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Louie “The Road: Part 2” Review (5×08)

29 May

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“It’s comedy. It’s fun.”

“The Road: Part 2” is centered around several contrasting character interactions, each one highlighting a different aspect of Louie’s personality and of others’ perceptions of that personality. The first one involves Louie dressing up as a general and subsequently dancing up a storm, and it’s a prime example of his ability to interact with others, of his willingness to be open to new experiences. The women do nothing less than fawn over him, and he certainly comes away from it feeling happy about what he just did.

Of course, the second interaction then comes crashing into the picture. Yes, Louie can be open, but it’s important to remember what he said last week about his desire to be alone during these tours. He certainly can come across as an asshole here–Kenny’s not immune to the asshole bug, either–and as Kenny asks: “You’re too good for me?” This conversation seems to be about examining Louie’s standing as a comedian, about exploring the attitude he takes toward comedy and, by extension, life in general. “You’re just a drag,” Kenny says. “I like to have fun.” This criticism of the mundanity surrounding being a comedian isn’t exactly new ground covered by the show, but Kenny’s impression of Louie hits home for him.

And so, the show proposes, maybe being on the road doesn’t have to merely be filled with the mundane. “It’s about comedy,” Kenny tells him. “It’s about being funny and being fun and outrageous.” The fart joke conversation between the two of them is some of the most hilarious, yet poignant, acting CK’s ever done for this show, and it’s a wonderful way to close off a season of character examination. Fart jokes are funny, and there’s no use attempting to place yourself on some sort of higher ground above them. Ultimately, in the scene coming closest to last week’s absurdities, Kenny ends up slipping and bleeding out on the bathroom floor, but that doesn’t take away anything from the message. Louie will move on in life, and he certainly will have those moments of emptiness and mundanity (as encapsulated by the fact that April–the blonde girl–stares vacantly through him after the news of Kenny’s death). However, it’s those little joys in life that you have to grasp ahold of. You need to find what you’re good at and try to enjoy it, and perhaps it will be less of a job and more of a hobby.

GRADE: A-

SEASON GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

– “Here, wipe your face with this. I only came in it twice.”

-I like the way we cut to commercials in this episode. Not much applause, then cutting out essentially mid-sentence. Highlights the weakness of his set (in his special, you hear some similar jokes, and they’re met with a much stronger reaction).

-Watching CK’s new special–Live at the Comedy Store–as I write this review. It’s not quite as strong as his previous specials, but it’s still hilarious, as expected.

-Lots of Civil War stuff this week. The general dress up, the bit of race standup, “Ashokan Farewell” (from the Ken Burns documentaries) being played by the violinist, Louie’s final story about taking the last shot of the Civil War/snakes/etc.

-Short season, but hey….quality over quantity, right? I don’t know how the rest of the series is going to go, but I have a feeling like it’s going to be a bit like Larry David’s handling of Curb Your Enthusiasm: whenever CK feels like making a new season, he’ll make it. He definitely–and rightfully–has a ton of creative control here. Here’s to season six!

Photo credit: Louie, FX

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3 Responses to “Louie “The Road: Part 2” Review (5×08)”

  1. Khalid at The Blazing Reel May 29, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    This show is art. And while Louie is a perfectly good comedian, I believe his truly calling is filmmaking. I mean remember episode 5, that was something between Kubrick and Lynch.

  2. Matthew Thompson May 29, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

    Good finish to a good season. I enjoyed it more this year than last. “Sleepover” was probably my favorite episode this season.

  3. JustMeMike June 1, 2015 at 7:25 am #

    I guess I am in the minority – as these two ‘Road Show’ episodes left me unmoved. Granted they did bring out the fact that a comedian’s life, is not all a barrel of laughs. And that flying off to somewhere to tell jokes, ie perform as a comedian – is not as ideal as we might think it could or should be, and certainly is not even fertile ground for humor.

    I did get that Louie wanted to be left alone and that he wasn’t about the parties, the booze and drugs, and the sex like Kenny.was.

    There was a certain reality to Louie whereas Kenny, while on the road, turned towards unreality. As if Louie wanted to be the same when he was away from home, and Kenny wanted the opposite – which was the escapism that the comedian’s life on the road offered.

    In any event – Polar Bear, best wishes for your Blackhawks – my Rangers got struck by Lightning, and so their roller coaster of a season ground to a halt. For me except for Game Five and Game Seven -it was a lot of fun.

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