Sometimes I forget that not everyone watches, like, every show on television. I think this is because I read The A.V. Club a lot, and it makes me think that other people are watching Todd VanDerWerff levels of television. But based on conversations with my actual real life friends (yes, I have some of those) this is not true! For example, most of them have never even heard of Louie, which is just so mind-boggling to me that it usually causes me to yell at them for extended periods of time (hey, I never said I have a LOT of real life friends).
Anyway, my point is that if you’re not watching Louie, it’s time to start! The third season is airing right now, and every episode is like this little half hour masterpiece. If you’ve ever seen Louis C.K.’s stand-up (and if you haven’t, shame on you!) you know his humour tends to go beyond dark to pitch black. But also, he’s so funny, and so spot on. When he talks about his outlook on life, he manages to make observations that completely resonate with me, but which I am not even remotely clever enough to ever articulate myself. He talks about how OF COURSE he loves his young children but he also kind of hates them sometimes; about how people (himself included) don’t appreciate the wonders of modern technology; and he doesn’t mind admitting that being a white man is awesome. Um, I’m probably not making this sound funny. You should just watch him. He’s so funny, I promise.
On the show, he plays a version of himself. The world of Louie is similar to the real world, but everything is a little skewed, a little exaggerated, a little bizarre. In one episode, Louie watches a homeless man lose his head in a freak accident. In another, he babysits a child who eats raw meat. He has a super creepy sexual encounter with a woman who seems to have daddy issues, and in the next season, he goes on a trip to Ikea with her after she promises to give him a blow job. Probably my favourite scene of the series takes place while Louie is apartment hunting. At one point, he looks out the window and sees a homeless man standing on the street. A black town car pulls up, and men in suits take a similar-looking homeless guy out of the car, and usher the first one into the back seat before driving away.
This season has continued to be amazing. I especially loved the two episodes guest starring Parker Posey. Louie meets her character at the bookstore where she works in the midst of a quest to find a girlfriend, and immediately views her as his dream woman – smart, pretty and funny. Subsequent visits to the store seem to confirm that, as she recommends books for his daughter, and seems to be kind of into Louie.
But then he asks her out, and she goes from Manic Pixie Dream Girl to…mostly just manic. She’s refused service at the bar they go to because of whatever happened last time she was there, but she isn’t perturbed. She tells Louie about how she almost died from an illness as a teenager, which feels like it could be either a total lie or the absolute truth; she doesn’t seem to care as long as the spotlight’s on her and things are constantly happening. When Louie realizes he doesn’t even know her name, she makes up an elaborate lie about how her parents named her Tape Recorder. Oh, and she makes him try on a dress in a second-hand store. Eventually, they end up on a rooftop, where Posey goes from manic to just sad.
THIS is good television. Louie is genuinely funny, but also intelligent, dark and, most importantly, innovative. There’s nothing else quite like it on TV, and that’s why you should be watching it.