Monday, June 28, 2010
"Louie" it's funny -- and painful -- because it's true
Of course, ABC isn't the only station coming up with high-quality comedy. Take "Louie," the new FX sitcom that premieres Tuesday at 11 p.m. The show stars stand-up comic Louis C.K. as, well, himself -- a stand-up comedian and single dad in New York.
"Louie," like the early seasons of "Seinfeld," is a mix of scripted stories and stand-up bits. The scripted bits are more vignettes than standard sitcom stories, but they work, particularly in the later episodes. The pilot veers a bit too much into surrealism, when a bad date ends with the woman literally fleeing from Louie via helicopter. But later episodes are bit more grounded. I particularly liked a sequence in the fourth episode when Louie arranges a play-date for his daughter, and ends up bonding with the other child's mother (Pamela Adlon). It's funny, poignant and feels authentic. Plus, C.K. is a great talent who has been kicking around forever. He's also the show's executive producer, and he's created himself a great vehicle here. The stand-up stuff is sharp and funny and, unlike "Seinfeld," is well-integrated into the other scenes (another extended sequence involves C.K. and another comic getting into a heated argument after a gig).
"Louie" is smart, resonant and -- most importantly -- quite funny. It's enough to make you glad sitcoms are back.