Louie Season 3 : The Late Show Review


louisck-blog480For the past year a couple of people have specifically told me that I had to watch Louie CK's 3 part episode arc on his FX show, LOUIE.  They said the episodes were made for me.  I have seen probably a third of the show's first two seasons and all of his comedy specials.  I would pick Louie CK as the best working stand up comic of the past decade.  However, I was never much of a fan of his FX show.  It wasn't that I hated the show, it just didn't quite work for me.  I never really could say why.  The Joan Rivers episode fascinated me, but nothing more.  I had heard that this 3 part arc had everything that I love: David Lynch, Late Night TV, Letterman, and Seinfeld.  I have been waiting for season 3 of Louie to show up on Netflix.  It really annoys me that FX doesn't just leave their shows online year round, but for some reason networks would still rather me watch a show on netflix and watch no ads over forcing me to watch ads online.  Either way, I watched the 3 episodes last night and I cannot stop thinking about them. First we have to start with Lynch.  I have no idea how Louie got David Lynch to come on to play a character on this show.  He plays Jack Dahl who is brought in to teach Louie how to host a talk show.  There is no way anyone else could have played this part but Lynch.  With every "Buster" and "Pal" that Lynch throws out there you can't help but smile.   It made we wish that Gordon Cole could get his own spin off.  Heck with the return of Twin Peaks, bring me "Gordon Cole P.I." Monday's at 9 on ABC!   Louie's directing also takes a page from Lynch.  No one can doubt that Louie is a huge Lynch fan, down to the burst of sound that plays every time Lynch rubs his ear.  But the reason I am still thinking about this amazing 3 part show is because Lynch is used to perfection not exploitation.  This is how I feel about all the guest stars.  Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, my arch enemey Jay Leno are all used for a perfect plot point and do not have the "stench" of an NBC sweeps episode.  Yes, the plot is about Louie getting a shot at the big time in show busniess, but the real point is how we all feel like a failure when we are stepping up for a really tough job interview.

I couldn't help but identify with Louie.  I have been turned down for the last 10 promotions I have applied for from Corporate America.  (I don't say that in sadness, I do not have the corporate office personalty down.  If you don't believe me check out my Scott Luck Stories Podcast.)  In fact the very day I watched these episodes, I had just applied for another promotion with the thought that I didn't have a chance in Hell.  It made me wonder, can I find a Jack Dahl to assist me?  I might just use Lynch's advice anyway.  In the apex of the show, he offers Louie some advice that he calls the Three Rules of Show Business.  At first blush, one could say this is another nod to Lynch who loves to have characters tell them rules or clues that come true later in the plot.  It is true that when I heard rule 3,  I immediately thought back to the first episode of the arc and could see how the show would end.  But as I wrote the 3 rules down, I realized that what I really could do is to use them in the world of business as well.


Three Rules of Show Business

1. Look 'em in the eye and speak from the heart.

2. You have to go away to come back.

3. If someone asks you to keep a secret, their secret is a lie.

I think that is the amazing thing about this show.  Yes, it is funny. Yes, it has comedian guest stars, but the true point of the series is about being a parent, being lonely and being afraid.  That is a really brave theme for a "sitcom" to take on.

So the last thing I have to discuss is my arch enemy: Jay Leno.  I have hated Leno since he stole the Tonight Show from Letterman back in the 90's.  My hatred was bound in concrete when he did the same thing to Conan O'Brien.  I find what Leno did with the throne of Carson to be unforgiveable.  He will always be the perfect symbol for how business will trounce art every time.  Even with years of anger I have to admit, Leno's speech to Louie about how no one can remain hip for 14 minutes every night almost moved me.  I mean moved me in a way where I'd still find him guilty and send him to life in prison but also say, that is an interesting point.  Leno has created quite a place in history for himself.  Louie used this back story to the same perfection that he used Lynch and Seinfeld.  It really is impressive how well written this show is.  I will not spoil the ending but I will say that if we were redoing our 20 Feel Good Moments Podcast, I would pick the end of part 3 as one of the best feel good moments ever.  I was surprised by it even though I had figured out the plot point twist before that.  That is the thing about a well done twist ending.  We should know it and be surprised by it.

louie late show end thatreI really suggest these 3 episodes for any student of comedy, fan of late night talk show wars, and of course any Twin Peaks fan.  While I feel like every thing Lynch said would make a great ringtone, it is the scenes with Louie and his children that still haunt me.  I have a feeling I will watch these 3 episodes on a yearly basis.  My guess is that I will watch them again next week when I am turned down for another corporate promotion.  Just like Louie, I will have put on a suit, toned down my comedy and tried to fit in to a world of money.  I just hope that I can take the result as well as Louie does.

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Check out a review of Lynch's Eraserhead