If, like me, you haven’t been watching the FX comedy series “Louie”, by all means check out this set collecting its second season. The show is at once sad, moving, dramatic, pathetic and, most of all, hysterical.
Comedian Louis C.K. not only stars as a fictionalized version of himself; in true auteur fashion he also writes, directs and even edits every episode. This helps “Louie” prevent what often occurs with TV series when too many cooks—disparate writers and directors—dilute a show’s core themes and style. Happens all the time, but “Louie” is all Louie’s. Essentially, it’s a series of short comedy films shot in an intimate, indie-film style by one very talented filmmaker. These films just happen to get shown on TV.
Each episode shows a slice of fictional Louie’s life. For example, take the season opener, in which his pregnant sister (a hilarious Rusty Schwimmer) shows up at his door with crazy baggage to add to his own. Then there’s the episode centering around Louie’s disastrous dating life, in which he goes on a non-date with a woman who doesn’t really like him, and turns the night around with his dark demeanor—elsewhere in the story, he agrees to a ill-fated NSA night of intimacy with a woman he meets at his daughters’ school. Throughout, C.K. plays it with a perfect mix of deadpan and deathwish. Reminiscent of old “Seinfeld” episodes, each installment features a few minutes of C.K.’s edgy standup comedy.
Don’t expect these shows to brighten up your HDTV screen. Louie is a night owl—daylight is rarely shown—and the streets of New York provide the perfect backdrop for his woeful existence. But despite all the bleakness (or maybe because of it) this is one of the funniest, most entertaining series out there right now, a refreshing antidote to the forced, one-liner-driven style of most TV comedies currently on the air.Buy Louie: Season 2 [Blu-ray] at Amazon