Louis C.K. gets it. He has been one of my favorite comedians for a very long time and is also a gifted comedy writer. In his latest television effort, “Louie,” he really shines as an actor and provides television with a sitcom that will most likely be remembered as truly innovating.
The pilot begins with Louis performing in a comedy club and talking about his two daughters, their understaffed school and volunteering there.
The first vignette begins with Louis and another parent ushering kids onto a school bus for a field trip. Louis is faced with a busload of screaming kids and a driver that has no idea where he’s going and doesn’t care. The bus ultimately breaks down in Harlem and the group is deserted by the driver.
The driver has a great Stanley from “The Office” quality to him and is a great counterpart to Louis’ discomfort in this situation.
The chunk is about Louis’ single life at age 42, and how dating and marriage never really work out perfectly.
We cut to Louis at his date’s front door. His evening is already off to a bad start. He gets chewed out by his date’s nude and elderly neighbor, justifies wearing a suit to a casual date by mentioning that his father passed away … a while ago, traps his date in the cramped apartment building foyer while trying to open the door for her and then smiles awkwardly for their whole subway trip. As the date continues, his efforts are increasingly shot down by his date’s icy demeanor (who eventually flees to a waiting helicopter in the most unexpected moment in the episode).
While this vignette is wonderfully acted and has great comedic timing, it really bums me out to see our hero striking out with this woman so hard. C.K.’s tendency to over share is reminiscent of Larry David in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and his way with women definitely reminds me of some of my more awkward friends.
The great thing about “Louie” is that it’s the most subtle and relatable sitcoms based off of a comic’s material that I’ve seen.
Punctuated by hilarious stand-up material, these vignettes do a great job of turning “Louie” into the saddest sitcom on television and it would only work with someone like Louis C.K.
“Louie” definitely fits into FX’s comedy lineup very well and provides a subtle, more cerebral approach to offset the ridiculous “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and the raucous “The League.”