The League, "High School Reunion": vinegar strokes

Quick Take: The League, "High School Reunion"
"Why do we have to ridicule? Why cant we just embrace the amazing night?" - Andre

the league

Review: The League, "High School Reunion"
(S0210) I'm still a few a years away from any high school reunions (thank God), but when it does come time for me to make the trek back to my old stomping grounds I certainly hope my return is half as awesome as The League's "High School Reunion." The League has really found its stride in its second season and has emerged as one of television's most consistently funny shows. I would argue that it has been a better all around product than its lead-in, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (which has been having a bit of a down year, in my opinion).

"High School Reunion," as you may have guessed, is an episode that revolved around the gang's reunion. Each guy has a set of individual goals that they would like to accomplish at the event. Andre (Paul Scheer) would like to prove to his classmates that he is not the loser that he once was, that he is now an accomplished surgeon. Kevin (Stephen Rannazzisi) makes that all but impossible when he spreads a rumor about Dre losing a testicle and having it replaced with a canine prosthetic. This means that Andre has to endure jokes like, "How's Andre enjoying the reunion?" "Oh, he's having a BALL," all night long. Ruxin (Nick Kroll) brings Sofia (Nadine Velazquez) along in an attempt to shed his reputation as a chubby chaser (his nickname in school was The Herdsman). Pete (Mark Duplass) is hunting for the worst person at the party. His plan is to create a trophy for the league's last place finisher and name it after this person, the anti-Shiva if you will. And Kevin is there pretty much just there to ridicule old classmates.

Even though he is a few years younger than his compatriots, Taco (Jonathan Lajoie) makes an appearance at the reunion as well. You see, Taco has recently coined the termed "vinegar strokes," which refers to the moments just before a man climaxes (because the dude's face looks like he just stuck his nose in a jar of vinegar). His goal is to create a Vinegar Strokes Symphony, which he will unveil at his own high school reunion and impress his classmates. He figures that there will be plenty of people hooking up at the event so it will be the perfect place to conduct some research. It turns out he is right. Sofia is so flattered by all of the attention Ruxin is (selfishly) showering her with that she agrees to sneak off and have sex with him. Taco follows him and is lucky enough to catch the vinegar strokes on tape with his cell phone camera. Taco is often the odd man out when it comes to the group, so he often feels shoehorned into the plot. This is certainly the case with "High School Reunion," but I felt like his material was strong enough to warrant his random appearances. And I know some people might find his musical numbers annoying at times, but I have loved them all so far. I'm sure I will get sick of them at some point, but I am not there yet, so keep 'em coming!

You know what I will probably never get sick of? Seeing Martin Starr on television. That's what. Why this guy can't seem to find regular TV work is beyond me. I am not kidding you when I say that Bill Haverchuck is one of the top five greatest television characters of all time. You could argue with me on this point if you would like, but you would be wrong. If you're interested enough in TV to be reading this column and you don't know who Martin Starr or Bill Haverchuck is, do yourself a favor and look him up. You'll thank me.

Starr makes a guest appearance as Box of Frogs (because he looks like a frog, of course), a class mate that Pete absolutely despises and number one contender for last place trophy naming rights. Pete blames him for an incident in high school in which his mother's car was broken into at a party and used as a shaggin' wagon. Well as it turns out, Box of Frogs is a really nice guy and offers Pete a too-good-to-be-true music industry job, which Pete promptly turns down by breaking Frog's car window and leaving behind a used condom. Pete and his buddies end up looking like the worst people at the party when Kevin reveals that he was the actually the one responsible for the damage done to the car. Kevin broke into the car to lose his virginity to Shiva and lost control of his legs during vinegar strokes and kicked out one of the windows. Box of Frogs was innocent all along. Poor Box of Frogs. Poor Martin Starr. Somebody get this guy a pilot or something, he's freakin' awesome for God's sake.

By Lucas High

About the author

Lucas High is a man on a mission. That mission: to watch television for a living. Drop him a line at lhigh2@gmail.com, on Facebook and on Twitter at twitter.com/LucasHigh.

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2 Comments
On: Saturday, November 20, 2010
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

That "having a BALL" line alone had me stitches, which probably does much to show the level of comedy that I enjoy! Great job on this as always Lucas !

On: Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

Lucas, finally caught up on this episode and totally agree that it is inspired twisted genius. 

And agree one hundred with regard to Martin Starr. Cool to see him guest starring on a Paul Scheer show just as Scheer guested on Party Down. I'm pretty much at the point where I would watch Starr in anything (don't even get me started on Adventureland, which must be watched in its entirety whenever I catch it on cable). 

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