TV: ‘Louie’ season three recap: If you’re not watching this show, you’re missing history in the making

By Will Ashton |  wa054010@ohiou.edu
Louie wrapped up its third season Sept. 20. The show is renewed for a fourth season and airs on FX.

If it wasn’t for Breaking BadLouie would be the best show on television.

Granted, I haven’t seen such shows as Boardwalk EmpireGame of ThronesHomelandBossSherlock or the rest of Mad Men or Dexter, but, while each of shows are likely excellent in their own individual ways, none of them are changing television as we know it now.

Plus, I have the backing of Metacritic, the basis of all television critics working today.

While season 3 isn’t quite as good as season 2 overall, this season continues to prove that Louis C.K. is getting even more confident and competent in his direction, writing, editing, and acting, and that the television sitcom is no longer what it used to be.

With the exception of episode 9, “Looking for Liz/Lilly Changes,” which ultimately ended up pretty average, every episode this season ranged from really good to downright excellent.  In season 3, Louis C.K. decides to boil down his show to one central theme: acceptance.  Whether this is from his children, his ex-wife, the girl at the book store, or the people at CBS, Louis C.K. expands on his character Louie’s ambition to want to be loved.  And through great episodes like “Daddy’s Girlfriend: Part 2,” “Late Show: Part 3,” and “New Year’s Eve,” C.K. demonstrates these themes while continuing to balance the show’s now signature style of hilariously awkward to somberly dramatic or heartbreaking.  But in these three episodes only, he’s also able to warm your heart, usually after the most devastating of situations, to the point that you almost want to break down and cry.

But the reason Louie is so groundbreaking and great, especially in a time where TV seems great everywhere (except on TLC, MTV, you get the idea), is that the show is always able to experiment with the show and push the boundaries of what the show can become and be.  With episodes like “Dad,” he was able to make an entire episode a dream, literally, without mentioning it once.  In the “Late Show” trilogy episode arc, C.K. pushes on themes like what his value is as a human and entertainer in ways that no other “sitcom” on TV would even think to do.

But even when trying to write down how brilliant Louie really is, the best way to do it is really to watch it for yourself.  Few other shows on television, let alone sitcoms, will make you think the way it does afterwards.  In just a few minutes less than half-an-hour, C.K. is able to push themes and ideas that other filmmakers could even try to do in twice or three to four times that running time.

Plus, this season features guest roles from such stars as Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, David Lynch (who’s downright great in his two-episode arc), Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Jay Leno, and more.

So, what are you waiting for?  Check out Louie and see how TV history is changing forever.

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