Friday, August 13, 2010

Louie | What’s The Deal With “Louie”?

If you were unaware the standup comedian Louis C.K. has a new show on FX entitled Louie. I premièred this summer and as far as summer shows go it is quite good. However, it does take some getting use to. The show is directed and written by Louis C.K. and the first couple of episodes did not follow any kind of traditional sitcomy sort of formula. In fact they were rather odd, hopping from stand up routines to serious conversations ranging from the topic of being gay to the unnecessary ridicule for not liking President Obama.  These moments were strange, not particularly funny and felt out of place in the show. That is until you begin to realize what Louis C.K. is up to. Whether intentional or not Louie’s first episodes were a reflection of his creative process as a comedian and not as a show runner. Louie’s interactions with people are the basis for the stand up and that’s how the show goes. Louie is out with friends shooting the shit then some question is brought up, discussed and from that discussion Louie’s comes up with his stand up routine and the same is true for the show. So instead of being just told jokes the whole time you are seeing what leads to the jokes at least in so far as the fictional version of Louis C.K. goes.
It took until the 8th episode of the season called Dogpound for the show to really be focused all the way through. In this episode Louie after sending his two daughters to their mother’s house for the weekend promises himself that he is not going to be a depressed piece of shit while they are gone. This is something Louie does every time his kids leave for an extended period of time. After this solemn vow there is a great moment where Louie goes to pay for a bottle of water at a convenience story and looks down to see that the counter for the cash is also the ice cream freezer. And when the cashier asks if the water is all, Louie gets this look on his face. Cut to the next scene and Louie is pounding down that Hagen-Daz like a drunk with a bottle of booze in the background a cacophony jazz is playing like something out of a David Lynch film. But that was only the beginning of Louie’s self-loathing spiral while his children were away. Just as he begins to take on a jump rope for some much needed exercise he is distracted by the faint sent of weed coming from next door. This leads to one of the funnies moments in the show’s short history where Louie gets to know his pot smoking neighbor better by doing a few bong hits with him and destroying a parked car with a large jug of water from the neighbor’s window. At the height of Louie’s attempt at getting right while his kids are gone is when he heads to an animal pound to find himself a furry companion to take his mind off of ice cream and pizza while his kids are out of hugging reach. This too ends badly after he is talked into taking one of the older dogs by a sexually suggestive dog lover because the problem with taking in an older dog is that they might have health issues or worst case scenario will die right as you bring them home. After the dog disposal unit took the dead pet away Louie’s children arrive thus ending his self-loathing shit spiraling into a uncontrollable orgy of extra creamy ice cream accompanied by copious amounts of take out pizza just to sate the empty void left by the absence of his children. Now that is how you make an episode that’s interesting, funny and coherent.    

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