Wednesday, August 24, 2011

 As some of you know I am a huge fan of Louis C.K., those unfortunate enough to be my friend on Facebook have been subjected to multiple "status updates" about how awesome his show is (LOUIE) and how awesome his stand up is (I discovered his stand up after seeing his show). I am going to continue that one-sided love affair on our podcast blog as to ensure or rather help insure that one of my current favorite TV shows remains on the air for my personal enjoyment. 
 Yes, this is completely about me!

 Louie is based on a fictionalized version of Louis C.K. and his life as a comedian and a divorced father living in a modern New York City. Louie is raising his two daughters and struggling to break that glass ceiling that some comedians get stuck under. The ceiling of being known but not being famous. Being known meaning that a smallish circle of comedy fans have seen you on the circuit and may have even seen your Comedy Central special. Being famous meaning, you have a popular TV show, HBO special or some other form of weekly injection into the American main stream.
"From the inventive imagination of Louis C.K., Louie puts a spotlight on C.K.’s everyday ordeals, his quest to find love and his pursuit of humor. Each episode features a scripted story and a mix of his stand-up comedy, which is original material for the series. The single-camera comedy is shot entirely in New York and features a unique mix of Louis C.K.’s stand-up comedy and scripted stories." States The FX (the channel that the show resides on.)Louie website. I think that pretty much sums up what is trying to be captured on screen by C.K. and the show's crew.

Louis C.K. aka Louis Szekley (Szekley, pronounced correctly sounds like C.K.) started in comedy in 1984 when he appeared at an open mic night in Boston, Ma. The club gave him 5 minutes of stage time and C.K. only had 2 minutes of material. That experience kept him away from comedy for almost two years after that! Later he moved on up to paying gigs and even hosting for various clubs around Boston. He eventually opened for Jerry Seinfeld on tour until he moved to New York in 1989.
 Louie, the TV show started in 2010 and C.K. writes, directs, produces and edits the show himself. Louie said this about writing the show himself as well as some of the influences in his life. "I am the only writer. That was a decision I made because I just wanted to write and make the show. Writers’ rooms, they kind of gravitate towards a certain place. There’s a need to perfect things in a writers’ room, and that can take a lot of fun out of a show sometimes. It’s a struggle. It depends on your personality. Some people love working with a writing staff. I had a great writing staff on Lucky Louie, but it sometimes felt like Congress or something. It’s like if you’re the president and you have the ability to just fire Congress, life would get kind of fun all of a sudden.I remember when I got the green light to do this show, and my daughter was asking me about it. She was about seven at the time, and asked me, I don’t know why, she said, “Are you going to have writers on the show or are you going to write it all yourself?” And I said, “I think I might write them all myself.” And she said, “I think that would be easier because you don’t have to explain to all those people what you want to do. You can just do it.” And she was right. Seven years old, she was very savvy about production. "This type of attitude by C.K. and trust given by FX is something of a rare bird in Hollywood and television production. 

The show has been meet with critical acclaim and audience praise. It has been nominated for several awards and has won a Primetime Emmy (outstanding writing and acting) both went to C.k. himself. With a rotating cast of top notch actors and comedians the show is never left wanting for talent. Actors such as  Ricky Gervais, Stephen Root, Matthew Broderick, Joan Rivers, Bob Saget, Dane Cook, and Doug Stanhope and comedians including Nick DiPaolo, Todd Barry, Jim Norton, Rick Crom, Amir Blumenfeld, Eddie Brill, Hannibal Buress, and Godfrey.
 The styling or cinematic atmoshpere of the show is often described as Cinema vérité or "truthful cinema". The show bounces back and forth between lung busting humor, back breaking sorrow/depression and incredibly weird and bizarre moments that life brings us. Examples of such sadness and depression is the episode Bummer/Blueberries, In the first part of the episode, Louie awkwardly scores a "non-date" with a young woman (Kelly McCrann) who has no real interest in him, but a shocking and violent encounter (a bum tries to attack Louie resulting in the bum being hit by a trash truck and being decapitated) on his way to meet her for a movie leads to a darker, more introspective Louie that appeals to her—until he tells her the specifics of that encounter. In the second part, Louie is approached by his daughter's classmate's mom to have an emotionless sexual encounter; he agrees to do it, and comes to regret that decision every step of the unappealing, un-enjoyable, and downright disturbing way. 
 Another example from the second season episode called, "Come on god." The spokeswoman for a group called Christians Against Masturbation, Ellen Farber (Liz Holtan), and Louie have a debate about the morality of masturbation on a FOX News program hosted by Greg Gutfeld. Louie is the only person they could find willing to openly defend masturbation. After the show Louie goes home and masturbates while imagining a woman he had just seen on the elevator (Angela Gould, ask Louie to show a "whole bag of dicks" into her). Then, at Ellen's request, he attends a CAM meeting, and goes out for drinks with her after. She invites him up to her suite, but Louie is denied when he tries to go in for a kiss. Ellen gives a long passionate speech about how nice it would be to talk, date a long time before a kiss (but not "making out"), then finally getting to see her in her underwear on their wedding night.
Then he goes home and masturbates to a video image of Hot Lips Houlihan while listening to a radio report about genocide in Somalia. The Show will keep you guessing and will make you embarrassed to watch it in front of your mother!
 So in conclusion, I hope you will give Louie a chance and in the process continue giving me quality non-standard television I can keep looking forward to!

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