TV in Review: Louie, “Late Show: Part 3″
September 27, 2012 Leave a comment
(Warning! My TV reviews tend to have spoilers…)
So Louie’s Late Show three-parter came to an end last week with the proper amount of expected surprise. Any regular viewer would know that Louie can’t get the job as host of The Late Show. It’s not because getting the job would be unrealistic, as Louis CK is happy to upset the applecart when it comes to viewer expectations of realism.
In a way, it would have been fun to see Louie get the gig just to follow how depressed and oppressed it would make him, week after week. Louie is an heir to Letterman in the sense of their perpetual dissatisfaction, although Louis has a sweetness that Letterman lacks. But no, The Late Show starring Louie would derail the story arc too much. Louie has to fail, but at its best Louie fails in a way that isn’t predictable. Louie fails in a fashion that makes us question.
Here’s my recap, mostly in pictures…
Judging by expectability, the opening of this episode is a failure. Louie’s daughters question his desire to lose weight to gain the show, and are brutal in what they say, but not surprising.
JANE: Daddy, you’re a fat daddy.
David Lynch is back as John Dall, and boy will I be sad to see him go. Lynch loves to fill his films with oddity and strange use of timing, so he understands Louie in a deep sense.
DALL: Yeah. Yeah. Well, alright. Yes. No. No. No to that, too. Yes. Alright. No!
For a comedian, writing this line for Dall must have been a sharper cut than Jane’s accusation of fatness.
DALL: Now, have you ever had any experience with being funny?
Most comedians have experiences of being asked to be funny on command. And yet Dall’s cold-hearted determination that Louie should be able to turn it on instantly is in some ways a real acknowledgment that they are in show business. And show business is cold-hearted.
DALL: Make me laugh at the count of three.
Showbiz can also be sentimental, as when Louie’s kids make him a good luck card…
But showbiz got rulz.
DALL: And now I’m going to tell you what I know to be the three rules of show business. Number one, look ‘em in the eye and speak from the heart. Number two, you gotta go away to come back. And number three, if someone asks you to keep a secret, their secret is a lie.
The Jerry Seinfeld tie-in was fun. Sure, the subterfuge was immediately obvious, given Dall’s rules of show business, but it was still enjoyable to see Jerry play underhanded in a more serious way than in Seinfeld.
And hey, the timing he has while fake-hosting was truly terrific, right? What do you think, Lars Tardigan?
TARDIGAN: It’s exactly what we need. Perfect. I got an option.
Even with the sadness of how it turns out, I was half expecting to see David Letterman pop his head out of the window of his offices and shout back down at Louie.
LOUIE: Yo, Letterman! Letterman! F#ck you!
Reality and fiction have an odd way of interacting, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this three-part fantasy puts Louis CK on the list of potential talk show hosts in the future.
The Late Show three-parter was uneven at times, but fascinating throughout. Louis keeps using Louie to explore new sitcom terrain, and I’m already worried about the season running out.
Oh, well. There’s a new episode tonight!
FX first broadcast Season 3, Episode 12 of Louie on September 20, 2012.
Polentical: TV in Review: Louie, “Late Show: Part 2″