Louie: Pamela: Part 1
June 3, 2014 2:45 PM - Season 4, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Pamela returns (again), and things get uncomfortable.
posted by Etrigan (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
This was definitely a let-down after the utterly charming end of the tale of the Elevator. The scene in the diner with the apparent mobsters was amusing, but there's nothing left of any chemistry Louie and Pamela might have had.

Obviously the scene in Louie's apartment is very disturbing. It's so out of character for Louie. Their relationship is so complicated. He's such a submissive he chased her to the airport to declare his love. Where did that even come from?

Then again, Pamela has obviously changed too. Something happened while she was away. She dropped back into Louie's life and announced she wanted to pick up where Louie left it off even after she rejected him. Something is up.

I trust the show though. There's has to be a larger point to be made here.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:59 PM on June 3, 2014


I think he got the idea that it wasn't working for her because he was acting like he had no balls so maybe if he showed some balls it would work. That's how it works in the movies right? But... THIS IS REAL LIFE and it just comes off as creepy.
posted by bleep at 4:48 PM on June 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also, the thing were she was acting so disgusted at the idea of being physical with him, maybe he thought if he just took the initiative she would like it. But then we kind of get a hint that she just doesn't like physical stuff. Maybe that's what made her think of Louie and miss him in Europe, trying to "make it work" with Serge's dad meaning doing a bunch of stuff she didn't want to do.
posted by bleep at 4:53 PM on June 3, 2014


Yeah, wow, that was super creepy and kind of awful compared to the incredible arc of the elevator episodes. I hope the Pamela stuff drops soon, she's kind of a bully of a character I don't like watching in the first place.
posted by mathowie at 7:45 PM on June 3, 2014


mathowie: “I hope the Pamela stuff drops soon, she's kind of a bully of a character I don't like watching in the first place.”
That's what leads me to believe there's something up with Pamela. She's bullied Louie all along but then clammed up when pressed. Maybe it's been defensive all along? Act aggressively and keep Louie on the back foot so there was no chance he would make a move? It didn't read that way to me though.

The bad news is "Pamela: Part 2" and "Pamela: Part 3" are scheduled to be the last two episodes of the season. The good news is Louis must have known how good Elevator was. One must presume he thinks the Pamela story is better.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:19 PM on June 3, 2014


I actually like the Pamela character - she has some interesting hidden depths and great tragic flaws. She comes across as a real person to me.

His Hungarian love was an interesting segment but I feel like they took it as far as it could go, playing with the language difficulties.
posted by Dag Maggot at 11:06 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


That last 5-10 minutes were about as uncomfortable as can be: Pamela Adlon's tiny size has never been so apparent. I'm a little surprised that Louie the character would take such a thorough dive back into masochism after his good relationship with Amia... but maybe that's what the Charles Grodin character was talking about: the bad part, where you forget the loved one. Love that Grodin character - he's like a Rinzai monk: soon he'll be whapping Louie with a stick.

Pamela the character strikes me as someone who can only have physical (or any kind of) contact if there's a lot of anger involved. Her approach to life is one of the inevitable products of the misogyny that Louie talks about in his monologue, but I don't think her rage is just about being female. Something "mushy" would absolutely repel her, and Louie the character is pretty mushy, but I think she senses on the other hand that constant rage is not a way to live your life permanently. But to have someone try to impose their will... and to have her believe on some level that this is the only way out for her so she submits, sort of (??) ... I'm still cringing and I watched it last night.

And I loved/hated when, after the "kiss" and Pamela's departure, Louie declares a triumph. Louis C.K. is unparalleled right now when it comes to holding a mirror up to delusion.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 3:47 AM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


So... a couple of episodes ago, he basically did this same pushy grabby routine, Amia squirming to get away and trying to leave the apartment while he begged and dragged her to the bedroom (yuk, man... seriously) and he unpainted himself from that corner by... smashing some dishes and just writing her to love him anyway?

I'll be kind of disappointed if he just leverages Pamela's thick skin the same way... just puts the brunt on her to get over the fact that he's kind of a gross creep lately.
posted by SharkParty at 7:24 AM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Louie hasn’t only been creepy or grabby lately. He’s been rapey. The writing just makes excuses for him as a hapless and sympathetic character. He *forced* the Hungarian “girlfriend” to his bed, ignoring her repeated statement “no,” and how did he pay for it? With a bad performance review the next morning (”no good”) and a mollifying Dear John letter conveyed romantically through a translator at a restaurant. I can’t help but suspect the arc with Pamela will be a repeat in some fashion; Louie will cross boundaries as a function of his bumbling dating strategy and elide the matter of consent as a mere storytelling device because awww tragic unrequited love.

During the struggle Pamela even says “this would be rape if you weren’t such an idiot.” No, it’s still rape, even if you’re an idiot, and ignoring consent per se is justifying and perpetuating rape culture through the notion that Women Are Hard. I doubt the messaging can be redeemed at this phase and I hold massive reservations about where this show is headed.
posted by troll at 11:57 AM on June 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Looks like we get a vote against addressing difficult issues via fictional TV.
posted by raysmj at 1:32 PM on June 4, 2014


Yo this guy back here spit on the bus man!
posted by todayandtomorrow at 2:03 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I doubt the messaging can be redeemed at this phase and I hold massive reservations about where this show is headed.

I'm holding on to the tiniest of hope that LCK is leading this stuff toward making a valid point against rape culture because otherwise, ugh, I don't think I'll be able to keep watching.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:44 PM on June 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


This was a real bummer of an episode, and I can't believe that he chose to take the affection of the viewers toward this character and basically pitch it. My husband and I were watching in open mouthed horror. Those actions are pretty much unforgivable and he's going to need to fall on his sword a la Jonah Hill if he really wants to be forgiven for it, because WTF.

Apparently someone on the AV Club was saying 'well, that's how it was written, that's what he wanted to write'--this is second hand from Mr. Llama - and I'm thinking, well, fuck that, isn't every lousy piece of art 'what they wanted to create'?

Not that it was a lousy piece of art. Maybe it was even a great piece of art - I think that's a separate discussion, and one that I don't really care about, because while I appreciate the visual beauty of Louie (there are some gorgeous shots in there) I'm in it for entertainment and to basically 'spend some time with Louie' and I am old and don't give a shit about whether it's art, I just want to experience some pleasure. I don't really look for things to be hard. I looked for things to be hard in my twenties, and maybe I will in my seventies, but what I look for right now out of creative pieces is 'pleasure' or at the very minimum, not to be recoiling in horror and clutching a pillow on my couch.

Jesus, Louis.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:43 AM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


He did nearly the exact same thing with Amia, but for some reason it seems like most viewers felt affectionate towards that hookup.

I think that with this new episode he's challenging the audience to justify their feelings toward what he did with Amia.
posted by painquale at 5:49 AM on June 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


He's already had a sexual assault scene on the shower before, when Melissa Leo's character banged his head against car window glass and shattered the window, all because he wouldn't go down on her in exchange for an (unsolicited, but freely accepted) blow job. He's had so many serious, uncomfortable episodes. He clearly let viewers, at least those who pay attention, know a long time ago that the show is not merely an entertainment product. The show should be judged on its own terms, in that regard, and only after all the episodes in this season (and the "Pamela") series have aired. Otherwise, the reactions make me think of people into boycotting books and movies before they've even read them, or have only skimmed them, what have you.
posted by raysmj at 6:56 AM on June 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'm holding on to the tiniest of hope that LCK is leading this stuff toward making a valid point against rape culture because otherwise, ugh, I don't think I'll be able to keep watching.

I watched this episode last night and was so upset I couldn't sleep. I passed Louis C.K. on the street a week or so ago, so I spent a lot of time imagining things I would have liked to say to him if I were the sort of jerk who pesters celebrities on the street. I really, really want the last two episodes to somehow show Louie how fucked up not only this incident but also the way he went about things with Amia was, but I'm not super optimistic either.
posted by naoko at 7:26 AM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


He did nearly the exact same thing with Amia, but for some reason it seems like most viewers felt affectionate towards that hookup.

I think that with this new episode he's challenging the audience to justify their feelings toward what he did with Amia.


I actually think the resolution of the Amia plotline was schmaltzy and unearned and the rapeyness feels less ugh given Pamela's personality and prior relationship with him, where they both are kind of repulsive to one another and like it. Also, I just love Pamela Adlon.

I can't even really begin to untangle my general feelings about what he's trying to say about sexual politics beyond that, though.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:21 PM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Now I feel like some kind of monster because I'm not totally outraged or confused. What he did was pretty gross, and I'm not saying it was justified or an okay thing to do or Pamela's fault but I felt like we just watched Louie make one of his unadvisable social misreading mistakes, writ large. He misreads things and makes decisions that turn out to make everyone else feel incredibly awkward. This was that but on a bigger, worse scale.
posted by bleep at 5:41 PM on June 5, 2014


Also I'm going to guess it's something about how men have so much more power than they might realize and how easy it is for a guy who thinks he's a decent person to massively hurt someone without meaning to if he's not thinking it through (See also: Model)
posted by bleep at 6:03 PM on June 5, 2014


I have some hope that he really is making a point about rape culture and that it will be made clear in the next episodes. I'm not a huge fan of his standup so the only time I've really run across him outside of the show is when he initially defended Daniel Tosh for making that rape joke. In the aftermath of that he made some encouraging remarks about at least starting to understand why Tosh's joke and his defense of it were not okay. I looked up the dates for when that happened and the previous season of Louie would have already been written by then, so I'm hoping this season is partly a response to that.

I'm throwing my hat into the "the Pamela scene was rapey but he was using it to show how rapey the Amia scene was" ring.

and the rapeyness feels less ugh given Pamela's personality and prior relationship with him

wat
posted by edeezy at 12:18 AM on June 7, 2014


The scene in the diner established that their friendship is one where they're complete assholes to one another. Whereas Amia is sweet and pliant and can't even communicate with him beyond saying "No." Louie can say to Pamela "I'm being a forceful guy. We're going to do this" but there is no room for that in his relationship with Amia, just someone forcing themselves on a woman. Both are pretty gross but the lack of communication just makes the Amia thing way grosser, to me.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:52 AM on June 7, 2014


Amia made it pretty clear she didn't want to get raped the first time they met and she chased him out of the apartment.
posted by bleep at 3:04 PM on June 7, 2014


> he made some encouraging remarks about at least starting to understand why Tosh's joke and his defense of it were not okay

He's also worked Schrödinger's Rapist into his stand-up and condemned the casual use of wifebeater for a garment. He does seem to listen and change.
posted by morganw at 2:13 PM on June 9, 2014


Not happy about 2 weeks between Pamela 1 & 2. I thought giving us an ambiguous Louie/Louis ending where we don't know what the fallout would be was perhaps done on purpose to foster discussion, but having intervening episodes distracts from what could be a teachable moment.
posted by morganw at 2:15 PM on June 9, 2014


I was definitely ooged out by the scene in Louie's apartment, but the more I thought about it - she called him a pussy when they were at the cafe. She basically called him out as a big wimp. Is this the character's reaction to that? He thinks if he takes charge, she will be into it? Also, a similar play "worked" with Amia just a few days before. (In his mind, anyway)

It doesn't make it right or any less gross, but I was just trying to figure out the mindset.
posted by getawaysticks at 9:17 AM on June 12, 2014


I keep saying that, I guess only you and I are the ones who think that.
posted by bleep at 9:42 AM on June 12, 2014


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