TV in Review: Louie, “Looking for Liz / Lilly Changes”
August 26, 2012 Leave a comment
Last Thursday’s Louie returned to its standup roots at the start, opening with Louie performing at the Comedy Cellar.
LOUIE: I, uh, I actually, I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping – as we all should.
Some semi-spoilerish reactions after the jump…
I appreciate Louie talk about middle-age. Perhaps it’s because I’m close to him in age, following fast on his heels. I would say it’s because there’s not much about the middle-aged in the media, but I’m not so sure that’s the case these days. My current favoritest TV show stars the 41-year-old Jon Hamm. Mad Men is actually similar to Louie in that it also looks directly at both the benefits and the brutalities of aging. It’s not that I share Louie’s assessment of the generational perspectives on aging, because I actually don’t…
LOUIE: I’m 44 now. You start doing that math. And it’s happy math now. Like, when you’re in your twenties, you’re like “how long will my life seem? I hope it seems like a nice long story and I hope I don’t feel like I died too soon.” You get to your forties, you’re like “I’m almost there, man. Alright!”
My experience has been that those in their twenties have a hard time imagining being older, while those in their forties tend to step back and reassess. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes not.
Of course, Louie lives in a world of constant second-guessing and reassessment. The cinematic style of the series allows him to go from the stand-up to his restless dreams, remembering fragments of Liz, the manic date he met at the bookstore, back in July. I’ve been reconsidering bookstores as well, of late. I used to spend so much time in them, and now when I pass a bookstore it’s like spotting a pay phone still operational in some back alley. Bookstores used to be nexuses of information, where cultural experiences and knowledge were passed between friends and generations. The internet does some of that now, but there’s still something to be said for doing things in person. Such as, you know, actually meeting other people.
Louie’s encounter with the new salesgirl, Jeanie, is old school in that way.
I’ve never actually seen Chloë Sevigny act, so I didn’t realize it was her at the start. Talking about the passage of time, it feels like Kids just came out and made it onto my “to watch” list. Yeah, that was 1995. I’ve never seen Boys Don’t Cry. I did hear about the job she did with her then boyfriend Vincent Gallo in The Brown Bunny, but the critical anger against that film made it seem like real commitment would be required to watch the film, and I didn’t have it in me. In Louie, Chloë’s character jars us (and Louie) with her particular unhinged nature, which didn’t bring anything fresh to the series. I appreciated her rubbing one out to finish off herself and the scene, but, eh…
The second half of the episode revolves around Louie trying to keep his daughters safe, from their peers, from their own bad moods, and from his own worries. Always earnest, Louie tries to be the good dad.
LOUIE: Hey, listen, if you — if you’re upset about something you can talk to me and I — I’ll listen.
LILLY: I don’t want to say anything for you to listen to.
Cue a morose Lilly riding a carousel as “Meet Me in St. Louis” plays on the organ…
Louie does good domestic investigations, and I appreciated that the resolution involved a low-key twist, bringing us back to books.
On the whole, “Looking for Liz / Lilly Changes” was funny and fine, but not to the level of the last couple episodes. Then again, Louie is quite upfront that sometimes you go searching and don’t find what you desire…
FX first broadcast Season 3, Episode 9 of Louie on August 23, 2012.
Polentical: TV in Review: Louie, “Dad” (Season 3, Episode 8)