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.

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