Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Louie, season 2 (2011) ****

TV-MA, 14 21-min. episodes
Creator: Louis C.K.
Director: Louis C.K.
Writers: Louis C.K., Pamela Adlon
Starring: Louis C.K.
Guest Starring: Rusty Schwimmer, Hadley Delany, Ursula Parker, Roderick Hill, Maria Dizzia, Kelly McCrann, Liza Colon-Zayas, Pamela Adlon, Peter Benson, Donna Hanover, Todd Barry, Joan Rivers, Jack O’Connell, Eunice Anderson, Dane Cook, Bob Saget, Edward Gelbinovich, Heidi Armbruster, Jim Norton, Greg Gutfeld, Liz Holtan, Angela Gould, Doug Stanhope, Chris Gethard, Nick Kocher, Patrick O’Neill, Gregg Rogell, Veanne Cox, Grant Shaud, Will Janowitz, Kevin Nagel, Ali Ahn, Amir Blumenfeld, Joe DeRosa, Ali Reza, Keni Thomas, Don Pugsley, Lilly Robbins, Todd Glass, Gideon Adlon, Lisa Emery, Nick DiPaolo, Godfrey, F. Murray Abraham, Chris Rock, Jenn Lyon, Steven Wright

After waiting 2 and a half years to return to “Louie” after its impressive first season, my initial thoughts about the comedy/drama half hour television show from stand up comedian Louis C.K. have been vindicated by its seconds season. This is definitely the best show on television.

I know season three aired last summer, but I’ve gone the streaming route with this series and it took me a while to get around to season two. I was too busy watching inferior shows. You know. Shows like “The Walking Dead”, “Breaking Bad” and “American Horror Story”. Yes, these excellent cable shows are inferior to “Louie”. While I love those shows, none of them show the bravery, originality and heart that “Louie” does. And they’re all pretty brave and original.

I guess it’s the heart that makes the difference, that and honesty. I know the events in this show are fictionalized, but the autobiographical nature of them is also very apparent; and Louis C.K. is more willing than any other performer I know to give such an honest depiction of this fictionalized version of his life. He’s funny and serious and thoughtful and weird, just like most people really are.

No series involves an actor so willing to embarrass himself, so willing to paint himself in a poor light, so willing to say the things that we all think but are not brave enough to express. The fact that he’s able to realize that this is how we all are is how the show works so well. He’s crass and crude and yet we all know he’s a good guy. I don’t know how much of a reflection he’s trying to depict of all people. I think he does it by just showing himself as he is, or how he thinks he is, as honestly as he can. In doing so he taps into the honest truth about everyone. We’re all scared. We’re all trying the best we can. We’re all operating without a guide. Some of us hide it better, but we’re all the same loser that he pretends to be.

The show isn’t for everyone. It is very frank about sex. It includes a good deal of stand up from the comedian, who never tries to be clean in his act. But much in the same way he peels the standards in stand up down, he does the same for a comedy television and ends up standing naked for his audience. 

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