadelphia” are all staples — but those shows are equally appealing to both sexes.

It seems to me there isn’t much available on TV that only men like.

Well guys, in my search for a show we can call our own, I think I’ve found the answer. It’s called “The League,” and it airs Thursdays on FX.

When I first saw previews for “The League,” I thought it’d be a show about the intricacies of fantasy football — trades, waiver wire pickups, injury reports and the like.

I play fantasy football, and I was wary of a show dedicated to the “sport.” I wanted it to be good, but wondered how far they could take the premise.

I was wrong. You need only a vague understanding of the ins and outs of fantasy football to appreciate the show.

The show deals less with the day-to-day management of a fictional football team and more with the day-to-day experience of being male.

“The League” is as much about running a fantasy team as FX’s “Always Sunny” is about successful bar ownership.

The show follows a group of guys in their late 20s to early 30s. No mention is made of how these guys became friends, but that’s actually a good move by the writers.

It allows you to easily substitute yourself and your buddies into these guys’ lives. It could be your childhood friends, high school buddies or college roommates.

Every aspect of a guys’ group dynamic is covered. First there are the three main guys who are clearly the core of the group. One is happily married, one’s whipped and one’s freshly divorced.

There’s the loveable guy who’s constantly the butt of every joke, yet still deals with it. And there’s the clueless guy who shows up out of thin air, and no one can quite remember how he made his way into the group (For Dane Cook fans: the “Karen,” if you will).

The show is about immaturity — a theme central to the lives of guys — but unashamed immaturity. They treat each other exactly how they always have.

They talk the same way they did when they first met. They haven’t let different jobs or girlfriends or children erase the bond they have with their buddies.

The members of the league take the game way too seriously, but that’s the point. These guys are way past their competitive-sport-playing days, out of college and in the real world.

Playing fantasy football means they still have that firm bond with their old buddies, as well as an escape from real-life troubles.

The characters’ language is about as crude as you can get on basic cable.

It nearly perfectly captures the inane banter that happens among friends. And most importantly, the show is hysterical.

The humor is subtle and nuanced, just like real life. As “Seinfeld” proved, nothing is funnier than friends bantering about the mundane-ity of their lives.

Instead of creating an impossible fantasy like “Entourage,” it takes the ordinary lives of lackluster characters and shows the humor, friendship and conflict inherent in regular guys’ lives.

If you’re a guy, play fantasy football or act much younger than your age, this show is for you.

Trust me, you’ll see yourself on the screen. And you might just have a better understanding of why shows like “Gossip Girl” resonate so much with women.

When you relate to the characters, and you feel the show does justice to your group of friends or worldview, it’s entertaining. And tough to turn off.

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    alumDec 8, 2009 at 8:49 am

    If you’re a guy, play fantasy football and use the term “nearly perfectly,” limit your column to the bathroom wall.