Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Louie - Season 1

Louis C.K. is one of my favorite stand-up comedians, so hearing that he had complete creative control over a new show on FX was pretty exciting news (although I still haven't seen his version of a sitcom for HBO), and it turned out to be about as good as expected. It's partly snippets of his vulgar and hilarious stand-up, and partly a collection of vignettes about a somewhat realistic, somewhat fanciful look at his every day life. He tries to be a good parent to his two daughters. He tries to meet someone, or at least get laid in the wake of his divorce. He unknowingly gets molested by a dentist while having a sedative-induced dream about meeting Osama Bin Laden and telling him 9/11 was a bullshit move. Sometimes it's really funny, others it's more honest and poignant, and once in a while it's just brutal, not even qualifying as comedy. It doesn't have to be humorous to be interesting, and that's one of the show's biggest strengths.

I'll be honest, I usually laugh the most during the brief bits of stand-up sprinkled through episodes. The other stuff is usually good too though, and there's enough different stuff going on in these thirteen episodes that you're never sure what's going to happen next, and feel confident that no topic is off limits. Parenthood, religion, sex, drugs, and more are all tackled in new ways, and you can be confident Louie has something funny or smart to say about it, or usually both. There's also a nice collection of guest actors who show up, usually other comedians that Louie knows in real life, and they often play roles you wouldn't expect. It's the kind of personal and often extremely uncomfortable show that you really wouldn't think you'd see on real television, let alone get a second season, which luckily it did. I'm looking forward to what else Louis has to share with the world.

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