The Laughspin open comment thread for ‘Louie’

By | June 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm | 19 comments | feature slider, TV/Movies | Tags: , , ,

Seeing as the most highly-anticipated comedy of the year, Louie is premiering in, oh, 30 minutes on the East Coast, I figured I’d do something simple, and hopefully fun. I’m opening this comment thread below. You can say whatever you want, so long as its on topic and you’re not a total asshole.

Maybe you want to leave a few comments while you’re watching the season three premiere tonight. Maybe you want to comment a few minutes after you’ve watched. Maybe you want to comment the next day. Whatever it doesn’t matter. I’m going to keep this thread open through all 13 episodes. So, have fun!

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Ok, so let me drop some of my thoughts on the first episode here.

As is the case with most every episode of Louie, episode one of season three was, above everything else, a true slice of life. In traditional sitcom terms, this means hardly anything “happened.” In fact, I can sum up the entire episode in one sentence: In the midst of his latest breakup, Louie acts on his mid-life crisis, buys a motorcycle, crashes and ends up in the hospital; his ex-wife gets pissed because he can’t pick up the kids.

That’s it.

But as we know, Louis C.K. is not about action; he’s about inner struggle, subtle gestures and, well, real-life shit. That’s why we — and 99.9 percent of all television critics — love the show. It’s the anti-show.

Last season kicked off endearingly with Louie brushing one of his daughter’s teeth in their tiny bathroom; this season kicked off with Louie attempting to make sense out of the parking signs in New York City. You may be thinking, “How does a guy who lives in New York not understand his hometown street signs?” Well, as someone who lives minutes from Manhattan in New Jersey and deals with the city’s parking regulations every week, those signs are bullshit, and designed to confuse– so that fuckface Bloomberg can collect millions of dollars in parking tickets and tow pound charges. Travel Tip: If you’re ever in New York City and you want to catch some seriously sad people-watching, you must visit the tow pound on the West Side Highway.

The point is, you guys, this season opens with Louie (not his kids) and, even though there’s mention of his two daughters, we don’t see them at all. Is this foreshadowing? Will this season be more about Louie’s struggle with himself, independent of his parenting challenges?

Cut to: Louie at a quiet diner, hunched over a full plate of ice cream. (I want to know if Louis face-fucked* that dairy delight after the scene was shot.) Turns out he’s meeting his lady friend, April, who, comes off as totally likable (straightforward, smart, caring) and then eventually slips into an over-analytical bundle of nerves, because she – due to the way Louie holds his mouth and the lack of words coming out of it – is convinced that he’s trying to break up with her. In the end, she walks out. They’re broken up. But you can tell Louie still likes her. And so do I. Don’t go, April!

Louie returns to his car to find he did, in fact, choose poorly re: parking space. Construction is going down, and so his black Infiniti, thanks to a seemingly mentally-deranged backhoe operator (off screen). While the scene is hilarious, I found that Louie’s response – the facial equivalent of shrugged shoulders — was a bit unrealistic. No screaming, or swearing, even? Regardless, Louie needs news wheels, right? So, he plops down “only” $7,500 on a sweet little motorcycle.

He gets into an accident and lands himself in the hospital. After the nice doctor berates him for riding a motorcycle, relating a story about one biker who came to the ER literally in pieces, Louie is told to go home. He’s fine, if but a little banged up. Before leaving, however, Louie calls his wife to tell her he can’t pick up the kids. She’s angry. Also, she’s black. Why is she black? Don’t worry, C.K. addressed this in the press before the premiere aired. It basically comes down to this: He doesn’t give a shit about continuity. Fair enough?

Louie’s on the mend back at his apartment, alone. Who’s that at the door? It’s lovely April! Oh, hey April. It’s good to see you! And Louie thinks so, too. Oh, you’re just here for your laptop? Ok. (frowny face).

By the way, I love C.K.’s attention to detail at the start of this scene. Why is April knocking on his door instead of just calling him like a normal human being in 2012? Well, she’s been trying to call him, you cynical fucks. But he didn’t have his phone— because of the accident and all. Here’s an aside wrapped in a non sequitur wrapped in a confession: I enjoy watching General Hospital (Nancy Lee Grahn and Kelly Monaco 4-Eva!) and one of the more ridiculous recurrences on GH — and all soaps — is the contextually unexplained knocking on doors in lieu of phone calls. Of course, from a production standpoint we know they knock on doors because face-to-face conflict is more entertaining that watching people on the horn. I get it. But it’s still annoying.

Anyway, April is shocked about the accident, and is determined to help Louie. She makes him some food, says supportive things and starts to leave when Louie, in his mealymouthed, non-committal way, asks her to stay. He even wants to accept April’s earlier offer for him to join her family at Thanksgiving!

She accepts, they embrace and the credits roll. JK! This is Louie, not Friends, brah. April confronts Louie and makes him think hard about why he wants her back. Does he want her back in this moment (because he’s not well and she’s being nice and NOT saying ‘let’s get back together’ would just seem rude?) or does he really want her, for like the next four years or so. Because, as she explains, if they visit her family for Thanksgiving, sleep in her childhood bed, well, then there is no turning back- ‘cause that shit is real. Words cannot find their way out of Louie’s mouth, and April, justifiably frustrated, leaves.

My big question about this episode is this: At the diner, was Louie’s intention to break up with April, or was that all in her head? What do you guys think?

What did you think of the entire episode?

Did it live up to the hype?

What are you looking forward to most in the next 12 episodes?

*I stole this phrase from comedian Joe De Rosa.

About the Author

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor in chief of Laughspin. He launched Punchline Magazine in 2005 (which became Laughspin in the summer of 2011) with childhood friend Bill Bergmann. Dylan lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and two sons. He hopes the Shire is real.

  • Jorge Garrido

    Parker Posey on Louie last night reminded me 100% of my old roommate. It really was a revelation. She even looked kind of like her. But the way she was ACTING was incredible. She broke down and deconstructed the Manic Pixie Dream Girl from last time into a neurotic, overbearing mess. But it made it all the more real. Louis CK is a great humanist.

    There was a fair bit of one of my other close female friends in there, too. Posey’s acting was incredible, she deserves to win the Best Guest Actress Emmy for this performance. It was not self-conscious in the least, but at turns broad, subtle, energetic, manic, vulnerable, commanding, and ballsy. I wonder how many takes it took to get her to do so much on camera? To REALLY sell the crazy?

  • Lucas Gardner

    LOVED episode two. I hope Melissa Leo will be back. She and Louie have great chemistry. Also, if she sticks around, imagine how amazing a scene of her character and Pamela meeting each other could be.
    anyways, Patton Oswalt wrote a great thing about this episode for Slate that’s worth checking out: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/tv_club/features/2012/louie_season_3/week_2/louie_recap_patton_oswalt_on_the_comedy_of_louis_c_k_.html?fb_ref=sm_fb_like_chunky&fb_source=home_multiline

  • Jorge Garrido

    The only problem with the episode 3.02 of Louie for me was that Louis’ turn towards wanting to get a drink with Melissa Leo was too soon and abrupt and didn’t feel earned or truthful. I loved the scene in the truck, with the intense tone changes. Her smashing Louie on the head and Louie immediately wanting to see her again was great. It felt a bit Tarantinian.

    I liked the scene in the bar that tried to convey how people are funny with each other, especially while drinking, but the way it was shot you could tell it was just two people on a set. It needed more extras and the editing between scenes should have been more frenetic, with more intense angle changes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erfan.arabfakhri Erfan Arabfakhri

    Louie used to be funny but this season sucked! I was so disappointed, he is losing it… not funny at all.. I feel I wasted my money buying this shit on amazon

  • Scott

    I love the fact that the very 1st sequence he talks about jerking off probably beat some kind of record, I hope this season builds as well as last season.

    • Dylan

      yep. very nice. i thought that maybe the stand-up went on a bit too long. i would’ve liked some more of the actual show. not complaining, it’s just that it’s less of a novelty seeing him onstage.

  • Dylan

    all good thoughts so far, you guys…. i just updated the post with some more formal thoughts… i don’t know what to call it. a review? a recap? a bunch of words?

  • http://twitter.com/gregpallante Greg Pallante

    Great first episode! @c592fe857f038f824e94cb4d4850e519:disqus I see what you mean about the unrealistic reaction to the car scene (I LOL-ed!), but part of what makes Louie such a wonderful show is how CK bends reality around the character just to get the reaction which then becomes the punchline (does that make sense?). Same with the break-up scene. For me, the hilarious part about the whole thing was that he never says anything. He’s so unable to communicate, so ill equipt for human relationships, and seems to have no real opinion on the matter aside from being frustrated with himself. Perhaps, he didn’t intend to end it  but is so weak willed that she convinced him that they should break up. Brilliant! @1cf74c1886539faee030c6607987ef3c:disqus  Another example of CK’s disregard for reality. His kids, who’ve appeared in previous episodes are very white, hahaha. …I’ve said too much.

  • Mpsy

    His ex-wife is black? ahahaha

  • http://www.chrisdeline.com/ Chris DeLine

    The absurdity of the motorcycle scene and the reaction of his ex after… just perfect.

    • Dylan

      ha! agreed. also, people who have never been to New York are going to think biker gangs who do tricks to upstage novice bikers are commonplace.

  • HB

    I really might care if the show would air in NZ, or if he gigged here, like…ever.  Nah, that’ll never happen, but it’s great to see there’s a third series and I will be on the lookout for highly illegal streaming episodes asap for sure.

    • Dylan

      take initiative! make it your goal to bring him to NZ. you’d be a national hero. with social media and some DIY worth ethic, anything is possible.

  • Jorge Garrido

    Am I crazy, or does it seem likely that Louie’s girlfriend role was written for Tina Fey?

    • Dylan

      yeah, i can see that, though, i think this woman, although preeeety quirky played it way more subtle than Fey would have.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mckegg.collins McKegg Collins

    Really good opener. He really wasn’t kidding when he said it was going to showcase New York. Cannot wait to see where this season takes us! 

    • Dylan

      yeah, pretty solid first episode. the car destruction scene was great, though, his reaction — while funny — seemed a bit unrealistic, especially for a scene in ‘Louie.’

      i liked how at the end, we still really don’t know whether Louie was, in fact, trying to break up with April. What did you guys think? Did he want to break up with her at the diner?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryanthompson814 Ryan Thompson

    So stoked for this season. Especially with Maron, Bamford, and Seinfeld making appearances. And it’s just going to be awesome.

    • Jorge Garrido

      Don’t forget Artie Lange, Jim Norton, Parker Posey, and more, I think.

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