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|Index||58 reviews in total|
---This review was written after watching seasons 1~3---
I am not a big fan of stand-up comedy, so it's rare when I find a comedian very funny. Louis C.K. is one of those rare cases for me. But his series is something else entirely. The first season is some of the weirdest, most awkward, but funniest seasons in comedy I've ever seen. Dark humor, annoying (little) things in life, and with a healthy dose of surreal situations make for a combination I like very much. This is all loosely tied together with stand-up segments that are all very strong.
Then starting with the second season, things get darker. More serious. The episodes feel completely different, and are less full of jokes. And a few episodes in you start wondering, "when is it getting really funny again?". It isn't. I mean, there are still jokes, and funny moments, but the series, starting from the second season, is more of a dramedy than a comedy. And at this point you're either intrigued by the stories and thematics and keep watching, or you get bored and stop. I kept watching, and it was worth it, even though the first season, in my humble opinion, is still far superior.
I recommend watching the first season, then a couple of episodes in the second season decide whether you want to keep going or not.
In the end: Season 1: 10/10 Seasons 2 & 3: 7/10
Remember how the TV sitcom "Seinfeld" was considered a landmark because
it was "a show about nothing" (or in other words, a show about the
little things in life and how a comedian gets his material)? You know
how in one episode of that show, George Costanza proposes the idea of a
show about nothing in which solely consists of a person doing their
regular daily routine (whether it be eating their meal, walking to
work, doing their jobs, etc.)? Well, it seems that we've not only
received this type of TV show a little more than a decade after
"Seinfeld" ran its course, but we've also received a show that's
practically like "Seinfeld" only with a much darker tone to it. This
show is none other than FX's daring, thoughtful, and hilarious original
comedy-drama series, "Louie".
Like "Seinfeld", "Louie" centers on a fictionalized version of a popular comedian which in this case is Louis C.K. He is a recently divorced father who has to raise his two daughters in New York City. The show, as stated before, basically consists of unconnected story lines and segments that revolve around Louie's daily life tied in with his stand-up performances. In other words, the show tracks the unpredictably wacky events and people that Louie comes across on a daily basis that influence his stand-up bits. For example, one episode may consist of Louie traveling out of town for business. What might occur in that episode is Louie gets his plane ticket while someone else gets upset that their flight is cancelled, the plane flight gets out of control as if it's about to crash, and then the next scene everyone arrives safely. That's an example of what kind of episodes you can expect from this series.
When compared to its obvious comparisons "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm", "Louie" is a very dark show when you think about it. Although they are generally light, "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" have dark elements in some of their episodes from time to time. "Louie" on the other hand, my goodness! This show deals with some pretty heavy stuff hence why I implied that this is a comedy-drama series. Where do I start? There's an episode where Louie confesses to his mom that he doesn't love her anymore, an episode where Louie reflects on how unpleasant Catholic school was for him, and even an episode where a girlfriend Louie makes collapses and then dies on New Year's Eve. Ha-ha- ha? In less mature hands, subject matter like this in a comedic television series would fall flat. But miraculously, Louis C.K. hits just the right comedic note between the light and the dark stuff that it fits.
It helps that our main character is already a sad sack with his divorce and his other various broken relationships. What's interesting about him is that he somehow finds an easy way to be satisfied with life. "You just have to want a really s***ty body", he says in regards to how he keeps being satisfied with his health. Pretty brutal honesty there, isn't it? But let's face it, there's definitely some truth to whatever he says especially when it's similarly harsh stuff like that. Life does work or fail to work in mysterious ways for all of us, Louie included. One of the best parts about "Louie" for me is its profoundly honest ideas about life. After seeing an episode of this show, one can better understand how challenging dating women really is. I mean I wouldn't be surprised if some people decided they will permanently remain single after seeing this show. The reason is that dating is more punishing with its failures than it is rewarding with its successes, especially considering there's more failures than successes with dating.
The show does a fantastic job at avoiding predictability and overused formulas with each and every episode. I love it when a TV series does that since it shows ambition from the writers and shows that the creators want to try many different things with their characters. Even if not every episode in this series works (particularly when it involves one too many excremental/ sex joke or awkward situation), you have to at least respect the effort and genuine thought that was put into the rest of the series. I love the episode when Louie is offered the opportunity to replace David Letterman on the Late Show. On top of the clever comedy involving the boss's broad directions to Louie, the ending stays true to the tone established by this series. That tone being dream-crushing and reassuring both at the same time.
It's not every day a comedy-drama TV series like "Louie" is on the air and I'm all the more grateful for its existence. I admire how it takes a concept similar to "Seinfeld" and makes it its own unique thing. The central character is one I think many lonely single men will immediately be able to relate to. Most of the jokes hit their targets and are very well timed. When the show gets into dark territory, it doesn't shy away from the brutality of the darkness but it also manages to balance out the lightness really well. I honestly think that it's probably the best comedic series on television right now. There's no doubt in my mind that I'd easily watch this over every other comedic series currently on the air. While it's far from cheery and fluffy, I can't deny a well put together show when I see one.
The more television comedy I write about, the harder it is to make me
laugh. I seem to have almost become desensitised to mirth far more
likely to quietly and coldly utter, "That's funny," under my breath,
than to clutch my belly and guffaw. But I have recently discovered an
American stand-up comedian who makes me laugh out loud, consistently
and uncontrollably, every single time I watch his show.
It has taken a while for Emmy Award-winning Louie CK (Comedy Central) to establish himself on this side of the Atlantic, and I only wish it had happened sooner. Part stand-up show, part semi-improvised sitcom, this is a quite remarkable series, made even more remarkable when you learn that Louie not only writes, performs and produces this show himself, he also directs it and edits it as well.
Louie CK shouldn't be anywhere near as funny as it is. It covers all the usual barn-door stand-up subjects that we're painfully familiar with: Sex, death, divorce. Jewish Manhattan angst. Seinfeld was churning this stuff out twenty five years ago, and by now it should feel stale and repetitious.
But there's something about the way Louie CK does it that makes you feel like you're watching stand-up comedy for the first time in your life. Because Louie takes honesty to the next level.
It boils down to this: Here's a 45-year-old, divorced white guy with two kids, who knows that pretty soon he is going to grow old and die. There's no escaping it. You can wrap it up however you want but soon we'll all be in a box. Which isn't funny. That's why it's funny.
Louie knows that everything he holds dear is going to decay and fall apart that the Universe, second by second, minute by minute, is returning to the dark, brutal, miserable, bleak chaos from which it evolved. Which is a truly terrible thought. But when Louis talks about it, it somehow it makes you feel glad to be alive.
Your darkest thoughts and worst fears seem less frightening when some middle-aged, ginger schmuck in a T-shirt pitches up in a basement in New York City, and shares them with a room full of fellow human beings. This is comedy that is worse than self-depreciating. It is self-annihilating.
Humour that ploughs the very depths of the human condition. Everyman comedy that goes right ahead and lays it on the line for every man, woman and beast on this planet, with a clear, central core message that is quite simply this: "We are all screwed. Enjoy."
I never thought I'd hear myself say it, but this guy is as good as Bill Hicks. For all the same reasons. And there's a bonus: Louie is still alive. At least for a while.
This week's episode featured a guest appearance from Ricky Gervais as our hero's wise-cracking doctor a man who's idea of a joke is to tell you that you've got Aids, then say he's only joking, you don't really have Aids. You have cancer.
Gervais has struggled to make me laugh since the heady days of The Office, but his performance in this episode was quite inspired almost as if Louie has the magical ability to make the people around him as funny as he is.
Louie CK is not for the faint-hearted. If you're easily shocked or you don't get vicious, gut-wrenching post-modern comedy then give it a miss. But if you're a living, breathing human being with a half-decent IQ, check out Louie CK. It's almost worth staying alive for.
More TV reviews at Mouthbox.co.uk
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
OK...I finally decided to give this show a go at the start of the 4th season, based on the high critical acclaim it has received. The nicest thing I can say about this series is that it is basically an homage to Seinfeld, complete with stand-up riffs to open and close the show. And I hated the Seinfeld show, although most think it's one of the greatest sitcoms of all-time. So there you go. The show has completely unrealistic plots with unrealistic characters, and worst of all, isn't funny at all. I watched the first two episodes of season #4. In the first episode Charles Grodin plays a doctor, and I think the segment was supposed to be funny, but it wasn't. In the second episode, Seinfeld himself is in this one, and at the end, Louis is supposed to be paying a rich couple $5,000 a month for injuring their model/daughter. It was just ridiculous. I was waiting for the Seinfeld music in-between the scenes to play.
Louie CK has got to be my favorite comedian, by far. His narcissistic
talk about every day experiences is relatable and always spot on.
However, "Louie" does not make me laugh as much as I'd hope. I can understand the basic idea, this is what a comedian's life is actually like. I've seen every episode up to the end of season 3 and I can say that for 80% of them I'm left disappointed. It's as if they're leading up to a climax of some sort, and then it just ends.
The direction and beats always seem off, except when Louie is doing his stand up which always seems to bring the show out of the gutter. The cinematography is like a beginner student film and if it's that way on purpose, I don't see why because it really isn't pretty to look at.
I think this show COULD be great, but unfortunately it is not.
A brilliant and fascinating glimpse into the mind of comedian Louis
C.K. who directs, writes, edits and stars in the show.
The show touches on a wide variety of subjects, everything from same sex marriage and raising children to God (with the occasional fart joke thrown in there for good measure). Louis invites us to his absurd and alienating world and the result is surprisingly relatable.
C.K. manages to create the funniest show out there and he does so without the use of sit- com-esq punch-lines instead he does it by tackling what makes him (and us all) uncomfortable with brutal honesty.
Louie is a thought-provoking show constantly addressing new issues in unorthodox and interesting ways and never fails to make me laugh.
The subway rattles through its motions, and Louie sits aboard, watching
along with several other disturbed passengers a strange brown fluid
lapping a precarious tide against the sides of a depressed
seat-cushion. No one in the car wants to guess what the fluid is,
everyone is grossed out by it, no one acts. Cut to black and white, as
an inspiring tune akin to a tender moment from A Beautiful Mind begins
to play in the background, and Louie, giving his head a shake, presses
up onto his feet. Wide-eyed his fellow occupants of the subway car
watch as, in slow and deliberate selflessness, Louie strikes off his
long-sleeved sweater, kneels down, and mops up the strange brown
substance... soaking the offending fluid up and out of their hearts. As
he rises, martyr and saint, the looks on the subway car turn to glowing
smiles of adoration and firm, knowing nods.. old ladies rising to
embrace him and young men giving him their applauds. He stirs awake.
The fluid is still there. Everyone's still watching it. He gets up and
leaves the car.
This is Louie. Sometimes it's silly, sometimes it's weird, sometimes it's highly dramatic, but it's richly infused with a dark, grounded, everyman sense of humour... a strange mixture of crushing cynicism and liberating hope. It's so much more than just a sit-com, and is one of the best things on TV today.
I've always been a fan of stand-up comedy. When done right it can soar beyond the confines of comedy and become an observation and bitting critique on society. Louis C.K.'s stand up does just that. It is not only hilarious but rubs salt into many of society's wounds in a refreshing and brutally frank fashion as it also unconftroubly exposes the fears and hidden desires of many everyday man - from single to married with kids to divorced and back around. Based on the strength of Louis C.K's brilliant stand-up, I expected a great deal from his comedy show. What I got was nothing at all what I expected and the show is all the better for it. I feared that it would perhaps be in the vein of "Curb Your Enthusiasm - which is a brilliant show - but who wants to see the same show again starring a different character? Well, Louie is nothing like any other show I have ever seen, it's a beast of it's own. And beast is a good way to define it. It's brutally honest, uncompromising, crass and very funny, but it is also tender, realistic and poignant. The show's first season was really great, but Season Two elevates the show to an all new level. It becomes more focused, more tightly wound and it's themes are darker than ever. And despite all that, it is still unspeakably funny and bravely experimental, It«'s hability to navigate through the ridiculous and the sublime is awing. Then why four stars and not five? Because despite it's bravery, the show sometimes steers from problematics that were gracefully presented trough the course of one full episode but that get dropped without any explanation or continuity. For example, there is an episode where he buys a house way out of his price range so that his kids have space to play and be generally happier. But that is never brought up again throughout the rest of the series and it was an issue ripe for exploration and further development. In another episode, one of his sisters dump his niece on him and he has to take care of her. Towards the end of the episdoe he is given a piece of information that suggests that he will have to take care of her for a much longer period of time but on the next episode she's gone. These continuity issues where also found in Season One. For example, the actress that plays a woman on a date with Louie during which he is hummiliated and bullyed by a young man is the same actress who plays is mother in another episode of the same season. I know that Louie does it on purpose, as he stated at one point that he did not care for continuity, that he was more concerned with whatever message or laugh a specific episode aimed for, but it does feel like a cop-out sometimes. Continuity issues and occasional cop-outs aside, the show is still an amazing piece of work.
This one is fascinating. When I started watching it I thought it would be much like Seinfeld. But it's been a pleasant surprise. Some of the themes explored are downright shocking but Louis C.K. treats them with subtlety and keeps the show real. Unlike Seinfeld, this show looks at some of the situations many of us would be too embarrassed to talk about, or too small-minded to imagine. The acting is great too, each character being played with just the right amount of meticulousness. Most of the other comedy shows are either character-driven or plot-driven. This one is reality-driven. Full credit to Louie for making me think back to the most boring, forgettable moments in my day and see the humour in them.
Louie made me think right away of Asian food. I've only eaten Chinese
food about three or four times so my references aren't that broad.
Louie is sweet and sour at the same time (the show, not the guy). It
can be gut wrenching funny and gut wrenching sad in consecutive
moments, or even at the same time. The ending of the second season is
one of those moments where what is happening is so funny but the
implications are at the same time so sad. Like when you see someone
fall and get hurt. Really hurt. And that person starts yelling for
help, but you can't stop laughing because she is talking all funny due
to the broken teeth and severed carotid artery. That's how I feel about
The show is pretty much the story of Louie, a comedian...
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