If you’re looking for something funny to watch this summer, I give FX’s Louie my highest recommendation.
It revolves around a single comedian living in New York. The show features both scripted pieces and scenes of the main character’s standup act. Sound familiar?
The Seinfeld comparisons are inevitable, but Louis C.K. is far from a Jerry Seinfeld for the ‘Teens. For starters, Louis, or Louie, is much closer to neurotic George Constanza than the confident, swinging Seinfeld. In the show’s pilot, the about-to-be divorced C.K. goes on a date for the first time in 14 years. His missteps are awful, almost unwatchable. Fortunately they are hilarious, too. In another episode, he looks up an old high school flame on Facebook. When they meet, she disappoints, to put things mildly. But in true Costanzan fashion, C.K. doesn’t let that get in the way of his memories or hormones.
C.K.’s humor is much different than Seinfeld’s, too. He curses, for starters, something Seinfeld rarely does. In one hilarious bit, he breaks down his thoughts on, um, bestiality. I don’t think Seinfeld would ever say “I’d fuck a monkey…” Be warned: this is not a show you’ll want to watch with the kids around.
Seinfeld was certainly an acquired taste. Louie is no different. There are some genuinely sweet moments to balance the angst and vulgarity. In one, C.K. and his comedian poker buddies react visibly after hearing the origins of a certain epithet typically aimed at gay men. You can see a table-full of men in their 40s and 50s thinking about the times they’ve used that word, and how it may have affected people they were close to.
What really matters, though, is that the show is incredibly funny. Episode three features a guest appearance by Ricky Gervais that, predictably, had me in tears.
C.K. has paid his dues, writing for Letterman, Conan, and Chris Rock, guest staring on Parks and Recreation and having his own HBO series. I humbly suggest you check out his show.
LouieTuesdays, FX, 11:00 p.m. Eastern.