Louis CK is my favorite comedian. Let's just put that out there. That said, this review could be a little biased, but I'll try to be as objective as I can. If you don't know who he is go check him out on youtube. And if you don't think a bag of dicks is funny, you're and idiot and should kill yourself.
So now that we have our little disclaimer up, as you would probably guess I was pretty stoked when I heard Louis CK was going to have a new show on FX. I knew he had previously done a more sitcom oriented show years ago, but from what I read, this one would be different. And it is.
You know a show is going to be great when the opening credits is the star aimlessly walking down a New York street only stopping to stuff his face with a slice. Yep, that's it, then he walks down some stairs to a comedy club. It's kind of like the awkward fat man's version of the Saturday Night Fever intro.
Each episode usually begins with Louis in a comedy club setting you up for the premise of that particular episode. I know this sounds a lot like Seinfeld, which I'm sure he's satirizing, but he's actually funny, and you don't have to worry about any synthesized bass lines punctuating a new scene.
The first thing I noticed is the way it's shot. Ever shot seems to have a fairly shallow depth of field, always having the actors in relatively tight quarters as opposed to staged wide shots. And as most modern tv shows, it has a more handheld feel than static camera work. This really gives a more personal feeling to the whole thing. It never feels cinematic or staged. It very much seems like he's being followed around by a camera, but never crossing the line of becoming too much like a documentary.
Ok, enough artsy bullshit. On to the funny.
Yes this show is funny. I find it hilarious. No it's not for everyone. Just like his comedy, it's mostly about fucked up and usually pathetic situations he finds himself in. But it's not all about the laughs. Many of these episodes almost feel autobiographical in nature, showing not only funny situations in his life, but ones that border on self-reflection and societal satire. The episodes range from zany--like the ones with Ricky Gervais--to uncomfortably personal--like the one with his friends (one being gay) around a poker table talking about the word "faggot."
That's why I wouldn't necessarily label this show pure comedy, and thats why I think I like it so much. It's really hard to pinpoint the genre. Sometimes you're laughing, and sometimes you generally feel sorry for the guy and wonder if his real life is this pathetic. That said, this show isn't perfect. Louis CK isn't the best actor at times, but maybe that's how he is in real life, I'm not sure, but it could interpreted as bad acting to some, Mr. White specifically. And some of the episodes seem like they could have explored the situation a bit more. But these are minor, minor complaints. This show tries something completely new which can be said for very few shows that I'm aware of. And honestly, the more I watch it, the more I see what trash fills the major network slots of NBC and ABC.