Louie Louie Louie Louieee

30 May

Louie tv show

Before I jump right into my rant about why I think Louie is insanely brilliant and everyone should watch it, I will quickly fill in those that currently do not. Louie stars stand-up comedian Louis C.K. as a stand-up comedian named Louie. So meta. He is a divorced father of two (just like in real life, you guys!) and he gets into all sorts of precarious situations on a daily basis. He’s like Larry David, but because he is much nicer and not as inappropriate, weird things just happen TO him, rather than him causing awkward situations because he says whatever comes to his head with no filter.

Louis C.K. created the show, and basically in order to maintain complete creative control, he does absolutely everything. As in, he edits the show from his Mac at home. It’s insane. He makes like, many dollars, so shouldn’t he have someone do that? There has to be some lowly intern out there that would not take any artistic license and would just do what Louis says for a few hundos. I am that person, if you’re reading this Louis. He also doesn’t have a trailer, because he thinks that’s a ridiculous thing to have, so he changes outfits in his car, and just hangs out in there when he needs a break. This is not important, but I think it’s funny to picture him just sitting in his Toyota, patiently waiting while practicing his lines. Because I’m sure he drives something like an old Toyota.

I also don't want you to think that I'm talking about the other classic comedian, Louie Anderson, seen here in cartoon form.

I also don’t want you to think that I’m talking about the other classic comedian, Louie Anderson, seen here in cartoon form.

Or Loni Anderson, for that matter.

Or Loni Anderson, for that matter.

The first episode of Louie that my husband and I ever watched was on a random Saturday evening, soon after the conclusion of season three. It was one of the first nights that our son had gone to bed in his own room. We were celebrating by doing what any healthy couple would do with some time to themselves – watching TV in bed because we could. We truly did not care what we were watching, as long as it had a picture, and there was a fairly loud volume. They happened to be re-airing the season three finale of Louie on FX, and we decided we should finally tune in and watch, since we’d been meaning to see it since it premiered. The season three finale, entitled New Year’s Eve, is basically about Louie hibernating in his apartment, depressed, on New Year’s Eve until his sister (Amy Poehler) convinces him to come visit her family in Mexico. Louie relents and heads to the airport, only to run into an old flame, and it turns tragic very quick, and Louie ends up with her in the emergency room instead. Even more depressed, Louie changes his mind about Mexico and decides to travel alone to China instead. When the episode was over, all we thought was “this show is fucked up.”

It was a few months before we would give Louie a second chance at love. I conferred with friends at great length about the beauty of this show and why we should definitely give it a another shot. Mostly it was because we chose to start with the worst first episode ever that did not really reflect the overall feeling of the show (it was not a bad episode, it just wasn’t a great representation of what the rest of the episodes are typically like). Our bad! So we wisely went back to the beginning and started at episode 1, which I’ve now learned is a much more common practice than just tuning in willy-nilly, multiple seasons in.

Louie bored

Once we started watching, we got hooked pretty quickly. There are just so many things to love about this show. First of all, Louis C.K. really does not care about continuity, which equates to the most amazing string of unpredictable vignettes every episode. One thing that I tend to get very caught up in when I watch a new show is that I always think I know how the entire series is going to end. And if it’s too easy to figure out, or just painfully obvious, it bothers me. We just watched the first episode of the HBO series Hello Ladies, starring Stephen Merchant, who Dan and I love. He’s so tall and gangly and hysterical, how could you not? The opening scene started off so promising with a hilarious abortion joke, but then it just slid and slid because it is SO clear that he will end up with the lady tenant who lives next door. They both date and date and just can’t connect with anyone, but each other, and they happen to be the same age and love all the same things! Jesus. How insulting is that. There are ways to make predictable endings have enough twists and turns that you’re relieved when it ends how you predicted, but this was not one of those times.

Anyhoo, my point is that Louie has absolutely zero predictability (Is that a statistics term I just wrote? Am I an accidental math genius?) and I greatly appreciate it. C.K. doesn’t care if the same actor plays a role from episode to episode (such as the youngest daughter, who started off as one actress and is now another. She happens to be the cutest little girl on the earth, so that was clearly the right decision), or if a character’s personality is completely different season to season (his mom started off as super sweet in flashbacks, and then super crazy and mean later on). Sometimes the inconsistencies can be irritating, but most of the time I think they’re amazing. It keeps me on my toes.

Louie Daughter 1Louie daughter 2Louie daughter 3

Here’s the other thing I like about Louie – it’s basically the most profound show I’ve ever watched, and I don’t quite know how or why. Louis C.K. just understands this world so well, and has an endless amount of smart things to say about it. He comes off as this average looking simple guy who does his comedy act and hangs out with his kids, and doesn’t really have a lot of friends, and can’t maintain a healthy relationship with a woman, but then he says something just mind-blowingly brilliant out of nowhere. It’s always unexpected, and always kind of remarkable.

Louie show 2

And a lot of times, it’s not even him saying the brilliant things, lest you think that he is a good-line hog. No, he writes brilliant things for other people and then scenes like this from a few weeks ago happen:

And then he gets incredible guest stars, like the one and only Charles Grodin, who I miss dearly in movies and I wish so badly would make Beethoven 10: Dude, Where’d I Bury My Bone?:

Or Dane Cook, who unlike Charles Grodin, I would like to see in no things. In real life, there were many accusations in 2000and6 that Dane Cook had stolen material from Louis C.K., and this scene addresses those rumors. Why would Dane Cook agree to do this? I’m not sure. But it made me like him…the same. I don’t like him. But I do appreciate his willingness to look like he did, in fact, steal Louis C.K.’s jokes:

Here’s my final selling point (because this is starting to sound like an infomercial for a new business I bought some shares in) – I spend about 80% of the episodes laughing, but I spend the other 20% weirdly touched, absurdly uncomfortable and anxious, or sad for our country and all it represents. For a little 30 minute comedy on FX, it sure makes me feel a lot of things. And that’s good! While I enjoy watching The Bachelorette and wondering what Andi’s next evening gown will look like, or how many times all of the boys got waxed that day, or who got the most drunk, I also occasionally like to be forced to think a little. But only a little. I still want to laugh when something dumb happens one minute later, like a person falling down.

Now, if you still don’t want to watch Louie after my hard sell I just threw at you, then at least watch the SNL skit, Lincoln. Because it’s literally the next best thing.


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