TV in Review: Louie, “Poker / Divorce”
March 22, 2012 5 Comments
The second episode of Louie CK’s half hour television comedy Louie (the first one after the pilot) opens with Louie and some comedian friends playing poker. It’s a mixture of “your momma” jokes and dick jokes, with some tension between super conservative comedian Nick DiPaola and openly gay comedian Rick Crom.
I’ve often wanted to say to Nick, what Louie tells him.
LOUIE: Why don’t you shut up and learn something.
Nick’s homophobia is expressed, but not allowed to take over the scene, as Rick tells his straight friends some stories about the gay scene in New York City, including a floating party called “City Jerks.”
RICK: You’ll be pleased to know everybody’s naked except for shoes and socks.
LOUIE: Really? Why the shoes and socks?
RICK: Well, after a while the floor is full of –
NICK: Alright! I get it! Christ!
LOUIE: That much, where you got to put on some shoes? Like Timberlands, you need some thick shoes?
RICK: No, just regular shoes with a rubber soul.
LOUIE: Sure. Something stylish though, still?
RICK: You could. Florsheim has some stuff.
Nick says he doesn’t care what homosexuals do, because he likes to fancy himself a libertarian. But then constantly talks about how the idea of gay sex makes him sick, which is definitely not not caring, to my mind.
The comedians talk about the use of the F-word to refer to homosexuals, and I appreciate that Louie is thoughtful about the issue. They actually go into the etymology of the word and its origin, and Rick discusses the difference between when a comedian uses it in a funny versus hateful manner, and what impact the word can have on someone who’s had to contend with it outside of a comedy club. It’s a poignant mixture of education and entertainment.
There’s also lots of truth when Rick points out that he talks more about gay sex with his straight friends than with his gay friends. I think that’s pretty common.
After poker comes divorce. Louie does some stand-up and says that…
Getting divorced is like stepping out of a time machine that traveled you fourteen years, but it’s a really shitty time machine. It’s the kind of time machine that takes the real amount of time to take you to the future.
We see Louie afterward with his brother Bobby, who displays the dark sensibility of a comic.
What’s sad is you’re too old to get anybody else. You just signed a paper that guarantees you’re going to die alone in a room with a thin blanket over you and the nurse comes in and just shuts the machine off.
Only a stand-up could write that line…
Louie jokes about how life gets exponentially worse at his age (42), but the past that’s shown in the show is not one of joy or the glory of youth. It’s of an awkward, younger Louie who, at best, at least has some hope. That’s the difference…hope. Freshly divorced, Louie is in search of some hope.
The episode is strong. There’s a confidence there — you know that Louis knows what he wants to do with the show — and it’s already a smoother mixture between scenes than the pilot.
Some of the appeal and the difficulty of the show is that Louis will go places that other comedians don’t.
If no one ever said “You should not have sex with animals” I would totally have sex with animals all of the time. The only reason I don’t have sex with animals is ’cause I’m not supposed to and somebody told it to me.
His delivery is exceptional and his exploration of the subject actually touches upon ethics as well as provoking shock, and it’s all very troubling and entertaining. Just like Louie.
Season 1, Episode 2 of Louie first aired on FX on June 29, 2010.
TV in Review: Louie, “Pilot”
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