LOUIE

Thursday, 9 September 2010

NIGHT OUT


SEASON 1 EPISODE 13 (EPISODE 13)

THIS IS IT:
Closing the first season we find Louie still single and seemingly alone.  The episode begins with him on another date (Lisa) and with it going well said date decides to tell him that she has a son called Jack.  Unlike most men she dates Louie does not respond in horror, indeed saying that it is great as he reveals that he has two daughters of his own.  At this point the tables turn Louie finds it funny that all night the pair of them have been not telling each other the same thing but Lisa freaks out stating “I just don’t think I can take this on right now” in completely hypocritical fashion.  She resolves “a guy with kids, that’s just a lot.  Yeah, that’s kind of a bummer” as Louie responds in disbelief, confused by the double standard.  Then to put this painful exchange out of its misery we cut to the opening credits.  As the episode begins proper we find Louie telling his daughters a bedtime story about a squirrel and a dog waiting to catch a bus.  With this his daughter Lilly comments that the story is boring as he responds that its purposely boring with the intention of putting them to sleep.  Sick of the story they ask him to sing and eventually he gives in as they begin to cry (“are you seriously going to cry because I’m not going to sing?”).  With this we cut to him performing at Carolines talking about putting his kids to sleep.  Returning to his apartment, now with his kids in bed the babysitter Karen arrives crying.  Louie says “I’m not going to be long, I don’t really have anywhere to go, I just needed a night out” and he leaves.  From here he walks around his neighbourhood at a loss with nothing to do and soon he eventually returns home offering to pay the babysitter in full.  At this point she tells him to “just go.  You do this all the time, you don’t go anywhere”.  His response is “why do you care?” to which she snaps “because it’s depressing, it’s just sad, you just can’t be all by yourself all the time”.  With this he attempts to reassure her that its OK but she pushes it further stating “do you think your girls don’t know that you’re alone?  Do you want to teach them that a good man just has nobody?” ending her rant “I just can’t sit here watching you waiting to die”.  And eventually she screams him out of his own apartment to have some fun.  Walking the New York streets he keeps passing couples of various persuasions in passionate embrace only serving to make him feel worse about the situation that minutes ago he wasn’t necessarily aware of until his crazy babysitter emphasised and magnified it for him.  Inevitably he finds himself hanging out with other comics (specifically Todd Barry and Nick DiPaolo) while pathetically attempting to hit on a waitress in a camouflage skirt.  With this Barry writes “Not Funny” in chalk on the table with a big arrow pointing at Louie while DiPaolo offers the advice that “what you gotta do is hang out with those black comics, those guys know how to get laid”.  On that note they observe as Godfrey and Ardie Fuqua go up to three generically gorgeous ladies at the bar asking “so where are we going tonight?”  And fuck us white people if that line does not work.  In agreement Barry adds “you got to be those guys: confident, black, handsome.  Not boring, don’t wear that shirt…”  At this point Louie gets up and asks if he can hang out with the pair of them tonight, a request that is initially met with a laugh before realising that it is completely sincere.  Cutting through the shit Ardie comments “you wanna hang out with the brothers so you can get some pussy, huh?” at which point they take pity and tell him that he can hang out with and they will get him laid.  With this they introduce Louie to the three ladies they’ve just picked up, informing them that he is 40 years old to the response “oh my god, seriously?”  OK, let’s go.  The next scene is the group pushing its way through a nightclub queue and gaining access due to a “big cousin” working the door.  So unfamiliar is such entry to Louie that he is almost lost in the shuffle as he has to be physically dragged along to keep up with the group.  Once inside as the younger members of the group groove their way in, Louie experiences that common nightclub occurrence of not being able to hear a thing, not being able to function in such surroundings.  Yet again Louie finds himself being dragged along to keep up with the group as they eventually settle in a booth where the others communicate and get into the moment as Louie literally sweats with discomfort.  Then to make things worse a shirtless comes along and dances at him.  Briefly his friends try talking/speaking to him but with the music and his aged ears he just cannot hear a thing being said.  At this point a favourite song arrives as his group leaves him sat down and strangers immediately take the seats they have just vacated.  Now surrounded by strangers he wastes no time in getting up and moving around at which point he bumps into his shirtless friend again.  To their credit his comedian buddies attempt to keep him involved.  Or so he thinks as he watches on as the dude just slickly picks up a lady for himself to take to the dance floor when Louie was expecting an introduction.  However having seen a successful move in action he decides to re-enact the smooth grab of the shoulders although lacking the grace and skill he just looks like he is going to strangle the woman which naturally prompts her to scream in his face as her and her friend slap/beat him down much to the amusement of Godfrey and Ardie.  From here he exits the club and cuts his loses.  This is not the world of a forty two year old man.  Shattered both physically and mentally by the experience he goes for another walk until coming across the EastVille Comedy Club where he checks in to see if he can do five minutes.  With this he does a set explaining how he got divorced a year ago.  He describes divorce as “being free but on the other end of a long prison term.  So its like they just gave you your old suit back that you wore at court when you got convicted.  You get a little paper bag with what shit you had in your pockets, they give you about eight dollars and drop you off at the bus station.  And you gotta learn how to re-enter society”.  He adds that “I’m not about to carve my name onto a beam and hang myself, its not quite that bad, but I’m definitely…  Here’s the thing I’m 42, I’m really good at masturbating.  I’m like the best masturbator on the planet earth…so I’m going to continue to excel at that, I’m gonna focus on that and raising my children.  I know its not nice to say both those things in one sentence but they happen to be the two things I do the best”.  Then on that sobering thought he exits the club and runs home where he assures the babysitter that he had fun (“chick with big boobs, we made out”).  However even despite this and telling/making her think that she was right in what she said, she remains in tears saying “I’m glad.  I just don’t want you to be alone”.  And with her gone he lets off a sigh of relief before slumping down on his sofa.  At this point his daughters emerge wishing him “good morning” as he states that its 4AM in the morning asking why they are awake.  Jane comments that she’s hungry as Lilly asks if they can go out for breakfast (“you want to go out for breakfast now?”).  The episode cuts to the three of them out having early morning pancakes and bacon as a song about having a bad night plays over the top.  The camera pans away from the diner and up towards the still dark sky where the sun is about to rise.  Now that’s how you end a television season.

IS IT ANY GOOD:
Yes as Louie addresses the fears of growing old and alone while perfectly capturing the nightclub experience.

WHAT IT TAUGHT ME:
That it is not only me that feels a nagging sensation to be out partying every weekend instead of being home with my stuff.  Also that not everyone enjoys nightclubs.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT:
In being forced to deviate from his routine Louie attempts to live the life that is expected of him but ultimately finds little success or satisfaction so eventually he sticks with what he knows, what he is a good at.  And that is enough.

STANDUP ELEMENT:
A bit from Carolines talking about putting his kids to bed and sleep but comparing them to Alex in A Clockwork Orange.  He just wants to go to the freezer and eat all the ice cream that they are unaware exists (“and it would break their hearts to know its there”).  Later he winds up in the EastVille Comedy Club doing a five-minute set on being divorced to a room of a dozen other “losers”.

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:
The nightclub experience in general which he portrays with amazing clarity right from the unable to hear to hold a conversation to the sickly manner in which dressed up females reject men on sight.  Later when he grabs five minutes at an open mic that too is such a genuine offering of what such a gig is like.

BEST LINES:
“If you don’t give a shit about yourself, you do it so that your girls won’t have a depressing loser for a father”.

BEST JOKES:
When he goes up to the lady in the club with his hands stretched out and she just screams at him.  That and the strange way the woman at the beginning reacts to his admission of having two daughters.

PERIPHERAL MOMENT:
Todd Barry and Nick DiPaolo just hanging out in the Comedy Cellar.

REALITY CROSSOVER:
I have experienced so many of the moments in this episode.  Beginning with the harsh hypocrisy of his initial exchange with his date onto the nagging expectation of others to be living life to the full, onto the horrible nightclub experience of not fitting in with the beautiful through to performing at an open mic night to a near empty room of non-laughing people while spewing my heart onstage.

MVP:
Louie all the way just for displaying so much heart.

GUEST APPEARANCES:
Godfrey, Ardie Fuqua, Nick DiPaolo and Todd Barry.

EPISODE LINKS:
No explicit links.  Familiar faces from past and future episodes pop up as parts of the furniture in the Comedy Cellar.

PERCULARITIES:
Why is his babysitter so mental?

OPENS:
This is brilliant.  It begins with Louie on another date (Lisa) walking past a spectacular fountain.  With it going well at this point his date says “I have something that I think I should tell you” informing him that she has a six year old son called Jack.

CLOSES:
With Louie ending a set at the Comedy Cellar and exiting the venue as the camera focuses on the discarded mic sat down on the side.  The end.

OTHER:
There is something slightly misogynist but true about the hypocrisy displayed by his date at the beginning.  The inclusion of this is incredibly dark and harsh.

FINAL WORDS:
When all else fails the comedy stage can serve as counselling.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

GYM


SEASON 1 EPISODE 12 (EPISODE 12)

THIS IS IT:
The first thing we see is Louie laying in bed, watching TV and eating a huge bowl of ice cream.  On television is Channel 4 news where the female anchor Liz Chaney (Kate Gilligan) is reporting on the mayor who is expected to “smear his shit all over my fat natural boobs”.  Unsurprisingly Louie is shocked and confused by this so he rewinds the broadcast to check he didn’t imagine it.  This time instead the newsreader repeatedly says more and more disgusting things until she breaks for an advert break at which point she freeze frames and gradually and subtly pulls a more evil and maniacal expression as she physically melts.  Then suddenly with a flick of the remote Louie finds himself in the news studio as he watches himself onscreen.  With this the newsreader acknowledges him before giving a hard slap which startles and wakes Louie.  Disorientated he phones Nick DiPaolo and tells him about his dream.  DiPaolo takes it in then asks “did you bang her?” before telling him to go back to sleep to finish off the job.  Impressively Louie does return to his dream where he asks Chaney if she would like to have sex with him.  Her response is “but you’re just a little boy” at which point a young kid version of Louie is revealed.  With this the newslady picks up a huge kitchen knife and begins saying “daddy, daddy” over and over in a threatening manner.  Again emerging roughly from the dream the voice turns out to be his daughter asking if she can have some ice cream too.  He rolls over and the credits begin.  The episode cuts to Louie and Pamela (her third episode appearance) sat on a bench in a local playground.  She comments “I so don’t want to be here right now” as it is established that they are doing their parenting bit.  Louie asks her where she wants to be to which she responds “I don’t know, 25 years old and all my mistakes ahead of me.”  At this point they notice an annoying kid swinging a large branch around heading towards Louie’s daughter Lilly.  With this he heads over and takes the huge stick from the kid, hooking it up high on the link fence out of which of the protesting kid causing Pamela to laugh at his method and comment “that was awesome.”  Feeling ahead Louie then says “hey listen, erm…” at which point she stops him in his tracks knowing pretty much what he is about to say/ask before resigning “go ahead.”  And indeed Louie heads towards asking her out because, as she says, “you want to sleep with me.”  With this she asks a very good question: “why would I sleep with you?”  Naturally Louie struggles to give a convincing answer or argument presenting the scenario “I don’t think you would, I just want to, and I was hoping that you would let me” which is met with inevitable laughter adding “that’s the greatest line ever told.”  Looking around Pamela comments “why don’t you try hitting on some of these other moms” pointing out the first example as being “I bet she’d just suck your dick just to break the awful pattern of her life”.  Getting into the groove of things Louie points out and offers Pamela a fellow father asking “how about that guy?  Wouldn’t you just like to climb onto his head and rub your dirty bush all over his glasses?” prompting the response “I already did.  And it was good”.  Then he points at another dad saying “I bet he’d be happy to cram his balls into your puss-hole” prompting the response “see, I don’t hate that” - advantage Louie.  The episode then cuts to Louie performing at Carolines doing a bit about having to use the bathroom at the airport while having his daughters with him.  In the end he takes them into the men’s room where they observe the awkward experience of seeing nine penises before stepping into a stall and overhearing gross men shit on either side.  The episode then cuts to him dropping his daughters off at school and after dropping Lilly off he bumps into his friend Chris (Bobby Cannavale) to who he expresses exhaustion and the gripe that “I can’t do it anymore”.  The guy responds “yeah, the grind” before telling Louie that he’s got to get into shape, comparing being a parent to like being an athlete.  At this point he offers to train Louie starting right away so they head to his gym.  This guy doesn’t know what he’s doing as he pushes Louie too hard, first on a treadmill, then with weights and intense reps.  It proves too much as Louie slowly collapses to the floor like a sack of shit groaning and the next thing we see is him in the back of an ambulance on some kind of ventilator.  When the episode cuts to the hospital Louie is out and suddenly a hand begins putting balls of cotton wall into his mouth Marlon Brando/Godfather style.  It is then revealed that the hands belong to his doctor Ben (Ricky Gervais) who once he has filled Louie’s mouth with cotton holds onto his nose so that he can’t breathe which naturally wakes him.  With this he begins to take the stuff out of his mouth but his doctor tells it needs to be in there only to get annoyed when he can’t understand Louie as he tries to tell him what happened causing him to maniacally laugh.  When Louie tells him he was the gym Ben tells him that he can’t do that anymore, he doesn’t have a normal as such.  He tells how he was working out and then he just passed out at which point the doctor says “a lesson learned, that you’re going to die very soon” before chuckling once more.  At this point a Dr Drake checks up on Louie telling him that the x-ray uncovered a “massive myocardial defecation” which is a big pile of shit sitting on top of his heart which he is told is caused by a bad marriage.  Shocked Louie looks at Ben who corpses revealing Dr Drake to be a hired stooge who also cracks up laughing.  With this Ben says how proud he is of the prank to the point that he is “more proud of that than saving lives.”  Annoyed Louie tells the doctor that he should be spending his spare time transplanting a new face onto a burn victim to which he responds that would rather take a burned person’s face and transplant it onto Louie’s face even though he didn’t need it.  Then with Louie’s face, after being rejected by the burns victim for being too fat, freckly and ginger, he would put it on the burn victim’s genitals and anus.  In conclusion Dr Ben tells Louie that he is not going to die immediately and he’s just as unhealthy as ever at which point Louie concedes that he has to get healthy to which Ben surprisingly responds “no, the opposite, you’re so far gone, you’re such a pointless creature now that to try and get fit, this will always happen, just don’t try and get healthy, eat what you want and die early” as the episode cuts back to Louie doing stand-up saying “I think about killing myself sometimes I’ll be honest with you.  And it’s not from depression, its like a fantasy “what if I die?  That would be awesome”.

IS IT ANY GOOD:
Yes its smart and silly.  An apple of my eye tries to hurt me by saying “Louie is a dumbass” and with episodes like this it is tough to disagree.  Also the exchange in the first half between Louie and Pamela has great chemistry.

WHAT IT TAUGHT ME:
Its great to talk dirty with a female friend but be sure not to slip into the friend zone.  Getting in shape is a waste of time.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT:
The modern world comes with certain expectations for us to be a certain body shape/type which requires/relies on a good diet and regular exercise.  The powers that be tell us that this is essential, that we must abide by it and it is the root to happiness.  As Louie’s efforts fail him, they actually cause major damage so the conclusion is ultimately you need to live with yourself, to own your body.

STANDUP ELEMENT:
Comes from Carolines as he does a bit about going to the bathroom at the airport with his daughters

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:
It highlights the futility of the gym experience.

BEST LINES:
“Why would I get into a bed with you?”, “I dunno, because you’re very tired.”  “I don’t think you would, I just want to, and I was hoping that you would let me.”  “I bet she’d just suck your dick to break the awful pattern of her life”.  “How about her?  I bet if you ripped off that puffy coat she’d let you rub your smelly little cock all over her depressing tits.”  “How about that guy?  Wouldn’t you just like to climb onto his head and rub your dirty bush all over his glasses?”

BEST JOKES:
The exchange with Pamela in the playground debating the sex lives of their fellow parents is an amazing conversation.  There is genuine chemistry.

PERIPHERAL MOMENT:
Louie loves ice cream.

REALITY CROSSOVER:
Over the years I have talked dirty with various female friends and, while being fun and personal, like Louie and Pamela it has never led to sleeping with them.  Also I used to do kickboxing at the Virgin Active near Warren Street/Euston.  It didn’t do me any good whatsoever.

MVP:
Pamela Adlon is so awesome in this episode.

GUEST APPEARANCES:
Pamela Adlon, Bobby Cannavale and Ricky Gervais.  Nick DiPaolo also makes an appearance.

EPISODE LINKS:
Only really the return of Dr Ben.

PERCULARITIES:
Why doesn’t Pamela want to have sex with Louie?  Where does Chris disappear to?  Why is he so afraid of his daughters?

OPENS:
With Louie in bed eating ice cream and watching the news on TV.  This leads to a surreal dream with the anchor woman.

CLOSES:
With the news anchorwoman reporting terrible and horrific news stories in a gross out style akin to The Aristocrats.  Eventually she fluffs a line about the mayor farting on her tits 48 times.  That poor woman.

OTHER:
I want a friend like Pamela.  Also has anyone ever seen Pamela Adlon and Demi Moore in the same room at the same time?

FINAL WORDS:
So I won’t be going to the gym ever again.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

GOD


SEASON 1 EPISODE 11 (EPISODE 11)

THIS IS IT:
Here is Louie wrestling with the concept of religion, God and heaven and hell.  The big questions.  It begins with him filling up his car at a petrol station before going to the bathroom where there is a glory hole entitled “heaven”.  As he finishes up another man enters the bathroom and upon noticing the hole decides to give it a go based on the fact that it promises “heaven”.  Shocked Louie asks the man if he has done it before and when he says “no” he asks “why would you take that risk?” to which he responds “you got to have faith”.  This then cuts to Louie at Carolines questioning “if there is a God, then that dude is an asshole” comparing him to being a “shitty girlfriend” whose moods are so frequently changeable and irrational (“you won’t do it because you don’t love me” followed by “why are you doing it?”)  It all begs the question of life: what do you want from me?  With this we flashback to 1977 and Louie in RE class being taught about the crucifixion by a nun (Sister Carson).  Not paying attention and Louie and his friend Brian giggle just as the nun describes the pivotal moment of the crucifixion.  Needless to say it gets them into trouble (“who finds this funny?”)  And this point Louie’s friend raises his hand and asks a pretty sensible question in: “if Jesus sacrificed his life for my sins, isn’t it a waste unless I sin a lot?”  Shaken Sister Carson resigns herself “I can see that I have not done my job, I can see that I have not imparted to you the true nature of Christ’s suffering”.  With this we cut to the following day and a visit to church featuring a visit by Dr Haveford.  From here he proceeds to present an examination of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ from a medical point of view walking them through the “brutal punishment to his body.”  He likens his presentation to a post mortem prompting the kid to ask “like the FBI?” at which point Dr Haveford goes into graphic detail, pulling Louie’s friend out to play the part of Jesus Christ.  It is a horribly creepy re-enactment from the off.  The clinical detail goes beyond the bible and any other description that has been of the crucifixion.  The chill it sends is horrific.  And then he calls out for another volunteer at which point he pulls out the young Louie perform the crucifixion on his friend.  Naturally Louie freezes at which point Dr Haveford asks why he can metaphorically do it to Christ but not his friend (“do you like him better?”).  And with his point hard and well made Dr Haveford makes a swift exit.  Afterwards Louie and his friend sit outside on the porch deep in thought clearly affected by the lesson.  In the aftermath Louie experiences a nightmare as he sins by stealing chocolate from a shop, reading pornography (Playpen magazine) and going through with the crucifixion of his buddy.  Both the young and current day Louie wake up screaming.  Now spooked Louie goes running back into the church with a pair of pliers where he goes up to the Christ statue yelling that he is sorry before pushing over the cross and removing the nails from the model’s hands and feet.  With this he drags the Christ from the cross, hugging and continuing his apology.  The next thing we see is Louie’s mum being told of the incident (“the desecration of church property”).  Thankfully the nun foregoes legal action but she orders that he will have to be punished at home.  Somewhat more sympathetic, Louie’s mum asks him what happened as he reveals that he was scared because he was responsible for Jesus being crucified.  Shocked and annoyed his mother responds “is that what they’re teaching you in there?” at which point she reassures him that it’s not true.  She tells him that he had nothing to do with “that man” being hurt and that he is not bad (“you make mistakes but that’s because I’m not done raising you”).  With this she assures Louie that he’s a good person.  Then he asks about Jesus at which point she expresses how she doesn’t believe in “any of this” causing him to ask why she makes him attend the school.  She responds saying that she thought it was selfish just because she doesn’t have religion she shouldn’t deny him (“it’s a big deal, you might want it one day”).  He asks the big question: “so there is no God?” to which she concedes “I don’t know, all I know is that you have to be good to people whether this is or there isn’t, you have to take that on yourself.  Nobody’s going to watch if you’re good, it’s all on you.”  With this she asks him if they want to go get doughnuts at which point her car fails to start offering Louie a little knowing smirk to himself.  Meanwhile back inside the church a handyman smoking a cigarette nails the Jesus statue back up on the crucifix without concern.  Coming full circle the episode returns to Louie at Carolines debating the sin of taking the lord’s name in vain.  Then it finishes with Louie and Brian in conversation over taking a shit on the doorstep of a neighbours house.  It’s a shitty ending.

IS IT ANY GOOD:
It’s not funny, it’s bold.

WHAT IT TAUGHT ME:
You got to have faith.  That and religion remains bananas irrespective of the strand or creed.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT:
It addresses religion in the necessary fashion revealing how ridiculous it all is while at the same time leaving the door of doubt ever so slightly open.  It also displays how terrifying the adult work can appear to children when so much importance is placed on conventions that are not fully understood.

STANDUP ELEMENT:
Louie at Carolines stating that he thinks if there is a God, then he is an asshole.  He uses a made up parable about Abraham being ordered to kill his son Isaac by an intoxicated God only for him to later change his mind and accuse Abraham of being in the wrong.

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:
Church in general and how it still has to hire a handyman to perform even the most important services.

BEST LINES:
“If there is a god then that dude is an asshole.”  “You don’t love me if you don’t do it.”  “God is like a shitty girlfriend.”  “If Christ sacrificed his life for my sins, isn’t it a waste unless I sin a lot?”

BEST JOKES:
The whole glory hole thing.  This is not something that has been on television ever before.  And it is done so realistically and almost tastefully.

PERIPHERAL MOMENT:
Louie’s comedy set is coming from Carolines.

REALITY CROSSOVER:
School was a terrifying and traumatic experience for me also and it left its scars.

MVP:
The performance by Tom Noonan as Dr Haveford is incredible, truly horrific.  Sawyer Swanson as Young Louie comes a close second.  The kid is great.

GUEST APPEARANCES:
Tom Noonan appeared in Heat, Robocop 2, Mystery Train and Synecdoche, New York.  That’s pretty awesome.

EPISODE LINKS:
No explicit links just the return of Amy Landecker.

PERCULARITIES:
Amy Landecker who plays Louie’s mother actually previously played his date in the episode “Bully”.

OPENS:
With Louie filling up his car at a petrol station before heading to the bathroom where there is a glory hole with the word “heaven” and two arrows pointing into the darkness.  Louie’s response is to laugh it off (“you’ve got to be kidding me”) but a few seconds later an older, taller gentleman in glasses comes in to wash his hands and when he spots the hole he unzips his flies and proceeds to stick his dick in the hole with Louie still in the room at which point Louie asks him what he is doing.  Graciously the man apologises thinking that he has cut in the queue.  Louie then asks if he is seriously going to stick in his penis in there and why to which the man points and responds “heaven”.  With this Louie enquires whether he has ever done such a thing before and he says “no” prompting Louie to further enquire about the risk involved to which the stranger responds “you got to have faith.”

CLOSES:
With Louie’s friend Brian asking him how much he will give/pay him to take a shit on a neighbour’s doorstep.  As Louie refuses Brian then offers to take up the dare in exchange for $5.  He eventually does it for a pencil.  He just wanted to shit.

OTHER:
I wish my God fearing, church attending, Catholic Filipino work colleague that thinks I am Satan himself would watch this episode.

FINAL WORDS:
I can truly empathise with young Louie’s plight and confusion on this issue.  His school experience feels slightly akin to mine.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

TARESE


SEASON 1 EPISODE 10 PART 2 (EPISODE 10)

THIS IS IT:
Tarese is an episode of longing, of Louie long, longing after Tarese the gorgeous black checkout lady at his local supermarket.  As he stands in the queue he looks on and gazes at the cashier with a bad attitude he begins to see her in a romantic, almost angelic light.  Her lips, her soft skin, her sensual eyes and her imagined smile.  When Louie gets his turn at the checkout and attempts conversation with Tarese who doesn’t register his existence, even subtly angering when he tries to pay with cash (“making me touch your money.”)  Then with that he is promptly dismissed.  However as he exits the store, he just cannot stop thinking about her and promptly steps back inside where he buys a bunch of flowers (paying with credit card) that he attempts to give to Tarese.  Naturally her response is one of shock and horror (“those ain’t for me.”)  From here Louie attempts his romantic gesture until she calls for the manager who offers a moment of clarity to proceedings (“you can’t do that sir, she doesn’t know you.)  This cuts to Louie back in the Comedy Cellar trying to make sense of the scenario saying “to me the whole thing of walking up to a woman and starting talking to her is so fake that I can’t.”  With this the episode returns to later that night and the end of Tarese’s shift where Louie is stood outside the supermarket waiting for her in almost stalker fashion.  With this he attempts to apologise as she angrily asks “what do you want?”  Clumsily Louie says that he wants to take her out to which Tarese responds “you’re crazy.”  From here Louie begins asking (pestering) “why is that crazy?” before attempting to introduce himself while remaining aware enough to tell her not to step into the dihorea vomit on the pavement.  With this Louie follows Tarese onto the subway, getting caught in the doors in the process, as he eventually sits down next to her and attempts to impress her enough into seeing his perspective.  Immediately she again expresses how nothing is going to happen between them but unfazed and determined Louie persists in attempting to explain the situation the way he sees it (“we’re from different worlds”).  He concedes that it is probably kinda creepy how he is following her but he just wants to get to know her, a person outside her usual social circle.  As he continues to babble she shoots back “suck a dick son” in an effort to shut him up.  Despite this he says that he’s going to “keep trying because she is probably putting up a defence because she is from a tough neighbourhood.”  Eventually he requests “can you pretend I didn’t say any of the things I’ve said so far.”  Finally the train gets to Harlem where Louie continues to follow Tarese on her way home asking questions of her life.  Then they get to her building at which point she asks again “what do you want?” adding “so what, you never been with a black girl before?  You want to see what its like to do it with a black girl?  You see me everyday at the store and you got it in your head: what would it be like to go to her neighbourhood and have sex with her?  Is that it?”  This leaves Louie speechless and Tarese closes “well guess what, you don’t get everything you want.  Not all the time.”  And with that she disappears inside.  Now a long way from home Louie stands outside with his head down feeling a failure and a fool.  At this point a bad Jill Scott lookalike (who it turns out is Tarese’s sister) exits the building and gives Louie a smile and says “hello”.  This cuts to her bedroom where she is riding on top of Louie in crushing/smothering fashion, screaming in ecstasy.  With this we return to Louie at the Comedy Cellar concluding “why would you want to talk to a hot girl?” instead suggesting a Jewish in her late 30s that smokes and gives tough hand jobs is preferable.  The episode ends with more feeble attempts by Louie to woo Tarese on the subway

IS IT ANY GOOD:
Most definitely.  Louie asks big questions and tries out a certain approach on our behalf.

WHAT IT TAUGHT ME:
That I am not the only man that sees beautiful women everyday who I would love to engage in conversation, would love to take out and perhaps begin a relationship with.  That I am not the only man incapable of approaching strangers

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT:
Louie makes clumsy attempts to approach ladies look innocent rather stalker-esqe.

STANDUP ELEMENT:
Louie musing over what finding a partner entails.  In his opinion what men would really like would be for all women to lay on the ground, spread their legs for the men to just spray like a mist.  Then in Woody Allen fashion he changes the pace explaining that he is not one of those kinds of guys that can just walk up to a woman and talk to them.  He then identifies/describes what particular type of black guy that does it all the time.  Then after the initial act it cuts back to Louie continuing the bit about approaching women and saying how fake the whole process is.  And finally to book end things he questions “why would you want to talk to a hot girl?” instead suggesting a Jewish in her late 30s that smokes and gives tough hand jobs is preferable (“you dirty Jew, I love you”).

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:
Louie winds up in Harlem.

BEST LINES:
“Making me touch your money.”  “Hi, how would you like to have sex with me and then wish you hadn’t later?  Would you be into that?”  “Look little dude.  I don’t know what you’re thinking but it ain’t gonna happen.”  “Suck a dick son!”

BEST JOKES:
It’s the persistence of Louie in general.  It is dumb but caked in blind optimism.  He is acting out a fantasy that most men have had, one that is sincere and harmless but all too responded to with horror.

PERIPHERAL MOMENT:
Louie is performing his live set at the Comedy Cellar.

REALITY CROSSOVER:
A few years after the episode first aired I found myself in a similar situation to Louie meeting up with Nicholyne (“Nikki”), my own equivalent of Tarese.  At least in our case we knew each other and this was something of a fourth date.  However this night she was pissed at me for various reasons (including a comment I’d made the previous night about us having kids).  This evening she was dryly rolling out a list of reasons why we were not suited in dead pan fashion seemingly half genuine and half to tease.  Then as I pick up the ball to try and make things right while in the process of convincing her that we are great and good together, after wearing their pair of us down with my goofy gestures it suddenly occurs to me that I am acting almost exactly like Louie in this episode “Tarese”.  At this moment of clarity I make comment to Nikki that our evening is life imitating art, after previously denying the show’s existence, she tells me that she knows what I am talking and we double over in laughter.  “This is what my life has become.”

MVP:
It’s a tough pick between Louie and Tarese because they both play it so straight.  How Tarese maintains her cold act/demeanour is incredible and how Louie does not fold in his dumb persistence is truly admirable.

GUEST APPEARANCES:
Adepero Oduye as Tarese.

EPISODE LINKS:
None.

PERCULARITIES:
So the second lady is Tarese’s sister?  Is it not weird when she leads Louie into their apartment?  Or did he promptly drag her across New York back to his own place?  I hope his two daughters weren’t home.

OPENS:
With Louie doing a bit in the Comedy Cellar relating to and approaching women sexually.

CLOSES:
Showing more of Louie’s attempts to woo Tarese on the subway including “do you ever get curious, you know, in the way black dudes like white girls” adding that “compared to any black guy, we seem gay” prompting a rare nod of agreement from Tarese before conceding “what I’m trying to say is that everybody has their advantage, those dudes have their things….I feel like this is sounding like I’m trying to say is that black guys have big dicks and that I have money” which prompts Tarese to corpse/laugh.

OTHER:
What are puka beads?

FINAL WORDS:
This episode is such a major statement on the plight of men the world over.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

DENTIST


SEASON 1 EPISODE 10 PART 1 (EPISODE 10)

THIS IS IT:
After his awful experience at the hands of his doctor Ben (Ricky Gervais), this episode Louie has to visit his dentist Dr Hepa (Stephen Root).  It begins with Louie sat back in the chair waiting for the doctor who steps into the room in creepy fashion telling Louie that he “look’s a little nervous.  Bit of a dental-phobe are you?”  To this he adds that he makes “dental-phobes” his speciality.  Despite wearing a wedding ring Dr Hepa puts his arm around Louie and pats his chest as he explains that he too has “been afraid of dentists my whole life” and that is why he developed this practice.  As Louie continues to squirm the doctor suggests they “get right to it with the drugs and the gas” beginning with a pill followed by gas and music to alleviate his fear.  The music is from Saudi Arabia and with this the doctor turns up the gas admitting that he is giving Louie more gas than he has ever given anyone.  As it kicks in he strokes and kisses his forehead.  When the drugs and the gas kick in Louie finds himself transported to a desert in the middle east.  Eventually after walking for a few minutes he comes across five locals sat on the ground one of which instructs him to sit down and join them.  Then he recognises the man as being Osama Bin Laden.  With this Louie asks if he can take his photo with him on his phone before he expresses that this is “intense” before telling him that “you are like the worst guy ever.”  At this point Bin Laden speaks saying (in English) “welcome to God’s world” adding “if you were any closer to him, you would be burning alive right now.  We live near him so we are closer to him than all others.”  To this Louie concludes “so living in the desert is what makes you guys crazy” prompting laughter and the response “if it pleases you to say so, then yes” adding “(living here) gives us a higher vantage point on existence.  We view the human flesh as like the peel of a fruit to be chucked away.  The people in those towers, those steel cages, we freed them.”  Disagreeing Louie responds “I get it but you totally shouldn’t have done 9/11.  People aren’t fruit, that wasn’t nice.”  Seemingly confused Bin Laden responds “that wasn’t nice?” at which point Louie further simplifies things adding “you shouldn’t do anything to anybody that you wouldn’t want them to do to you.  Right?  Would you want anybody to do a 9/11y thing to you?” finally declaring that “I think 9/11 was a bullshit move” to which Bin Laden adds “basically you’re saying that we’re assholes.”  Bin Laden reacts hurt, shaking his head and saying “shit” causing Louie to question “did I just talk you guys out of being terrorists?” with Bin Laden’s final words being “well, I just never looked at it like that.”  At this point Dr Hepa appears sat next to Louie asking how he feels before telling him to have some banana which he proceeds to push into his mouth without taking the skin (the vital peel) off telling him that “the skin tastes really good” adding “no don’t bite down, just leave it in your mouth.”  At this point Louie gags and snaps out of his drugged state just as Dr Hepa spins away doing up trousers.  With this he adds “you’re fine to go, nothing wrong with your teeth.  Hey, big fan, really big fan.”

IS IT ANY GOOD:
Yes, as Louie enters the realm of the absurd back in the real world something awful (more awful than meeting Osama Bin Laden) is set to occur.

WHAT IT TAUGHT ME:
That my fear of dentists is justified.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT:
Louie cuts through the bullshit of modern life and speaks to Osama Bin Laden in the manner with which he needed talking to and dealing with.  Also never eat a banana that has not been peeled.  It might not be a banana.

STANDUP ELEMENT:
He express his fear of his kids disappearing and how child abduction is viewed as the most evil thing in society these days which as a result causes the molester to have to “chuck them out” afterwards.  With this Louie says that he can’t help thinking that if the act was lowered a few notches in people’s perceptions that less child murders would occur and that “at least you would get the kid back.”  And Louie knows that’s hard to hear but its true.  Now he doesn’t know what to do with that information.

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:
Louie’s friend Nick told him to go to this dentist.  This is no doubt Nick DiPaolo.

BEST LINES:
“Unfortunately I can’t visit myself so I’m just waiting for my teeth to rot out.”

BEST JOKES:
The whole child molester bit that opens the show.

PERIPHERAL MOMENT:
His comedy set is performed at the Comedy Cellar.

REALITY CROSSOVER:
The best dentist that I ever had committed suicide after him a long line of mediocre dentists tried to take his place until I just gave up on visiting a dentist altogether.  In later years I eventually became the housemate of a dentist who turned out to be a very seedy, strange individual.  I guess much like Louie that too makes me a dental-phobe.

MVP:
Stephen Root remains able to do harmless and creepy in such magnificent style.

GUEST APPEARANCES:
Stephen Root as Dr Hepa and Chuck Sklar as Osama Bin Laden.

EPISODE LINKS:
None.

PERCULARITIES:
The whole thing is fucking peculiar.

OPENS:
With Louie doing a bit at the Comedy Cellar on child abuse.

CLOSES:
With Dr Hepa telling Louie that his teeth are fine and that he can go.

OTHER:
Telling Osama Bin Laden he is “the worst guy ever” is just playing into his hands.  Louie, its what he wants to hear!

FINAL WORDS:
Is “dentalphone” an actual real word?  And is it one word or two?

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

BULLY


SEASON 1 EPISODE 9 (EPISODE 9)

THIS IS IT:
Welcome to probably the most excruciating and embarrassing episode to date.  Bully begins with Louie at Caroline’s doing a bit about sex education when growing up.  First we treated to a flashback with his father who tells the seven year old Louie that “it’s not sex, it’s called making love” before going through a vivid and graphic description of the withholding technique.  Then this cuts to sex education at school and his terrifying teacher dragging Louie in front of the class to point at the penis on a diagram.  It all serves to confuse him as he lives thinking sex involves squeezing a ball out to ejaculate.  The episode then cuts to Louie at the end of a date suggesting that he and his lady friend (Sandra) go get late night doughnuts and coffee at a shitty coffee shop (“this (coffee) is like piss, its really fantastic”).  Unfortunately with the date going well their conversation is ruined when five loud students (some in Mustang Football letter jackets) enter making so much noise they are unable to hear each other.  And they only becoming louder and rowdier as they wrestle inside the shop until Louie shouts “guys, could you keep it down please.”  Then as Louie continues his conversation about starting out in comedy one of the jocks comes over to their table and says “how’s it going?”  He introduces himself as Sean sticking out a hand with bloodied knuckles.  Louie responds shaking it saying “got it, thanks” and which point he says “got it thanks, that’s your name?”  With this Sean begins bothering the pair of them, intimidating and asking “Louie, when was the last time you got your ass kicked?” before “are you scared?”  As things become awkward the kid presses Louie adding “I could hurt you really bad, right now”.  He explains the bruising on his knuckles as “just two days ago, destroyed this guy’s face, must of hit him like forty times, his teeth were all over the place, just left him there bleeding.” Adding “are you ready for that?  I’m kinda feeling like doing that to you right now.”  With this Louie experiences utter humiliation as the kid says “maybe if you ask me nicely I won’t do that” and suddenly from being the incriminating party by making so much noise, Sean manipulates the situation becoming the aggrieved party pursuing apology.  Then in a truly uncomfortable and awkward moment Louie says “please don’t kick my ass” which after repetition is eventually accepted by the kid.  From here the group exits/leaves the coffee shop mocking Louie on the way as his date looks on with an expression of confused disgust and disappointment.  “That was a nightmare, huh?”  In the aftermath Louie’s date looks as humiliated as he is.  Equally confused by her reaction he asks “you didn’t want me to actually fight that guy, did you?” and even though the mature, adult decision (“the right thing”) was made it has debased Louie too much in his date’s eyes.  With this he says that he’s getting a “weird feeling” from here like she is “looking down at him” at which point she says she would have been “pissed” if he had got into a fight but if she is being totally honest “that was a turn off seeing that.”  Louie responds shocked by this as his date tries to explain it as being a “primitive thing”.  It ends with “my mind is telling me that you’re a great guy but my chemistry is telling me that you’re a loser.”  With this the date spirals to an end as the woman tries to rationalise her feelings.  It was a great doughnut.  Moving on as Louie puts his now ex-date in a cab home he spots Sean and his crew making their own way home as they take the subway.  And crazily Louie follows and stalks them.  Eventually they groups disbands off in their own directions as Louie focuses on Sean and with this he winds up on the Staten Island ferry.  Soon Louie is far from home however Sean is right at home as he steps into a bungalow where through the window you can see his parents inspecting his bruises and quizzing him on where they have come from.  One ad break later and Louie is approaching the front door of house 415 looking to confront and further address the situation.  Naturally his arrival is met with confusion, disdain and denial.  It turns out that Sean’s parents are just as rough as him.  With this Louie is invited into their home as the father (Mike) shouts at another (younger) son to turn the TV down.  From here he asks Louie to say what happened as he describes the pathetic event in pathetic fashion.  At this point Sean is called down where naturally he meets with the reaction “what the hell?”  As he denies the incident his father hits him and roughs him up forcing an apology causing Louie to question the method saying “how do you think he turned out like this?”  Suddenly the issue now becomes Louie and the parents as first the father glares as the mother shouts “screw you” before throwing him out and calling him a “faggot” angry at being told how to raise her kids.  As he begins to walk back home the father emerges conceding “hey man, I don’t know what to do” revealing that he has three kids inside and that Sean is 18.  With this Louie empathises saying how he has two kids of his own (“two girls with the oldest 8”).  He says that hitting his kid may not be a great idea only for the father to shrug and resign with “well, that’s what I know” before offering Louie a cigarette.  “My dad hit me and his dad him”.  Sitting down the dad asks “how old where you when you had kids?” which Louie replies 34 as the opposing number turns out to be 20.  This reveals the dad to be probably three or four years his junior despite having such a old kid.  He adds “Grace had a great ass then.”  Louie tries to philosophise adding “well, my life between 20 and 34 was all shit so I may as well have had kids.”  Moving on Louie asks what he does for a living and it is sanitation.  In response Louie reveals he a comedian commenting “yeah, it’s a job” which receives the response “no it isn’t”.  It ends with them sat speechless on the porch steps smoking their cigarettes.

IS IT ANY GOOD:
Yes, painfully good.  Excellently observed and utterly humiliating.

WHAT IT TAUGHT ME:
That it’s not only me that fears teenagers and the repercussions of calling them to task.  Also that in the long run you are better/best off ignoring.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT:
It is comforting to share and accept that adult men can at times be frightened of groups of teenagers.  Also it acknowledges and reminds that working class people and blue collar workers are tougher than most.

STANDUP ELEMENT:
The episode starts with a Louie doing a bit about sex education at Caroline’s.  Then it book ends with Louie saying what a shit he was when he was a kid.  He establishes that he is now too old to begin fighting, blowing guys and skiing.

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:
Staten Island, home of the Wu-Tang Clan.

BEST LINES:
“Got it thanks, that’s your name?”  “My mind is telling me that you’re a great guy but my chemistry is telling me that you’re a loser.”

BEST JOKES:
This is actually a hard fucking episode with little in the way of jokes, just lots of dark humour.  That said the closing exchange between young Louie and old Louie is very funny.

PERIPHERAL MOMENT:
He’s gigging at Caroline’s.

REALITY CROSSOVER:
We’ve all been there, frightened to tell a group of loud mouth teenagers/students to shut up.

MVP:
Totally Louie for going there.

GUEST APPEARANCES:
Fine performances from Michael Drayer and Danny Burstein (as son and bully).

EPISODE LINKS:
None.

PERCULARITIES:
Amy Landecker actually plays Louie’s mother in the episode “God”.

OPENS:
With Louie doing a stand-up bit about early years confusion about sex and displays via flashback how useless the people (his father and his teacher) were at giving him advice.

CLOSES:
With the eight year old Louie smoking a cigarette behind his house where he is soon joined by forty two year old Louie ordering (bullying) him that he does not smoke.  Young Louie then asks “who are you?” at which point modern Louie says “I’m you in thirty years” prompting the response “you’ve got to be kidding me: you’re fat, you’re ugly”.  “Yeah, you’re gonna be bald too” at which point eight year old Louie asks “what happened to you?  This sucks.”

OTHER:
I’m relieve that it is not only me that realises younger people are awful.

FINAL WORDS:
Who starts blowing guys at 42?

Thursday, 5 August 2010

MOM

SEASON 1 EPISODE 7 PART 2 (EPISODE 7)

THIS IS IT:
Following up on the weird sexual suggestion/act of his brother during the first half of the episode (“Double Date”) suddenly Louie finds himself faced with having to deal with his mother (Mary Louise Wilson) experiencing her own sexual renaissance.  It begins when she arrives unannounced at his front door just as he is taking his girls (Lilly and Jane) to their mother’s house.  Not being in a position to deal with her, his mother feels it unreasonable that Louie does not drop everything to address her, instead choosing to leave her in his apartment for thirty minutes while he deals with his own kids.  The episode then cuts to the pair of them sat in a restaurant.  After complaining about getting a taxi to the restaurant his mother then complains when the waiter cannot supply a “menu with larger type”.  They go elsewhere.  By this stage Louie has his head in his hands.  At the restaurant his mother continues to complain at which point out of frustration Louie cuts to the chase asks why she has turned up for an impromptu visit.  With this she informs him that she is now a lesbian as she drags up her past, her sex life.  Pained Louie moans at his mother saying how he hasn’t seen her in a year and how he doesn’t care about her new lesbian tendencies prompting her to accuse him of being homophobic.  Before long Louie is getting up to leave with his mom commenting “I haven’t told you about my wife” the response to which causes a scene and many turned heads in the restaurant.  He tells her to go away and she turns on the tears with him pointing at her telling the restaurant “this is bullshit, you need to know that.”  As ever the tears win.  The next scene is Louie and his brother discussing the reality of their mother being a lesbian (“mom is a lesbonian”).  Robbie freaks out while Louie remains sceptical and indifferent.  This then cuts to Louie sat in a restaurant waiting to meet his mother’s wife (his step mom).  He is dressed normal but when Robbie arrives he is dressed up in a suit (“trying to have some respect”).  Their mother arrives without her wife.  With this she makes comment about their weight before Jasmine (Ana Kayne) turns up.  Jasmine turns out to be a stunning woman around the age of thirty, the kind of lady Louie and Robbie can only dream of meeting.  “Hi, what’s up?  Your mom’s really cool.”  Louie experiences more agony at the hands of his mother while his brother just freezes.  The ladies order vodka on the rocks while Louie orders his comatose brother a water garnering the response “no fun” from his mom.  With this she makes the declaration “Jasmine has been introducing me to a lot of new things; she’s been very good for me.”  At this point Robbie pipes up in disbelief to the retort “I would have thought you’d be glad for me.”  And all the while Louie remains aloof.  Somewhat more affect Robbie complains about having never felt love from his mother.  It ends with him pleading to her to say she loves him only for her to leave telling Jasmine to stay who responds “this is a total bummer” before exchange glances with Louie and the end of happy suggestion.

IS IT ANY GOOD:
Yes, it is excruciatingly good.  It contains a classic trademark Louie twist on proceedings which is so wrong but so right.

WHAT IT TAUGHT ME:
Mothers go crazy with age and as a result can be very embarrassing and stressful.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT:
In an ever changing world in ever changing times, our parents’ efforts to adapt to them can be catastrophic.

STANDUP ELEMENT:
How hard it is to still have love for your relatives.  How deep down gay people should “stop doing that” because of the failing ergonomics of two vaginas smooshing against the other.  And finally how he is going to hell for having sex with a hooker who turned out to be male.

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:
None.

BEST LINES:
“If I knew that we would be taking a taxi cab here I would have dressed differently”.  “I don’t care what you do with your vagina, honestly you can take your vagina and shove it up your ass.”  “Robbie you’re pretty fat too.  Is that all you boys do, get fat and die?”  “So let me get this straight.  My mother is married to a girl who’s younger than me and way hotter than any chick I’ve ever dated or ever will date in my life.”

BEST JOKES:
"We only had sex two times.  One was for your brother and one was for you and it was really disgusting.  At least it was for me, I hated it.”  The way his mother keeps repeatedly saying “woman!”  “Come on, who doesn’t love their mother?” and Louie raises his hand.

PERIPHERAL MOMENT:
Louie took his girls to visit his mother last Christmas only for her to instead visit her friend in Phoenix, Arizona.  Thus Louie and his daughters spent the Christmas of 2009 in a Holiday Inn with Santa bringing them a bag of M&Ms each.  Also Louie smokes.

REALITY CROSSOVER:
Louie’s final admission at a lack of sexual damage echoes my own.

MVP:
Louie’s mom Dorethy is cold!

GUEST APPEARANCES:
David Patrick Kelly.

EPISODE LINKS:
His mother is somewhat different to her portrayal in the “God”.

PERCULARITIES:
What the fuck happened to his mom?

OPENS:
With Louis speaking to his shrink and sometimes how when he is talking to his daughter he’ll be looking down at the little girl and he’ll see his mother.  The therapist takes the observation a little too literal.

CLOSES:
Various takes of the over the top insanity of Louie’s mom crying in the restaurant coupled with him telling her to “shut up.”

OTHER:
I can’t help but feel with how the modern world is going that we are all likely to have a similar experience with our relatives.

FINAL WORDS:
Why are families such dysfunctional perverts?