Alright, guys. The third season of Louie premieres tomorrow night on FX at 10:00pm and we all have to watch it. “Why,” you ask, internet reader. “I watch comedies all the time. Modern Family, Parks and Recreation, How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls. I just don’t have time for another sitcom.” I understand, internet reader, you’ve got your Hulu sitcom setlist packed to the brim. But that doesn’t matter. Because Louie ain’t no situation comedy, girl. It’s a situation. Period.
It’s the realest situation out there on television. Louie C.K. is the sole writer, director, star and until this upcoming season, editor of each episode. EACH EPISODE. He has no executives breathing down his neck telling what can and can’t be on his show. Every installment of Louie is his little baby. That he fathered on his own. Each each episode is like a little Jesus.
All blatant Messiah allusions aside, Louie is able to speak about a certain kind of truth most TV shows can’t. New York blows. Not in a like “Oh, the pretty girl I have sex with all the time won’t call me back so now I have to find a new woman to hook up with” blowing (I’m looking at you, How I Met Your Mother). Like real blow. The real Windy City. Reason it blows is because it’s so awesome. You can eat the best hot dogs in the world and there’s free wi-fi all over the place. This is all sounding really incoherent but I promise this has a point. Louie’s show addresses the small things that give him grief. Apartment hunting, dating people who can’t wait for the night to end, masturbation, ungrateful children, being alone on a Saturday night. All the usual sitcom fodder, but these things don’t just function as excuses to crack jokes out for twenty-two minutes. They exist to tell the truth about the way those particular situations effect a particular person. The show’s a bit divisive, as you have to be able to relate to Louie C.K. to enjoy it, but for those who can, you’ll get so much from it.
Take for instance season two’s episode 10, Halloween. SPOILERS ABOUND SO IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ ON, LET ME JUST ASSURE YOU THAT IT’S AN AWESOME EXAMPLE OF AWESOME TELEVISION MAKING. Starts off with Louie taking his two daughters trick-or-treating in the West Village, dressed as a fairy and Fredrick Douglass. (The daughter is really into history.) Adorable. The night takes a really bad turn the moment Louie relents to his daughters’ pleas to go trick or treating past midnight and some creepers start following them. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced how unsettling New York creepers can be, but on Halloween, when they’re dressed like monsters, the last thing you want to do is be cornered by them. Especially if you’re with your kids. The segment is drenched with a surrealist tone, making it like a dream and a nightmare at the same time and when it resolves, it arrives at a throughly un-cliché conclusion.
Watch Louie, and see life be resolved in ways it always is in real life but never shown on television.