Louis C.K. finds heart on fourth season of 'Louie'

Courtesy of FX

Courtesy of FX

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:31 PM ET

Louie is TV's first “comma.”

Yes, Louie is a combination of drama and comedy, but the usual made-up mash-up word to describe such a show - “dramedy” - doesn't quite fit.

There's drama in there, but drama shouldn't come first with Louie. Comedy should. So I'd describe Louie as, COMedy, plus draMA, equals “comma.”

But as a “comma,” Louie makes viewers pause in different ways. There's another chance to try to figure out just what the hell is going on inside the mind of Louis C.K. when the multiple-award-winning Louie kicks off its fourth season with back-to-back episodes, Monday, May 5 on FX Canada.

Created by and starring Louis C.K. (the name ends in “s” but the show ends in “e”), Louie is a largely fictional version of Louis C.K.'s life as a struggling standup comedian and divorced dad, but obviously with some truthful autobiographical moments interspersed.

The episodes don't usually connect to each other in a way that absolutely would require you to watch them in order. There is not a rigid structure. Some of the episodes are more hilarious than serious, some are the other way around.

I have to admit, at times I have found the overall effect of Louie to be kind of depressing. Don't get me wrong, that is not a criticism, but merely an honest statement about how the show has impacted me on occasion. The lead character in Louie has a fairly crappy life, sad even, so sometimes that sticks with me.

I guess in the grand scheme Louie is accessibly artsy. Each episode is like a mini-movie, none of which are exactly the same in tone.

Because of Louis C.K.'s deep connections in the entertainment world, the list of guest-stars through the years reads like a who's who of comedy. In the second episode of the new season, Jerry Seinfeld guest-stars as himself, asking Louie to fill in as a warm-up act at a benefit show, and of course almost instantly regretting it.

I have seen four episodes of the new season, and the one that really stuck with me was the third one, which will air May 12 (the fourth season consists of 14 episodes, airing in back-to-back form on seven Mondays).

In the episode titled So Did the Fat Lady, Sarah Baker (Go On) guest-stars as Vanessa, a comedy-club waitress who is attracted to Louie. Near the end, a circumstance arises that leads Vanessa to explain to Louie the struggles of being a so-called “fat lady.” It is not played for laughs. Rather, it's a heartfelt and heartbreaking soliloquy, and I have thought about it a lot since I saw it.

On the funnier side, that particular episode also featured the activity known as “bang-bang.” Let's just say it has a very specific meaning in the world of Louie.

And that's what this is all about, the world of Louie. As TV's first “comma,” this series says everything with a great deal of punctuation.

Twitter: @billharris_tv

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

 

 


Videos

Photos