‘Louie’ Season 5 Episode 3 Recap: “Cop Story”

I know it’s logistically impossible for the opening scene of last night’s Louie, “Cop Story,” to have been a response to Noah Baumbach’s recent While We’re Young, which is all about people approaching middle age and regarding those younger than them with a reverence that gives way to cynicism, skepticism, and ultimately contempt. “Cop Story” tackles the subject in a more interesting way (and with a helluva lot more brevity) by taking the opposite approach: Louie begins his little lecture to the clerk-who-turns-out-to-be-the-owner with contempt, and discovers that it’s an encounter he can’t win. She has comebacks for all of his presumed wisdom, and each one seems to inch him a little closer to an uncomfortable truth about himself. One of the things I like so much about Louie is how it captures the way things stack up, for good or ill; if the season premiere found Louie on the winning end of confrontations with assholes, here we see him getting called on his bullshit. … Read More

  • 0

‘Louie’ Season 5 Episode 2 Recap: “A la Carte”

For a show about a stand-up comic, and with frequent inserts of its protagonist doing that job, Louie doesn’t often delve deep into stand-up comedy itself; as on Seinfeld, comedy is our title character’s job, and the particulars of that job are of only a passing interest, as in any workplace sitcom. But occasionally, Louie goes into the weeds: on the first-season “Heckler” episode (see title), in last year’s “Model” (where our hero badly bungles opening for, wouldn’t ya know it, Jerry Seinfeld at a charity function), and on last night’s “A la Carte,” an episode easily read as Louie’s take on the current vogue of “confessional comedy.” … Read More

  • 0

‘Louie’ Season 5 Premiere Recap: “Potluck”

In the first non-stand-up scene of the fifth season of Louie, our hero Louis C.K. is opening up to his therapist. “I’m not that good anymore about navigating between the good and the bad times,” he tells him. “I just don’t know how to live a life anymore.” And as he goes on, explaining what is clearly an oncoming depression, he realizes that the therapist is nodding off. It’s a moment of realization for him: “I’m a boring asshole now!” he exclaims, and leaves. It’s a funny little scene — the kind of neurotic psychiatry-based humor that Woody Allen birthed a career from — but it’s also, in pretty clear terms, an acknowledgment of the criticisms of the show’s previous season. … Read More

  • 0

In Praise of Pamela on ‘Louie,’ the Ultimate Emotionally Unavailable Woman

On this week’s two-part Louie finale — which the Internet will not stop talking about, I know — we got something I never expected: a happy ending*. … Read More

  • 0

The Internet Has a ‘Louie’ Problem

  • 0

‘Louie’ Season 4 Raised Too Many Questions It Couldn’t Answer

In many ways, Season 4 of Louie felt like a call and response between Louis C.K. and the Internet. The season focused heavily on Louie’s interactions with women: the gorgeous model he accidentally hits in the face, the fat woman who calls him out on his shit, the Hungarian woman that he literally can’t communicate with — what an ideal relationship for Louie! — and, of course, the brassy Pamela. Each one of these episodes or “relationships” (and even the strange, pot-fueled “In The Woods”) was practically begging for Internet discussion, demanding thinkpieces, and teasing episodic recaps. Louis C.K. spent Season 4 giving us essay prompts but never provided the answers. … Read More

  • 0

‘Louie’ Season 4 Episodes 13 & 14 Recap: “Pamela Parts 2 & 3”

The romantic entanglements of its writer/director/star have always been a concern of Louie, but as its fourth season draws to a close, they’ve never been more central to the series. Previous seasons gave us questions of career and friendship to counter the romantic plotlines; this year, with the momentary exception of last week’s lengthy flashback episode “In the Woods,” nearly every episode has revolved around Louie’s love life. So in that way, it’s not just that last night’s episodes, “Pamela Part 2” and “Pamela Part 3,” are a continuation of the first “Pamela” from two weeks ago; they represent a culmination of the entire season, really, and show some honest-to-God growth in the character. But, this being Louie, this isn’t some idealized happy ending; he gives his character a moment of happiness, though it’s not a worry-free one. … Read More

  • 0

‘Louie’ Season 4 Episodes 11 & 12 Recap: “In the Woods”

“Louie is pretty much just making movies this season, huh?” asked our esteemed TV editor, Pilot Viruet, and she’s right; after Louie’s third season concluded with the three-part “Late Show” arc, season four has included the six-part “Elevator” episode, the (still in progress) three-part “Pamela” episodes, and last night’s “In the Woods,” a 90-minute episode—66 minutes without commercials—that houses an extended flashback to Louie’s childhood (or, more specifically, the moment when that childhood ended). But “In the Woods” attempts something those previous multi-part episodes and his feature films (Tomorrow Night and Pootie Tang) didn’t: it’s basically a drama. He doesn’t quite pull it off. … Read More

  • 4

‘Louie’ Season 4 Episodes 9 & 10 Recap: “Elevator Part 6”/”Pamela Part I”

As a general rule, I try to avoid reading recaps of shows I’m covering during the run of the season; it’s not that I think whatever I’m feeling about the series is the definitive last word or anything, but more a matter of trying to prevent other (often better!) writers from influencing my own responses. Yet I stumbled upon The AV Club’s recap of last week’s Louie episodes after posting my own, and had an odd realization. Writer Todd VanDerWerff noted that some of his critic friends were grousing that the show wasn’t particularly funny this season, and that if he chose to, he could see their point: “If, for some reason, you were watching Louie as a program that would hopefully make you laugh uproariously, then this season would be unlikely to do that. “ What was so striking about this observation was not that it was inaccurate; it’s that I realized I had stopped even considering Louie on those terms. … Read More

  • 2