Quickly becoming one of the most talked about comedies on television, Louie uses a unique fractured style of storytelling, most similar to life’s absurdities themselves. With its cult status growing, one sees this as fast becoming the comedic version of The Wire in both its underground success and its ability to package compelling character study and dry, straight-forward, biting social commentary all in one.
You can’t really say enough about this show. No easy articulation of the plot or style can prepare a viewer for the ever-changing landscape created from the mind of Louis C.K. While this show is obviously born out of a singular vision by an original comic, it’s also a continued testament to one point of view overseeing long form television. Unlike the longstanding shoot method in television that moves from the overcrowded writer’s room to stuffy sound-stage in only two weeks time, Louie is written, acted in, directed, produced, and often edited by Louis C.K. himself. His vision fuels the entire direction of the shows, warts and all. He seems to be honestly putting himself on the line in every episode. If nothing else, Louie is an act of uninhabited vulnerability, understanding the relatability of his self-deprecating, mid-40s existence, Louis C.K. uses the darkest portions of himself as a symbol for a generation generally not spoken for in mainstream media. The fact that Louie represents a rarely seen mature form of comedy on a format mostly filled with disillusioned 20-somethings, already exhibits the boldness being attempted by Louis C.K. and FX.
I’m admittedly late to the party, only part way through the show that’s now finishing up its third season. The basic conceit of Louie, while unorthodox in style, is somehow unexpectedly intoxicating. The blunt realities of such topics as sexuality, family, friendship, growing older, and death are handled with dry wit and, if sometimes unnerving, directness. No scene I’ve come across sums up the brilliance of the series like the “Gay Poker Scene” in Episode 2 of Season 1:
More writing to do about this show after I finish the full three seasons. Here’s hoping a one of a kind work of art with this kind of complexity and skill gets seen by the most people possible.