Oh Louie, Louie!!!

Oh Louie, Louie!!!

Worth It
Jul 5, 2011
2 Comments

FX’s comedy, health Louie, features comedian Louis C.K. in a somewhat autobiographical light. Forty-two, divorced, single-father of two young girls and trying to figure out what life is all about, Louie is a jaded and, well, rather normal man of the twenty-first century. He’s trying to be a good father, find the love and affection of a yet-to-be-found woman and keep his head above the daily grind.

This half-hour situational comedy shares the same spirit with “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “Extras” and “Party Down”. Louis puts a lot of his stand up into the show, as well. You know how Seinfeld used to start each episode with him doing stand-up? Well, Louie is like that, only he tosses it in throughout. Now, this could be a bad thing. A dangerous move, no doubt. But he manages to interweave his stand-up (which is really his strongest talent) into the musings of his day-to-day life. Each element plays off the other nicely. He bounces from a joke on the stage to a real situation where the story comes to life. The situations are hilarious and painfully awkward (a la BBC’s “The Office”). Of course the supporting cast is fantastic, too, with the odd cameo thrown in for good measure. Season one, episode three introduces Ricky Gervais as Louie’s doctor. It is tooooooo funny!!! He shows up later in the season, as well.

One of my favourite moments in season one is the “Bullying” episode. Louie is on a nice date with an attractive woman. To end the night they head to a donut shop to have coffee. While trying to have pleasant conversation, a bunch of rowdy teenagers come in and make it impossible for anyone to talk. So, Louie turns around and tells them to knock it off and be quiet. One of the thugs, Sean, comes over and threatens him. He tells him he’s gonna beat the sh!% out of him unless Louie asks nicely for him not to. So, being a 42 yr. old father of two (and a non-fighting type) the embarrassed Louie asks the kid to “please” not beat him up. The kids walk out laughing, further humiliating poor ol’ Lou. His date then tells him that that was a turn-off. Classic. Louie is miffed, sends the date home in a cab and notices the hooligans down the street. So, he follows them. Particularly, he follows Sean through the subway, onto the Staten Island ferry, all the way to the kid’s home. Once Sean goes in, Louie knocks on the door. Sean’s parents answer. He explains that Sean was being a thug, a bully. The father, a stereotypical New Yorker, yells for Sean to come down. Sean does and his father starts hitting on him and yelling. Louie intervenes and points out that Sean’s a bully cuz his father just hits him to solve problems. The mother starts hitting Louie, exclaiming, “who are you tell us how to raise our kids!?!?!?”. Louie leaves. But the dad follows him out and, with humility, asks what he’s supposed to do. The two have a tender and profoundly simple conversation about generational habits, raising kids and how tough parenting is. Poignant, insightful and profound. That’s Louie.

Not all the shows are as deep and insightful. But, in general, Louis C.K. has a knack for communicating the awkward thoughts most people have, but are too ashamed to talk about. He takes on these tense and complicated issues with his own brand of openness , humour and, dare I say, even wisdom. However, Louie is not for everyone. He doesn’t censor anything he says, so even if he regrets it after, he tends to say exactly what’s on his mind. For those of you who are not prepared to subject yourselves to super-cynical, unconventional and, yes, crude humour, I recommend you stick to “Glee” or “Dancing with the Stars”. For the rest of you, if you haven’t seen Louie yet, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

This is smart, honest and deeply introspective comedy. At times it’s a bummer. And that’s okay. Good comedy should cause us to think more deeply about who we are and why we do what we do. Louis C.K. is probably one of the most depressing and pessimistic guys on the scene and yet his observations ring true, reminding us that life is not clean and simple. It’s messy, it’s tough. He tackles everything from single-parenting to God and religion to health to family and everything in between. It can be brutal and shocking. But it’s funny and it’s true. Louie is a rare television show that truly reflects a quiet zeitgeist in our culture today. And I laugh out loud, multiple times every, single episode.


About the Author

Craig the Critic

Comments:

  1. Great review Craig. You really write well and have some great insights.

    • Thanks, Rick! That means a lot coming from you 🙂
      I hope you subscribed. And don’t be shy in spreading the word to your friends!

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