Louie: “Telling Jokes/Set Up”
Louie jokes around with his kids and gets blown by an Oscar winner in a good but not great episode.
July 7, 2012 9:37 amSam Lindauer
Like every other week watching the wonderful FX comedy, Louie, there was no telling where the episode would go after the cold open. This week Louie takes us from the innocent joke telling of his kids to as awkward a sexual situation one kind find oneself in. It’s the brilliance of this show that we can have an episode where Louie’s wide-eyed daughters create bizarre knock-knock jokes while he later must argue with a woman (played by Oscar winner Melissa Leo) who is more or less a stranger about the virtues of returning oral sex.
While the set-up date with a woman who hates marriage (much to Louie’s delight) takes up almost all of the episode’s time, it’s the opening where we see CK at the dinner table with his kids. His youngest daughter nags him to tell a joke and after begrudgingly allowing her to tell it, CK finds that he enjoys it. So much it seems his older daughter joins in on the fun and we get a back and forth between the three joke-tellers that feels like a true moment of joy within a family. The fact that it's centered around jokes makes it clear how important it is to CK.
After a hilarious bit of stand-up where CK talks about his daughter’s wild joke-telling mind, that CK charmingly enjoys, we get a slightly more stale storyline where Louis is set-up with another single woman by one of his comedian friends. Of course, both Louis and the woman are miserable throughout dinner, but they both realize that they share a mutual hatred of married people trying to make everyone like them. Louis admires her attitude and they go out for drinks before pulling away into an alley for the crux of the episode.
The woman offer to give Louis a blow job and like any red-blooded American, he accepts. But he doesn’t expect the woman to want him to return the favor. CK declines because he feels it's so intimate. What follows is a discussion of what is “polite” and what constitutes what some may consider slutty. Is it so wrong that the woman just wants to get off? CK is at once reflecting how he would react in that situation while still debating how lousy it is for him to not return the favor. This is another recurring theme throughout the show. CK challenges his own hang-ups. His character will express his own real life feelings, while those around him challenge him. Knowing this, watching an episode of Louie is like watching a genius comedian argue with himself.
I certainly don’t need Louie to be funny each week, but this week seemed to be a flimsy thing to lean an entire episode on. While I enjoyed the conversation with Leo, I felt there was more of an emotional connection to the scene with his children. Not surprisingly, Leo was game for a racy role and did an admirable job, no pun intended. I feel like the actress was kind of bigger than the role. I’m sure people will drool over her performance here because she talks about blow jobs and rim jobs, but I still felt there was more of a resonance with the kids. CK’s honesty about fatherhood almost always hits the mark, and this week was no exception. However the “set-up” story, which took up most of the episode, felt like a long set-up to a middling knock-knock joke.
|FIND YOUR GEEK RATING
out of 10