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Seinfeld revolved around a stand-up comedian constantly sabotaged by
the catastrophic social faux pas of himself and the people inextricably
involved in his life, intercut with performance sets by the actual
comic. So is Louie. But where Seinfeld was purportedly "a show about
nothing," Louie is a show in which from moment to moment, you can
safely expect nothing. Not only does Louis C.K. straddle the gaps in
social protocol and everyday confrontations we all understand, but also
the extremes of comedy and tragedy. It's a gallows comedy, in which we
can find ourselves laughing in elation at the both wry and surreal
absurdity of one moment, then clenching our chair arms in both tension
and incredulity at moments of agonizing pain and even at times a true
sense of impending brutality.
There is no continuity from one episode to the next, or even from one vignette to the next. Each episode is comprised of usually two scenarios book-ended by stand-up sets by Louie, which may or may not turn out to be part of one of the scenes. It's the direct inversion by an observant everyman's misanthrope of the TV sitcom. Whereas every sitcom we've ever seen has one essential soundstage, an ongoing play-like farce that runs before two cameras, all the same characters show up and everything not only works out but is just the same as before by the end, each week Louie will give a stream of consciousness an unsystematic narrative silhouette almost invariably a sequence of encounters with characters who enter and exit, yet very few ever return. Some actors and actresses return in different roles. Louie's mother is at one point played by an old woman as an appalling malignant narcissist and in another episode a humble, warm-hearted young working-class woman.
The show is written, directed and edited by its star, and he creates a visually realistic look and atmosphere for his small stories, captured quite cinematically. In the God episode, arguably the boldest, most powerful episode, he injects solemn amber tones, almost I dare say comparable to Gordon Willis' work on the Godfather films. There is a considerable proliferation of long takes in which two characters will share dialogue that sounds and feels no less real than that which we'll share with someone tomorrow. Sometimes, he's bold enough to prolong a single, stationary take in which nothing is being said on-camera, but all the action that affects the character in the shot is occurring off-camera, and in that very single take, we're carried seamlessly and steadily from deadpan absurdity to genuine terror. Then comes the cut: Life goes on; nothing's really that big of a deal. Simply put, each week, C.K. delivers one or two of the most powerful and memorable short films you may ever see.
I was watching Rescue Me tonight, and I saw the previews of this show.
I didn't know if it was old or new. I later checked on the cable box
and saw it was new. I gave it a shot, and I was a bit surprised that
there might be another great show on TV.
While I am not going to sit here and say this is the next Seinfeld, it had certain feelings to it, like the stand up comedy part in the start and the end. But "Louie" seems more edgier and more explicit than Seinfeld's method of 'beating around the bush' of what they want to say due to restrictions. The jokes I would say are more like Curb Your Enthusiasm.
I will not try to spoil much for those who haven't seen it, but the show is basically about a middle-aged man who has two children, both girls, and recently split up with his wife. He is a stand up comedian for a living, and while off the job -- he is looking for a rebound for his break up with his wife. His character symbolizes Larry David's to a degree, although I don't see his good will like Larry shows time to time, yet he's still a very sympathetic character and one who is easy to get behind.
I love the comparisons to Seinfeld and CYE, because I think they are both excellent shows, thus I hope this show can use that type of formula but also be able to come up with some innovative and compelling ideas on its own. It's already did its main job with me: making me want to see it again. I am looking forward to see if this show becomes something epic or something that epic fails.
Worth checking out, especially if you're a Seinfeld and/or CYE fan.
Louis CK is a genius and he once again proves it by making this
miraculously humorous show.
The humor is of the best kind - dry and effective, and Louie faces some real problems that are common for all of us at one point - aging and going through tough (but hilarious) changes in life... Seeing THAT from Louie's point of view is particularly interesting... The show itself is refreshing new gem in the sea of mediocre popular boringness that we see today on TV.
Anyway, I think that this show is underrated and needs more reviews...
Can't wait for the second season!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Louie is a very weird show. I can honestly say I have never seen such
an unorthodox approach to directing and editing in television.
Comparisons to Curb Your Enthusiasm have their merit, as the show often
thrives on propelling awkward moments, but the focus of the show is in
a much different direction.
Louie has a knack for blurring surrealism with reality. Many times in the series, the viewer can enjoy scenes that seem to scream 'it was going so bad, this might as well have happened,' except there are no visual or audio cues as to when the show transitions into such moments. As such, at least in my experience, there are several moments of jaw dropping, I-can't-believe-that-just-happened ecstatic laughter in every episode.
The writing is as sharp and precise as Louie's stand-up, of which live bits are heavily incorporated into the show. The casting thus far has also been great. Perhaps it's due to the direction of the series, but the acting seems far superior to that of the also hilarious Lucky Louie, even in scenes with actors from that show--exchanges between Louie and Nick DiPaolo, for example, are much more believable than the HBO series. Louis CK is by no means a world class actor, but for one who describes himself as a man who "hates acting" and is "bad at it," he delivers the goods more than well enough.
I recommend this show to just about everyone. I would practically instruct any fan of dirty comedy to watch this show, as not only do many fantastic comics appear on the series, but the show has a sense of humor that seems distinctly tailored to stand-up comedy fans. FX allows for some coarse language, and the series takes advantage of that; however, the show is accessible for any adult with even a moderate sense of humor. Watch this show, and re-watch it again.
This show as everything else can be compared to other shows but it is its own in many ways. First of which can be said is kudos to Louis C.K. is he greatly underrated and should be a much more respected star. His comedy is genuine and honest and i know it sounds corny but his show feels very real the dialogue and the situations are how real life i think would be. I've heard it be compared to seinfeld but the only comparison is that there are clips of louie doing stand up, the actual show is nothing like it. Also id like to commend FX on giving it time to grow, they are a very good network for that, same with SUNNY IN PHILLY, that show grew into an excellent show. Shows get canceled to quickly. Anyways to sum up. Louie gets a 10/10, its just my opinion.
I watched this show for the first time last week after Wilfred (another great new show), and I must say - Louie is wondrously on a WHOLE new level. Where have I been?! Yes, the show is quite explicit, vulgar, and just plain dirty - all of which I'm not a huge fan, but the writing/dialogue depicts the everyday thoughts and issues that are really running in the minds of the rest of us, but we're just too afraid to speak our minds. That's what really amazes/captures me about this show. It is rough around the edges submerged with complex, bizarre, vulgar situations, yet the overall tone of the show is so...simple, mundane. This very stark contrast is not only captivating and mind-blowing, it is very intense and disturbing to the human psyche. It is just a whole new level of comedy. I am thoroughly and mindbogglingly wow-ed.
Louis CK began his career as a writer for various show's like the Ben
Stiller Show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. He also made several
surrealist style short films which I highly recommend you look up on
YouTube. With "Louie", CK has essentially perfected what he's been
working at for over twenty years: short films/comedy sketches.
While the show retains an overarching structure revolving around Louis' daughters and his stand up comedy, the actual content of the episodes can cover virtually anything CK chooses, a sense of freedom he clearly loves. In fact, in a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel, CK talked about the inconsistencies on his show: how characters appear out of nowhere and then disappear, never to be seen or spoken of ever again. Why? CK lost interest or couldn't think of anything funny to do with them. Other shows require their less interesting characters to have scenes in each episode, forcing the writing staff to jimmy them into the plot just so the actor can have a line of dialogue. CK views this as an unnecessary formality that it's about time television moves on from. I heartily agree.
If you enjoy laughter, watch Louie. If you hate boring, dull characters, watch Louie. If you're fed up with every character speaking like a comedy writer and having their conversations broken up by the requirement of canned laughs so that you, the stupid viewer, will know when to laugh, then watch Louie. Finally, if you like to ruminate on topics like inevitable death, the tragedy of aging, the annoying yet fulfilling requirements of parenthood, and then after much brooding, find yourself laughing at the absurdity of it all, then watch Louie. Because that's the show.
Is truth, I would not call this a sitcom. It is not sketch comedy either, so...what is this? I can not call it anything but genius. Brilliant comedy, in a creative format. I love this. SNV has said he is a great fan of Louis for make me watch him. I also not like to rate a ten, as like previous reviewer say. But I am forced to maintain an integrity? Yes! And, so, I must give highest of rating for this because I feel it is deserving. You will not know what to expect or how to expect it to be delivered on any given episode. Everything comes anew and is very refreshing. It is not stuck in format like most sitcoms and sketch comedies you find. I find those often bore. This, I am no bore, you see? I plan to watch until they cancel! They always cancel the 10/10 ones!
Ricky Gervais called Louis C.K. "the funniest comedian working in America today", so it's fitting that Louis should repay the compliment with a guest spot for Gervais on his show. And what a guest spot! Gervais is allowed to do what Gervais does best, say ridiculously sublime and horribly tasteless things while still remaining oddly endearing. Ricky's jokes in anyone else's hands could seem the punch lines of a sociopath. Whether Louis C.K. will fulfill Ricky's pronouncement as "the funniest comedian working in America today" remains to be seen, but he's off to a good start. Each episode of Louis is presented in two vignettes, two seemingly random episodes connected by a greater theme, such as aging, love, death, health, wealth and happiness, etc. And so far, Louis C.K. has surrounded himself with excellent playmates (Gervais, for one). Now let us hope that he takes a cue from Ricky Gervais and keeps his comedy grounded in a painfully bittersweet hyper reality, as opposed to a Jerry Seinfeld/ Larry David world of snarky cynicism. The random quirkiness of his show has already drawn Seinfeld comparisons, but it's pretty obvious Louis has a hope for humanity his predecessors have never had. Louis C.K. (the character) is both a schlemiel and a schlimazel, a loser either way you look at it, but he has a dignity befitting a Ricky Gervais character. And that's a winner anyway you look at it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To preface - i am not one of those people who hand out 10 star reviews.
I rarely if ever write reviews. With that said, here are my impressions
of this modern masterpiece.
I think it is quite evident that Louis CK has moved on to the next level of comedy with this shows efforts. I feel like he has reached a place where he is now not just a comedian, but a voice. He isn't going for gags (this guy makes being funny look so effortless). Some episodes you don't laugh out loud once, but come out of the experience thinking about what you saw, and the humor exists as a whole, not as individual jokes (it has those too though). It feels like he really has tried to say something about growing up and assimilating into adulthood together.
It sounds so serious from my review - but not all of it is. There are so many moments that are just so funny you want to rewatch the episodes again. But, even as ridiculous parts of it are, you end up really caring about the Louie character, because it is so believable. I really didn't realize what a genuine experience the show was until the last moment of the last episode. It was like, tear inducing if you could believe. I really feel like it was a classic moment in modern TV, and I don't feel like I am exaggerating.
The more I watch this show, the more I understand what he was going for, and the more I appreciate it. This will be one of those shows I come back to decade after decade, and will probably appreciate even more when i become a father.
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