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!
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.
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.