Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Advance Review: FX's "Louie" Returns for Season 2

Louie has one of many awkward encounters on "Louie"
Credit: FX

Louie returns for its second season tomorrow on FX, but I have some thoughts that I'd like to share today. Those thoughts are after the jump.

I have a history with this show that's different from many of my fellow critics out there. Essentially, what I did with this show is I watched the first season over the course of a few days. I really liked it, but I didn't love it. Maybe it was because I watched a bunch of them at one or the show was going through some growing pains, but I didn't quite get what everyone was raving about. Now, four months later, I finally get why everyone loves this show.

And that's because when I was given time to think about and didn't just quickly watch each episode, I realized how smart this show is. Louie CK is a creative genius. In case you don't know, how this show works is Louie CK is given a (relatively) small amount of money to write, edit, direct, executive produce, and star in each episode of the show in return for little network interference. This show is a product of what Louie CK is thinking about at any given time. His mind is a very interesting and funny mind. After watching the first four episodes of the new season, I'm now intrigued by exactly what he will come up with next.

These first four episodes are essentially four different looks into four different ideas. That's what this show does, it tells a completely different story every week. In these first four episodes, the show goes from kids, to Louie's dating live, to Louie trying to buy a house, and to Louie having a bad night in Atlantic City and meeting a celebrity (who I won't give away here in case you want to be surprised by the guest star). He manages to cover these topics with ease and a sense of humor. The first episode, in particular, is filled with lots of funny moments (including a very funny payoff).

But, at the same time, he's able to cover these topics with a sense sincerity and seriousness that many other comedies aren't able to touch. Even if he's a funny man, he takes these topics seriously. There are moments in the fourth episode this season that aren't particularly funny, but yet are very good. Also, there's a sense of sincerity in the third episode that makes it work. (I'm being purposely vague because I don't want to ruin the episodes for all of the spoilerphobes out there). I had known that the show was capable of doing such things after watching the church episode from last season, but this season takes the ideas of sincerity and seriousness to a whole new level.

On top of doing all that through the dialogue sequences, he is able to tie the episodes together with some fantastic stand up material. This is where Louie can really bring the laughs without any gripes from me whatsoever. A lot of it is material that I would be slightly uncomfortable printing, but it's funny. There's a  rant that he has about his kids in the first episode of the season that is absolutely hysterical. The stand up material in each episode reliably funny and entertaining to watch.

The only minor gripe that I have with the show is one that shrank as I continued watching the show. Some of the humor in the first few episodes was very awkward. Usually that works, but there were a few jokes that didn't quite land. Those are in the extreme minority, which is why this is only a minor gripe.

You should be watching this show. There's no other way to put it. This show is a very interesting journey into the mind of a very smart man. I'm very excited to be watching this show and sharing my thoughts with you all on a weekly basis.

Louie premieres Thursday at 10:30PM on FX

(A note to my younger readers: This show is not for you. It contains some strong sexual content (no nudity though) and some very strong language. It airs with a TV-MA rating and a Viewer Discretion Advised tag.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Some ground rules for you to follow when commenting here:
1. This is probably the most important rule: be nice. I will not tolerate any rudeness towards other commenters or myself.
2. Be relevant, comments will be deleted if they are not relevant to the discussion.
3. No spoilers, I and many other people don't want to know what your mother's, sister's, best friend's, brother said about what's going to happen on Chuck. There are many places for discussing what's going to happen on the show in the future, this isn't one of them.
4. Please hit preview to preview your comment before pressing post comment to be sure that it will be logged.

Thank you, keep reading, and enjoy the conversation!