Saturday, September 10, 2011

Louie - Season 2

Louie was a unique comedy among comedies last year, but with season two, C.K. stepped up his game, prompting many to call it the new best show on television. I wouldn't go that far, but there's no doubt he's creating something special and different, a show that could go down as one of the most inventive comedy shows ever, and one of the best shows that can really be attributed almost completely to a single person. If you only watch comedies to laugh and have a good time, Louie might not be for you. Really, it's one of the darkest and often one of the most depressing things you can watch. It really hits on the difficulty of being a single father, with Louie being past his physical prime and trying to balance the demands of furthering his comedy career and raising his two daughters right. Season two is even less of a standard comedy than the first, with many segments not even trying to tell a joke at all. It's interesting how well C.K. handles this stuff, given he's one of the most laugh-out-loud funny stand up comics alive, which we're reminded of whenever he throws another couple minutes of that into the show.

The number of iconic, utterly memorable moments this season was pretty incredible. The show makes great use of other comics, including really effective scenes carried by Joan Rivers and C.K.'s frequent collaborator Chris Rock. The best cameo though was easily the one by Dane Cook, where the two hash out their issues stemming from the real-life accusation by others that Cook had stolen some of C.K.'s material. It's a scene that blends fiction in reality so closely that I'm not sure anyone besides those two knows how much of it was authentic, and how much was for the camera. There were lots of other great episodes and scenes, like an hour long episode about him going on a USO tour with an unexpected stowaway, an episode that's basically all about masturbation, one where he weakly tries to convince an old friend not to commit suicide (Louie is great whenever he tries to give a dramatic speech and gets called out for his pompousness by the recipient), and one where he takes his daughters to visit their racist great aunt. The scene with her in it is good, but the preceding segment, all about the car trip leading to it, is probably my favorite in the whole series. A third season is in the works, and I have high hopes for it, including him capitalizing on the idea introduced a couple weeks ago involving his rebellious young niece.

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