TV Show: Louie | Place: FX | Watched: Netflix | Staring: Louis C.K.
I know this blog normally contains my poor attempts at discussing comicbooks, but I thought for the sake of writing away frustration that I would share a few thoughts on LOUIE.
LOUIE is an odd ball of a sitcom. A tale of a lonely, middle-aged father trying so hard to find a love connection in his post-divorce life. That may seem like enough, but Louie also have to put up with thoughts of image, religion, sex, and social standards. It may not seem like something you’d want to view with your free time as it’s always best to stray away from the unhappy, but it’s excellent television.
Don’t get me wrong, the show is absolutely hilarious. C.K.’s vulgar, questioning, and possibly offensive style influences the show to no end. If anything, LOUIE may be more of a realization of C.K.’s comedy than the actual bit he presents on stage. I just don’t feel that sums up the show, though. As mentioned, the subject matter isn’t exactly bright and shiny, and LOUIE never forgets this.
The audience sees splices of C.K.’s standup through each half-hour, but the meat of the show are the vignettes written and directed by C.K. These vignettes only seem to visualize C.K. stories when you first see them. The beginning of the season seems to ease you into what the show is really after, so up front the vignettes are short while the stand-up fills the majority of time. At this stage, everything is wonderful and the show still latches onto you while entertaining to the nth degree. Mid-season the vignettes take over, though. The show gets to business portraying more of C.K. himself. Granted, it’s a fictionalized version, but I feel it’s pretty obvious that C.K. lives this kind of lifestyle, minus a bit of exaggeration. The greatest thing is he’s not afraid to show it. LOUIE will go bleak at times. Episodes about God, scenes discussing child abuse, or explanations of the word “faggot” go past the territory of just making fun. The show actually begins to really question. Why do we live with such things?
There’s another element I find highly relatable. This is the story of a middle-aged man, but Louie’s luck with dating or just being social in general really clicks with me. The guy is lonely and lacks the motivation to find people. That’s me, and in someways the show scared the fuck out of me while also providing comfort. “I’m not alone” seemed like the appropriate phrase while watching this on a Friday night in my dark bedroom.
Seriously, for those who have seen the show. Season finale. The club scene. I’ve fucking been there.
The show has such a strong and unique composition and vision, and the rotating cast never ceases to impress. It’s one of the rare TV shows airing on a basic cable channel that can still provide a challenge to its audience. I respect it. It’s Harvey Pekar molded into a Seinfeld cookie cutter, yet in someways it cannot be labeled.
Netflix Instant. Now, people.