***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
Louie Season 1 - 5 out of 5
Louis C.K. is perhaps, in my opinion, one of the best stand up comics working today. Being a struggling comedian myself, seeing Louis in action keeps the fire in my belly raging and keeps me begging for work, taking my licks at open mics and watching those around me still doing Michael Jackson's dead, airline food and viagra jokes actually make a career for themselves and NOT have the desire to take a flying leap off the tallest building I can find. I really enjoyed Lucky Louie even though I can't afford HBO and had to watch it on DVD--believe it or not, being a stand up comedian and writing a blog reviewing whatever DVD I'm watching doesn't really have me diving into the Scrooge McDuck money vault like some people would believe. So, when I heard that Louis was returning to TV and on FX of all networks (one of my favorite networks and the one that is kicking ass in the entertainment department right now), I was beyond excited to an emotion that exists on the fringe of enjoyment but hasn't been classified by modern science.
Right off the bat, the show is much different from the "live in front of a studio audience" sitcom send-up that was Lucky Louie. Instead, the show is a gritty fantasized adventures of Louis C.K. in his everyday struggle of being a single dad and a stand up comic. Even more interesting is the fact the show lacks the standard twenty-plus minute story arc that you see in every other show out there. Instead, the show will be two stand alone stories (that may occasionally come together) with some of Louis on stage in-between. Now pile on that the fact the entire season lacks a common formula (also very unique for a television show). Episodes will vary from dark, twisted tales that seem to have jumped out of the brain of Hunter S. Thompson to something completely off-the-wall and silly. Sometimes stories take serious turns that show true heart and emotion from the funny man and sometimes stories are just raunchy--filled with garish yarns being woven on subjects like jerking off, blowjobs and shit--all of this is topped with the overall theme of being funny. Whether the humor is derived from depravity or it's derived from real situations that people can relate to or just from a farcical jumble of madness, the show is downright hilarious. It all seems like chaos but the reality is, the show is put together so well, it's easy to lose yourself in each episode.
With Louis C.K. at the forefront of every show, fantastic cameos by great comedians like Nick DiPaolo, Godfrey, Toddy Barry and Jim Norton and unbelievably entertaining cameos by atheist funnyman (and one of my top comedians I enjoy); Ricky Gervais, Ferris Beuller and the man unfortunately married to a horse (I kid, I'm sure Sarah Jessica Parker has a great personality); Matthew Broderick (seriously Matt, you're too talented to be with Sarah) and the ALWAYS hilarious Stephen Root, this show has no shortage of great cast members--even Pamela Adlon (who played Louis' wife in Lucky Louie) shows up. With all this talent and the writing, it's hard not to find something to enjoy in this show.
Louie is a show that comedians really get a kick out of because we can relate to much of the stories going on--like Louis destroying a heckler on stage and having the heckler tell him afterwards that as an audience member, she is suppose to heckle (by the way, in case you were wondering, audience members are NOT suppose to heckle)--every comedian who has ever performed has heard and dealt with this one. That aside, anyone can sit down and relate to the stories Louis C.K. is going through and find the funny among the hell his fictionalized real self is going through. Except maybe when his date ended with the girl running off and hopping on a helicopter to escape him--I don't think that's happened to many of us, I did have a girl threaten suicide when I asked her out but she didn't run off into a helicopter--but the times when the show goes crazy like that almost feels like a reality check--as if the show doesn't want to get too real and stops short of Louis himself yelling at you through the screen saying, "Hey, asshole, it's just a show, fucking laugh!!!"
The format for Louie is quite different than 90% of other comedies on TV--and that's a good thing. There's no laugh track to tell you when to laugh like a CBS comedy and since it's not on Fox's regular broadcast channel and on it's cable network instead, it won't be cancelled like another awesome unique comedy that was taken away from us too soon (*cough, Arrested Development, cough*). If you go in expecting Lucky Louie, Louie has the potential to disappoint. However, if you go in with expectations for something different and just want to enjoy seeing Louis C.K. in action, Louie will NOT let you down.