Here’s one I’ve been waiting a while to write. A few months back, I decided to check out Louie on Netflix. For those unfamiliar with the show, Louie is written, edited, directed by and stars comedian Louis C.K. It is semi-biographical in that it tells the story an aspiring stand-up comedian juggling his a career and his children while he muddles his way through date and his forties in the aftermath of a divorce.
This show resonated with me on a lot of levels: first and foremost, it’s funny. Louie intersperses stand-up comedy bits with skits about his personal life, à la Seinfeld. Louis C.K’s humor is honest, self-deprecating and at times dark, but it is almost always funny.
Perhaps the one line that sticks with me most from the show is in an episode from the show’s second season. In it, Louie says that divorce “makes you look at yourself in the mirror and realized that there’s no one left to be an asshole to.” It is part funny, part true and all honest.
Just as any stand-up comedian goes out on stage and occasionally bombs, here have been a few misfire episodes: one in particular that comes to mind was when Louie pined for an African-American grocery cashier – simply because she was Black – only to be completely and utterly shot down by the woman. In the episode, Louie comes across as stalker-ish, rather the victim of unrequited love. But taking chances is the hallmark of any god comedian. Some stuff is funny; other bits will bomb. As an aside, I recently read that the stand-up skits in each episode are brand-new material. Louis C.K. does not use material from his real-life stand-up act in the series.
I’m looking forward to getting caught up on the rest of the series. so much so, that I’ve gone ahead and read the synopses for some later episodes. God bless Netflix for introducing binge-watching to unsuspecting world.