Louie: Model
May 6, 2014 2:20 PM - Season 4, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Louie opens at a benefit and meets someone.

Everything goes wrong that could possibly go wrong, Louie gets shot down, shows up underdressed at a gig he bombs at, meets a strange woman then hurts her badly.
posted by mathowie (20 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Man, I really loved the first episode last night but hated this one. It seemed problematic from a lot of angles. Louie is doing the poor schlub dumpy guy routine getting shot down by girls that is getting a little bit old. He shows up to the Hamptons benefit and mostly just mocks rich people. Finally, the show ends with him randomly having sex with a woman he accidentally punches and causes permanent damage. I understand the premise of a lot of Louie shows is to put the viewer in uncomfortable situations and having Louie be accused of injuring a woman for comedic effect was unnerving and weird. Later when he complains about money and how he can't pay for her injuries he gets a tough deal under threat of lawsuit.

I know the character on Louie is Louie CK, but only sometimes and mostly a character, but for some reason the mocking the rich and saying "but I don't have millions" felt weird when Louie CK the man is now one of the most successful comics alive and actually does have millions at his disposal. It also felt really weird to make a big punchline in the show around hurting a woman, even if by accident. It left a really sour taste in my mouth watching it.
posted by mathowie at 2:27 PM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm assuming you didn't see the episode a few seasons ago where the women forced herself on him in her pickup, forced him to perform oral sex on her against his will after slamming his head against the glass, and ended with Louis deciding he would meet up with her again?

I'm dead serious, did you not see that? Because I would think if you had seen that, you wouldn't really be surprised by this. He does push it consistently, even more than most people expect.
posted by jjmoney at 2:32 PM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I saw that episode, this one didn't remind me of that one but something about "Ha Ha! You permanently damaged her eye and her career, Ha Ha!" felt like it crossed a too-mean line for me. I might have brought too much baggage to it but it felt gross to try and make a funny situation out of what looked like an physical abuse situation.

I hear in an upcoming episode they switch gender roles on a pick-up artist theme, where a woman acts as the predator on him and I think that's going to work better than this set-up.
posted by mathowie at 2:35 PM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm dead serious, did you not see that? Because I would think if you had seen that, you wouldn't really be surprised by this. He does push it consistently, even more than most people expect.

Or the one where he goes to see the dentist. He definitely pursues some dark themes.

That beings said, the tone of the first two episodes was so different, bordering on the edge of not-real at times, that I fully expected each of these to be dream sequences. Or we'll find out next time that they were dreams. There seem to be clues all over the place that this might be the case, without actually saying it.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:22 PM on May 6, 2014


I'm assuming you didn't see the episode a few seasons ago where the women forced herself on him in her pickup, forced him to perform oral sex on her against his will after slamming his head against the glass, and ended with Louis deciding he would meet up with her again?

Ah, Louie!
posted by hal_c_on at 3:43 PM on May 6, 2014


Huh.

I actually thought the woman's dogged pursuit of him and subsequent seduction was kind of . . . rapey? Rather than the other way around. I mean, yeah, Louie's played with those themes before. But he was less than fully participant in this weird way.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:41 PM on May 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


She was reeeeally making me uncomfortable. Let a man breathe.

I feel like he's already done a lot of excellent, original dramedy with this show, and he brings it together with nice music, cinematography, and editing; in fact, he has such a unique voice with this show that it makes me wonder what he'll be doing when he's 60, 70...

And I'm ambivalent about the envelope-pushing business. I'm sure some here will disagree, but I feel like that was a huge part of Lucky Louie, and I found it grating and unpleasant. I guess that was because that show's version of edginess frequently focused on sex and couples' issues, with Louie as a selfish idiot--the sum total was a big bummer. This show makes a variety of characters into the bad guy, and that's better. I think he's too smart to be edgy just to troll; I wonder if he isn't flipping the gender script to get across how weird and brutal certain behavioral norms are.

I didn't really enjoy this one either, though. It was one scene of awkwardness after another.
posted by heatvision at 6:35 PM on May 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


The scene with the garbage guys at the beginning of the first episode made watching both of these episodes together feel like a never-ending stress dream, even more nightmarish than your every-day Louie episode. I'm pretty sure that was the idea. I usually hate this kind of thing but I feel like I want to go where Louis wants to take me.
posted by bleep at 9:13 PM on May 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


The scene with the garbage guys at the beginning of the first episode made watching both of these episodes together feel like a never-ending stress dream, even more nightmarish than your every-day Louie episode. I'm pretty sure that was the idea. I usually hate this kind of thing but I feel like I want to go where Louis wants to take me.

That seems right to me, and that scene made me watch the rest of it with this possible interpretation. The joke at the elevator was bizarre (compared to the tone of his other shows), and the discussion in the restaurant about him abandoning his kids (and how his friend didn't like his kids) was (intentionally, I think), not meant to be strictly believable. Also, the entire second episode ran like he was "in a dream" uncomfortable with a number of insecurities (like performing in front of people and seriously bombing), and then the surreal date experience that ended pretty bizarrely. It was all very dreamlike. Either we'll find out in subsequent shows this was the case, or the thing that will make it not a cheap move (since the dream thing has been so overdone) is to simply not tell the audience in any overt way.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:57 PM on May 6, 2014


Is it just me or has he abandoned the old title sequence from the show's previous seasons? The one with him walking down a New York street, buying pizza, going to the Comedy Cellar, etc. The intro is more Woody Allen -esque (white text on black, plus jazz), although it's been awhile since I saw season 3, so it could have changed last season for all I remember.

Along with all of the other clues you folks have mentioned that point to these two new episodes being a dream, the title sequence also suggests (to me) that something is off.
posted by good in a vacuum at 10:37 PM on May 6, 2014


It was all very dreamlike. Either we'll find out in subsequent shows this was the case, or the thing that will make it not a cheap move (since the dream thing has been so overdone) is to simply not tell the audience in any overt way.

With the exception of the multi-episode Letterman try-out arc last season and a handful of characters who have recurred, each episode of "Louie" exists in its own universe with very little sense of continuity (the quantity and gender of Louie's siblings can change episode to episode, he took over guardianship of his teenage niece in Season 2 and the character was never mentioned again, an actress played Louie's date in one episode and his mother in another, etc.). I doubt there will be any call-backs to these episodes moving forward. Most episodes of Louie are more akin to a one-act play rather than an ongoing story.

Is it just me or has he abandoned the old title sequence from the show's previous seasons? The one with him walking down a New York street, buying pizza, going to the Comedy Cellar, etc.

Yes, they did get rid of the title sequence. I assume this was done so they could add another minute or two of show to each episode.
posted by The Gooch at 11:04 PM on May 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


Maybe I'm reading more into it than was there, but I saw this episode as mocking the common television contrivance of "Fat schlub with hot, supermodel wife/girlfriend". On its surface the idea of Louie (the TV show version who is only a moderately successful comic) landing a gorgeous, young model seems like nothing more than fantasy wish-fulfillment. Instead of ignoring the elephant in the room (why in the world would a woman who looks like this be with a guy who looks like that) as is so common on TV shows with these kind of couplings, this episode instead turns the whole thing on its head by having the experience forever ruin both of their lives.
posted by The Gooch at 6:14 AM on May 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Actually Gooch I think you're not reading enough into it. He's not just turning the schlubby guy/ hot lady trope on it's head, he's also using it as fodder for the underlying themes in every episode of the show (that serve to tie the episodes/ one act plays together in the absence of traditional continuity) which is that
1. Louie (the character) encounters these women who possess all the self-assuredness and will and opinions and joie de vivre that he lacks, they turn his life upside down and despite his protests he loves it and keeps coming back for more (that little smile at the end when the lady bought him a drink was the whole payoff.) Kind of like a manic pixie dream girl but I think he tries to take care to depict them as people and not shells for his own personal development.
2. The other theme is the world and its inhabitants as chaotic, aggressive and unpredictable and Louie as lost and confused but making sense of it through comedy.

In this one he just takes these themes and pushes them to an extreme, kind of like dreams I have where my brain comes up with a jokey "situation x is so ___ that ___ could happen with ___ result!" concept and then iterates over and over on how far it can go.
posted by bleep at 11:54 AM on May 7, 2014


Gooch, I like your reading of it a lot! Also notable that instead of *him* not questioning the elephant in the room, the Louie character himself is questioning it the entire time, to the point of screwing the whole thing up irreparably. :) It makes no sense to him (understandably), and his lack of ability to roll with it is the source of the discord/comedy. Then, building on bleep's observation about a world in chaos, I kind of see the Louie character in this series as an normal person trying to make it through life in a typical "TV universe", that's filled with the kinds of tropes and inconsistencies that are completely at odds with his reality.
posted by gohabsgo at 10:39 AM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I actually thought the woman's dogged pursuit of him and subsequent seduction was kind of . . . rapey? Rather than the other way around.

And the aftermath, where he's with the lawyer, and the lawyer's all victim-blamey. Quite.

But I think the episode is more broadly about the mega-rich always doing and getting what they want without any concern for other people's feelings or wellbeing. The spoiled indifference is encapsulated perfectly in that one scene where she's wringing out her wet hair right onto the marble floor -- someone else will mop that up -- and Louie immediately slips on it and falls and she doesn't so much as bat an eyelash.

I know the character on Louie is Louie CK, but only sometimes and mostly a character, but for some reason the mocking the rich and saying "but I don't have millions" felt weird when Louie CK the man is now one of the most successful comics alive and actually does have millions at his disposal.

Well, yeah. But it's pretty hard to write comedy about things you have no experience with. I mean, the whole situation was set up by a phone call from his close friend Jerry frigging Seinfeld; it's not as if he's hiding anything. Besides, Louis C.K.'s not exactly one of the old-money Hamptons trillionaires who were getting the brunt of it.

And FWIW, I don't think Louis C.K. has so many millions at his disposal that he can afford to just throw five of them away. That line may not have strictly speaking been true of the real Louis C.K., but it's accurate enough. (Show-Louie's probably still in debt anyway, from that poor real estate decision awhile back.)

Finally, if millionaires can't use their own sitcoms to poke at trillionaires, who can? The alternative is that that just doesn't happen. How rich are you that you think that's preferable?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:59 PM on May 8, 2014


Yeah, my takeaway from this was that it was sort of what date rape would look like from a male perspective.

the discussion in the restaurant about him abandoning his kids (and how his friend didn't like his kids) was (intentionally, I think), not meant to be strictly believable

That's Todd Barry, who's been on the show before, and usually in his scenes finds ways to shit all over Louie's life in an absurd way not unlike this scene. I think it's a running gag and wasn't really different from other scenes with Todd Barry I remember from previous seasons. (I'm especially thinking of one where he does this whole bit about wanting to stuff Louie's mom into a bathtub full of shit.)
posted by Sara C. at 5:48 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Louie is doing the poor schlub dumpy guy routine getting shot down by girls that is getting a little bit old.

"Dude. You gotta stop asking everybody out . . . you can't ask everybody. You think people like saying no?

. . . It takes its toll."

Gems like that do not get old. Come on. I was almost in tears.

The rest of the episode though, yeah, a little off-putting. Still, as bleep says, I'm ready to go where Louie wants to take me. I haven't regretted it so far. Looking forward to the rest.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 1:07 PM on May 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's Todd Barry, who's been on the show before, and usually in his scenes finds ways to shit all over Louie's life in an absurd way not unlike this scene. I think it's a running gag and wasn't really different from other scenes with Todd Barry I remember from previous seasons.

And from different shows! Todd Barry has played that dryly sarcastic condescending dick character (it's pretty much his standup act) on Dr Katz and Home Movies and a bunch of other stuff. He's good at it.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:17 PM on May 9, 2014


Which is hilarious because I just heard his interview on Maron after only knowing him from Louie and maybe an episode of Dr. Katz or something, and he's not like that at all.
posted by Sara C. at 1:51 PM on May 9, 2014


He also did it on Flight of the Conchords to great effect.
posted by bleep at 2:34 PM on May 9, 2014


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