Television review: “Louie”

Television review: Louie

Jacob Rozansky, Staff Writer

Comedian Louie CK’s middle aged cynicism and disdain for both himself and the world around him delight audiences through his comedy. His FX show, Louie, written, directed and starred by the man himself portrays a sort of darkened ‘Seinfeld’. Following the less than glamorous life of a New York comedian, the single camera sitcom relies on the inherent humor of circumstance, characters and dialogue rather than a Big Bang Theory punchline-laugh track style comedy.

The show perfectly captures a tone of civilized insanity. Living and working in a gridded jungle, Louie’s encounters with narcotic PTA moms, self-destructive comedians, or impossible lovers paint a world of complete chaos with a sticker labeled ‘SOCIETY’. Most of Louie’s interactions seem taxing to him and the strain can be felt by the audience as well. However, the main character is not teflon in any sense. He is cynical and jaded. A middle aged New Yorker without much desire to better himself let alone the world. While you find yourself disappointed or even angry at his decisions, it all comes from a place of genuineness, which allows us to relate more than a cookie cutter protagonist.

While this all may seem a tad too real for a comedy, the humor diverges to completely absurdist at points. A noisy troupe of garbage men rudely awaken Louie, banging cans against the truck, hooting and hollering complete gibberish, then crashing into his apartment, decimating his home. Louie groggily wakes up slightly annoyed by the disturbance and begins his day. The absurd humor somehow presents relatable situations but in impossible or ridiculous circumstances. These scenes act as vehicles for a topic which benefits from a new angle of observation. The show sometimes challenges us to think about what the absurd encompasses. Louie, a white man, and Janet, Louie’s black ex-wife, are both parents to Jane and Lilly, two blonde haired, blue eyed, white-as-snow daughters. There is never an explanation as to why neither child has any hint of mixed ethnicity. The show seems to be teasing the viewer for placing a premium on logic when it comes to character casting, yet somehow we are able to suspend our disbelief for the apartment size in the show “Friends” or “The Office” and the employees’ ability to do almost no actual work for the duration of the series.

Louis CK has put together a truly amazing show. It has won multiple Emmy awards, has excellently developed characters, and brilliant writing. And while it may seem to be some sort of art installation in this article, do not be fooled, it is unabashedly hilarious and endlessly quotable. However, the most important part of ‘Louie’ is that it has a point. The difficulty of trying to live a normal life, is that life just is not normal.