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Binge Watchin' TV Review: Louie

07.25.2016
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Welcome to Binge Watchin,’ where we take a look at some of the best TV shows available on streaming or disc that have a great catalogue of seasons to jump into and get sucked into the beautiful bliss of binge watching! From crime, action, comedy, drama, animation, etc., we’ll be evaluating an assortment of shows that will hopefully serve as a gateway to your next binge experience.

Series: Louie

Number of Seasons: 5 (61 episodes to date)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Blu-Ray/DVD, Netflix, Hulu, FX On Demand

What’s the show about? 

Louie follows the fictionalized life of stand-up comedian Louis C.K., a divorced father of two girls struggling to make ends meet. Living in New York City, Louie works the various clubs around his home while also dealing with life as a middle-aged man. Romance, life, death, sadness, depression, and every other aspect of modern American life come in to play. Whether it be understanding what it means to raise a daughter or buying a new apartment, Louie approaches everything with his trademark sense of humor which is tinged with just a little bit of darkness and a lot of frustration. Episodes are interjected with comedy routines performed in nightclubs and disconnected vignettes that may or not be narratively relevant.

Why should I watch it?

Before Louie hit the air, autobiographical sitcoms starring comedians ended up as generic series like Home Improvement or Everybody Loves Raymond. But, Louie is something else entirely. Unlike C.K.'s previous series, HBO's short-lived Lucky Louie, this FX series allowed the comedian to pull quintuple duty as star, writer, director, producer, and editor. Rather than accept a lucrative deal with FX, C.K. instead accepted $200,000 to cover the cost of his pilot in exchange for full creative control. Shooting with a RED camera and edting on his own laptop, C.K. has created something wholly unlike any other show on television. Fans of his comedy will find parallels in what he talks about on stage with this series but it is also a deeper look at a fictional character that sometimes veers so far from reality that you have to question whether Louis C.K. is meant for bigger things than a television show.

Comparisons are easy to make between Louis C.K. and Woody Allen: both filmmakers are jacks of all trades, use music brilliantly, and are masters of specific brands of comedy. What makes Louie so unique is that it is able to veer from absurdist comedy to heartfelt examinations of being a father, a man, and an American. C.K. devotes entire episodes to subjects as mundane as shopping at a store with a rude clerk to volunteering at his daughter's school. Others spend entire episodes on the idea of nightmares while another ventures to take Louie to the Middle East as part of a U.S.O. tour. The episodes rarely connect to one another with actors swapping roles on several occassions. Big name guest stars have shown up ranging from Award winning actors like Melissa Leo, Ellen Burstyn and Charles Grodin to fellow comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Ricky Gervais and Chris Rock. Nobody acts as if they are above the material and many embrace the show as the caliber of many feature films.

FX has such confidence in Louis C.K. as an artist that they even allowed him to take a voluntary hiatus from the show between the last few seasons. While this has stretchew the new material thin for viewers wanting to see new stories, it is a testament to the creative process. FX would rather C.K. take his time and craft quality programming rather than churn out 13 episodes of the same old jokes. There have been rumors that Louie may never return, but until we hear a formal cancellation, we will wait with bated breath for the next season premiere date. In the interim, rewatching these short seasons is just as rewarding as watching over a hundred episodes since Louis C.K. has packed every thirty minute episode with enough material that rewatching them offers new angles and punchlines you may not have heard before.

Best season:

There are some amazing moments in the fourth season of the show which plays out with two long story arcs and a couple of outstanding standalone episodes, including the excellent "So Did the Fat Lady", but it is the show's second season that stands as the best. The first season was a fairly straight forward television series with slowly developing and subtle humor, but season two elevated things to another tier. From the moment Louis sees a homeless man exchanged for a slightly different homeless man (see the clip here), I knew this show was bound for more than we had bargained for. Louie elevated from a series to must see programming with the second season.

Final thoughts:

Louis C.K. is something of a chameleon. His big screen work, while limited, tends towards more mainstream fare. His web series, Horace and Pete, is a masterwork of a stage play produced on film. But, Louie may be his best work as it serves as an experimental playground for C.K. as an actor, writer, editor, director, and more. There is no single episode of Louie that you can watch without realizing how much more talented C.K. is than just being a comedian. With C.K.'s brand expanding to include the Zach Galifianakis sitcom Baskets and the upcoming new Pamela Adlon series Better Things, there is no shortage of Louis C.K. on television, but Louie is definitely what you should be watching.

Source: JoBlo.com

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10:10PM on 07/25/2016

Love his show

I fell behind after Season 3 but I plan to catch back up. I think a binge sounds pretty good about now.
I fell behind after Season 3 but I plan to catch back up. I think a binge sounds pretty good about now.
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9:18PM on 07/25/2016

One of the best shows on TV

It can be hard to watch because it's so awkward, but it's also painfully truthful.
I had a hard time getting through the first three or four episodes because it was difficult for me to not squirm in my seat. But then, there was the profoundly thoughtful scene where he's playing cards with other comedians, and they discuss the term "fag" and why it is or isn't considered funny. Then there is an episode in season 1 where he is young and going to Catholic school, which leads to a religious
It can be hard to watch because it's so awkward, but it's also painfully truthful.
I had a hard time getting through the first three or four episodes because it was difficult for me to not squirm in my seat. But then, there was the profoundly thoughtful scene where he's playing cards with other comedians, and they discuss the term "fag" and why it is or isn't considered funny. Then there is an episode in season 1 where he is young and going to Catholic school, which leads to a religious scare-tactic that is typical and debasing. It was his mother's response to WHY Louie was going to that school which made me go "wow. This show has so much to say."
There are countless highlights in this show that really struck close to my heart. Should a grown man TRY to fight a kid that is harassing him? What would you do? At times, Louie is faced with death, while learning that living life is never easy, but death isn't the answer. The U.S.O tour episode "Duckling" is one of my all-time favorites, but there are things in season 4 that completely floored me.
There are also some wonderful, deep-seated representations of the fear of parenting. It's mixed in with the deep love Louie has for his daughters as well. How do you deal with a child that is growing up and becoming a teenager, bound to make mistakes? The same mistakes YOU made as a kid could lead you to be like your own parents. That reflection was never as poignantly presented as it was in a two-parter in season 4.
I am grateful for the creative freedom that FX has given Louis CK. It seems like the relationship between him and the network is one of the best working relationships in all of television. I'm glad FX sees his vision and trusts in it. I also like that Louis takes his time to do it the way he wants... which is the RIGHT way.
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