Ian A.: I really like the laid-back absurdity of Louie
Bill: I still can't tell if I like that show.
Some episodes will be great, or parts of episodes will be great, and others put me off.
The tone is so befuddling.
Ian A.: it's still finding its voice and its legs, yeah, but I think it's more hit than miss
Bill: Oh, I think the tone is exactly what CK wants; it's just so outside the rhythms of every other TV show ever.
Even stuff like Buffy and MASH, which would turn from comedy to drama on a dime, felt different.
Ian A.: he is in total control of the thing, writing, directing, starring, so it probably is his pure vision on screen
Bill: Louie is stone-faced black humor, with bits of outright comedy, outright tragedy, skin-crawlingly awkward moments, etc. It's both more realistic and natural than any other sitcom, and also more absurd than any of them.
Ian A.: exactly
Bill: All at the same time, and sometimes different times, and it's just... so weird.
And the narratives, which aren't narratives at all, just bits. And sometimes the bits connect, and other times they don't.
And where Two and a Half Men or something would have a coda where they show that mother and son really do love each other, or a punchline where he gets beaten up by the bully's parents, Louie keeps going past that, not giving us what we expect...
And I didn't like those episodes, they just really made me feel uncomfortable. Which is the point.
Ian A.: it's more honest than any other comedy, in that it's not all about setting up punchlines and fabricating outlandish situations
Bill: My favorite moment is still the bit from the pilot where his skeeved-out date flees into a waiting helicopter and disappears
Ian A.: haha, yes
Bill: It helps that CK's worldview hews very close to mine.
It's, like, Vonnegut. A tragicomedian who loves humanity but despises society.
Ian A.: precisely