Sunday, August 28, 2011

Louie S2 E11

CK in Iraq
Until yesterday I hadn't previously watched any of Louie, Louis CK's sitcom on FX. I had seen CK's old sitcom on HBO and was not impressed - that show was damp and weird with very few laughs. But I do find CK funny and on an impulse I decided to check out a random episode of his new show: S2 E11. And I have to say that this time I was impressed. It was funny, well made with great production values (except maybe the Hueys pretending to be Blackhawks) and surprisingly affecting. The episode is partially based on the story of CK's USO tour that he wrote about beautifully on his blog, here and also partially based on a story that his 9 year old year old daughter suggested to him. 
The show is a little like Seinfeld in that it is centred around CK's real life as a comedian living in New York, but it is not at all Seinfeldian. It's a single camera show with no laugh track and every episode written and directed by CK. It's a darker programme than Seinfeld which was pretty dark for its time. In real life CK is divorced and the father of two girls aged 5 and 9 and much of his humour is about being newly single, overweight, depressed and angry. 
Louie gets lowish ratings but the cast is small, everyone works for close to scale and the show is cheap to make. I hope Louie runs for years as I've seen a couple more episodes now and they were also very good. I may, however, be precisely the target audience: Louis CK is exactly my age, approximately my build and I also have two daughters aged 5 and 9; we're both writers, Louis CK went to high school in Boston with my wife Leah and I'm also more than a little ticked off at the state of the world. But even if you're none of these things you should still check out his show. Actually read his blog post first about his USO tour and then watch the episode and I think you'll enjoy it even more.