Sunday, August 28, 2011

Louie Season One - TV Review


*As I went to write my review for Season Two of Louie, I found this entirely written post on my impressions of Season One. For some reason, it never got posted. So, tonight I will post this old one and tomorrow I’ll post my insights on Season Two.

I realize this show is certainly not for everyone, heck Louis C.K. is not for everyone, but some of us need him.

See I was raised to be a connoisseur of comedy. My father loved stand-up comedy and funny was funny, there was no censoring in my house. I grew up listening to comedy albums by clean comics like Bill Crosby and The Smothers Brothers, but there was also, George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Red Foxx. Believe me; Red Foxx’s stand up was nothing like his character in Sanford and Son! In our house comedy was king and stand-up was a true art form. All this needs to be taken in to account when you spend time with Louis C.K.

Watching his new FX show made me want to really dive into to his comedic history. I remember watching a few episodes of his short-lived HBO show Lucky Louie, but at the time it didn’t stick with me. I went back and watched every episode and all of his stand- up specials. He’s truly a comic’s comic.

Look, there’s a lot of stuff he says that I find offensive, but when he hits that right thing…man! His observations on parenthood are spot on. Really listen to him, this guy loves his kids, but it doesn’t mean they don’t work your every last nerve. We know that’s true, you’re just not supposed to say it. This is where I respect Louie as a comedian. He is raw and really puts it out there. To not censor yourself the way he does is amazingly impressive. I think even he’s not okay with some of the things he says, but to be true to the process he’s putting it all out there.

Louis C.K. has been around for a long time and has done a lot of writing for other comedians and TV shows. In the past, it would have been difficult for a guy like him to get a show, but with shows, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Tosh.0the masses have finally come around the accepting his type of crude un-censored humor.

The first season has been a bit of a hit and miss. The 5th episode where he does a gig in the South was hysterical! But then on the flip side, I don’t think episode 11, dealing with religion, really came across well. I appreciate the creativity though, I really feel like there’s something new and fresh going on here and I’m willing to let the creators work it out.

Another interesting note, much like a Seinfeld episode, each episode of Louie is interspersed with clips of him doing his stand-up act. Unlike Seinfeld, these are often the best part of the show. His bits are fall down funny. I’m often rewinding to hear the jokes again and again. Remember how cheesy Jerry Seinfeld’s bits were? You would groan and hope they would hurry back to the great sitcom banter.

I look forward to season two. The first season ended so sweetly with Louie eating pancakes with his daughters at a diner at 4:00am. It truly warmed my heart. I certainly do not want or expect the show to go in a more gentle and sweet direction, but these tiny touches, thrown in with the brashness, really feels authentic.

Lastly, I enjoy reading credits. You can pick up a lot of interesting facts. It’s common to see an actor has directed a particular episode, but I was surprised to see Louis C.K. with the credit of editor on most of the episodes. That’s different!

I did write about Louie a couple of times last summer. You can check those out here and here.

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