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May 16, 2011 2:21 PM   Subscribe

Louis C.K. has what most artists dream of: total creative control over his show.
posted by reenum (45 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm very excited to see what he comes up with this next season. However, and this is said as someone who is a fan, hopefully what he comes up with is some new jokes, because season one of Louis had way too many jokes from Life with Louis. Different styles I know, but still.
posted by dirtylittlecity at 2:25 PM on May 16, 2011


Wowza, that's one awful photograph of the man.
posted by item at 2:28 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


(They need to contact her people for permission to use her name, Louis tells me during a break.)

So not complete total creative control ... I doubt FX will let him do anything for which they will be liable... I also doubt he gets to show his cock.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:32 PM on May 16, 2011


Wowza, that's one awful photograph of the man.

It's all part of the man's appeal.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:32 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Between Archer, Justified, and Louie FX is on a roll these days. If only other networks would learn that giving more creative control can result in some really ogreat programs with original voices. Oh, and they also push the boundaries of language on tv.
posted by boubelium at 2:39 PM on May 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


Don't forget It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia...
posted by nathancaswell at 2:39 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, between Louie and It's Always Sunny, FX is definitely making a name for itself as the network that doesn't get in the way of good TV.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:47 PM on May 16, 2011


Yeah, FX is proving that TV can be better than just good for a while now. It's weird; having a network treat me like an adult by providing me with entertainment that actually has some nuance and depth or humor that doesn't have to be spelled out.

And by "weird: I mean "wonderful".

Giving C.K. creative control makes a lot of sense, he knows what he wants to say, and they realizes that sometimes that might be further than the network is comfortable going, putting it on him lets him rise or fall based on his own decisions.

I look forward to a future where more decisions like this are more common.
posted by quin at 2:48 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


more decisions like this are more...
posted by quin at 2:49 PM on May 16, 2011


Uh, it just keeps getting worse:

more decisions like this are more...

posted by quin at 2:50 PM on May 16, 2011


Finally, Louis picks up a longer card, with sentences printed in black marker. “Human kindness has no reward,” he reads. “You should give to others in every way you see. You should expect absolutely nothing from anyone. It should be your goal to love every human you encounter. All human suffering that you’re aware of and continues without your effort to stop it becomes your crime. Humans are always evolving. If you do one thing that if done by every human would destroy the world, that makes you Hitler.’”
Damn.
posted by incomple at 2:51 PM on May 16, 2011 [23 favorites]


I like Louis C.K. a lot but his bitterness is getting a little old. Got to a point where I just couldn't relate any more. Like his most recent standup movie I was just hoping it wouldn't be all "I suck, women suck, blah blah" but it was :( I think a lot of why he's so funny is that his stuff about kids etc was mean yet relatable. But it's stretched to the point where I'm not really feeling it any more.

Don't get me wrong I think he's still funnier than 90% of comics out there & loved the absurd bits of his last movie. But I hope he tones down the over-the-top bitterness going forward cos enough already
posted by jcruelty at 2:59 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


But the network’s greatest success has been with comedies.

Odd to put The League above The Shield, Rescue Me and Sons of Anarchy.
posted by Bookhouse at 3:11 PM on May 16, 2011


Yeah, FX is proving that TV can be better than just good for a while now. It's weird; having a network treat me like an adult by providing me with entertainment that actually has some nuance and depth or humor that doesn't have to be spelled out.

The Bully episode was oddly surprising and nerve-wracking for a comedy show. So many different ways that could have played out.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:24 PM on May 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


God, I miss The Shield so much.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:25 PM on May 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I like Louis CK, but Lucky Louie was really not a good show, and its made me hesitant to watch any of his other TV projects. I mean, I get dark humor, and I'm cool with that, but Lucky Louie was just ... depressing ... and not very funny.

In general, though, I tend to think Louis CK as more "hey, he's got a point" and less "laugh-out-loud funny".
posted by Afroblanco at 3:29 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


By the way, the recent special Talking Funny on HBO, featuring nothing but an hour of Louis CK, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld and Ricky Gervais talking about the art and craft of comedy, is one of the more fascinating things I've seen recently. No moderator, no clips, just a serious (and funny) discussion between four intelligent men who sit at the top of their particular game. Fantastic.
posted by Bookhouse at 3:47 PM on May 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


I have an enormous man-crush on Louis C.K. and we've been rewatching Lucky Louie and Louie recently. Some of the Louie episodes, like the bully and crucifixion ones, are truly great television. But I also get the sense that he's stretching himself a little thin as a comedian, as the self-loathing material, while generally hilarious, is a little stale and can only go so far. It would be interesting to see him try his hand at some true drama, maybe. Or maybe a book? Also I wish he would disassociate himself from Ricky Gervais, not as buddies of course, just in their work, because I used to adore Gervais but he is really starting to grate quite badly. I admit he was okay as Louie's obnoxious GP though.

Archer is enormous fun. I get that a whole lot of people hate it and I get why they hate it and even while I'm watching it I see all the things they hate but it really has its hooks in me and I'm not letting it go. Also I think 30 Rock ought to be put to bed now. Good run, guys, but you're starting to push it. 'Course, if I was making a million bucks a minute I guess I'd push it as long as possible too.

As for Justified, I only got through a couple of episodes but maybe I should give it another whirl.. I think my problem is I was going into it hoping for Seth Bullock in the 21st Century.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:47 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am always blown away by the creativity of Louis CK. Some folks would use the same hour of standing-up comedy material for a career—he blows it all away after a year and starts over.

His interview with Maron is now a premium episode of WTF (part 1 | part 2) but is amazing listening.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 3:49 PM on May 16, 2011


"I get that a whole lot of people hate it and I get why they hate it and even while I'm watching it I see all the things they hate"

wait, what? no. these people do not deserve comedy.
posted by flaterik at 4:02 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm still a little bitter FX canceled Terriers, it was a great show.
posted by Mick at 4:03 PM on May 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


He has complete creative control because of the tiny amount of money involved. He shoots on Red (and I doubt that he's paying himself IATSE scale) and cuts on a Macbook. Here's another interview.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:24 PM on May 16, 2011


Just wanted to chime in that, I couldn't stand Lucky Louie but I think Louie is one of the greatest shows on tv right now. So definitely give it a chance.

Also, he edits the damn show himself! He's like Chaplin.
posted by saul wright at 4:28 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Art is born of restraint and dies of freedom.

-this has been attributed to both Flaubert and Gide
posted by Danf at 4:30 PM on May 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


As for Justified, I only got through a couple of episodes but maybe I should give it another whirl.. I think my problem is I was going into it hoping for Seth Bullock in the 21st Century.

Yeah, it really grew on me. It was a bit too procedural for my taste to begin with but they've mostly abandoned that for overarching plots. Amazing acting with more than a couple Deadwood alums.
posted by saul wright at 4:37 PM on May 16, 2011


I like Louis C.K. a lot but his bitterness is getting a little old.

Did you see the 'Bully' episode? There's nothing bitter in it. Dark, real yes. But not bitter. Short of the 'Fly' episode from Breaking Bad, I can't remember a better show from last season.
posted by machaus at 4:40 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


hands down the best evidence that comedy is the highest art form - comedy in this sense - based on real truths people are usually afraid to confront. the bully episode referenced above is a prime example - not really funny - but raw and honest and daring - comedy in the way that makes you uncomfortable, and then releases you into the realm of greater knowledge about the human condition or straight up hilarity. my favorite show on television. and I don't miss Terriers.
posted by TMezz at 5:00 PM on May 16, 2011


Louis C.K. has what most artists get: a small audience.
posted by Yakuman at 5:02 PM on May 16, 2011


The bully episode was absolutely fascinating in its willingness to avoid pat answers or fake solutions, but to be perfectly honest, I think the most splendidly realistic episode of the season was the smoking-weed-with-the-neighbor one; it captures the total confusion of being-unaccustomed-to-weed-and-then-going-on-a-bender more faithfully than any other fictional work I've ever seen.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:26 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Danf: I think trying to create your own TV series for $250,000, by yourself, is a pretty massive restraint. Put it this way, Kate Gosselin gets $250,000 per episode to appear on John and Kate Plus 8.

One of the things I really like about Loius CK is he's very aware of privilege. He has one great bit about parents who hit their kids, and after spending 5 minutes excoriating parents who do, says 'By the way, the only reason I can say this is because I don't have a full time job. If you have to work all day I totally get why you might hit your kids'. It's kind of amazing to see a comedian who's so aware of people's circumstances.
posted by Grimgrin at 5:30 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I watched most if not all of the first season of Louie, mainly because of his reputation and because I originally couldn't decide how I felt about the show. Eventually I decided it wasn't for me, and I stopped recording it. (Not a surprise, I suppose, since I've never seen anything on FX that interests me.)

Not trying to tick people off. I mention this only to provide a different viewpoint.
posted by pmurray63 at 5:50 PM on May 16, 2011


Louis is my favorite comic and probably the best there is, but like all artists he has his self indulgences. Mostly I think he wallows in excruciating awkwardness a bit too much in Louie, though there is a lot more to redeem the show. Lucky Louie, however, was pretty much wall-to-wall cringing degradation and, thus, kinda unwatchable.
posted by Theodore Sign at 6:15 PM on May 16, 2011


The weed episode of Louie is one of the go-to things that I show to my friends who say they don't like tv.
posted by box at 6:51 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Bully episode was oddly surprising and nerve-wracking for a comedy show. So many different ways that could have played out.

And CK chose the cheapest, easiest one. That's the danger of giving one guy complete creative control; no matter how talented you are, sometimes you need someone over your shoulder.

It's very much worth watching, though, largely because of the kid who played the bully. He stole the show from the regular cast.
posted by escabeche at 8:24 PM on May 16, 2011


And CK chose the cheapest, easiest one.

I don't know, it didn't seem like easy-watching. Easy to make, maybe.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:27 PM on May 16, 2011


June 23 can't come soon enough! Love me some Louie.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 2:21 AM on May 17, 2011


The whole show is really bizarre. To call it a comedy seems to stretch the definition of the genre. I'm also really curious to see what they do next season.

FX is pretty awesome.
posted by chunking express at 6:57 AM on May 17, 2011


"...because season one of Louis had way too many jokes from Life with Louis."

Where did you get to see Life with Louis? As a Louis freak, I try to see as much of his work as I can.

This was a great article. I really love him and his work.
posted by getawaysticks at 7:04 AM on May 17, 2011


The weed episode of Louie is one of the go-to things that I show to my friends who say they don't like tv.

ha, I like Josh Hamilton. "unless you're too busy wearing those shorts." ^_^ (i cracked up when he threw the water bottle out the window - i know that guy)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:30 AM on May 17, 2011


hands down the best evidence that comedy is the highest art form

OTOH, if there are no jokes and no one laughs and it is just grim, at what point does it stop being a comedy?
posted by smackfu at 5:59 AM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


OTOH, if there are no jokes and no one laughs and it is just grim, at what point does it stop being a comedy?

when it gets to AMC
posted by mrgrimm at 10:20 AM on May 18, 2011


Agreeing with Afroblanco - I hated Lucky Louie, despite being a big fan of Louie CK. I think it had something to do with the laugh track? But Louie, that's an awesome show.
posted by OrangeDrink at 1:09 PM on May 19, 2011


My favorite moment from last season was when he was trying to have dream sex with a news anchor and he's all, can I fuck you and she pulls out a knife and starts yelling, "Daddy, Daddy!" Which becomes his daughters' voices as he wakes up. So messed up.

Why do people hate Archer? Family Guy is just as crude (but not nearly as good), right?
posted by angrycat at 6:23 PM on May 19, 2011


I don't understand why anyone would hate Archer. It's a much more refined version of Frisky Dingo.
posted by smackfu at 7:58 AM on May 20, 2011


ha yt , I like Josh Hamilton. "unless you're too busy wearing those shorts." ^_^ (i cracked up when he threw the water bottle out the window - i know that guy)

I know that guy too, and the assumption is he's such an asshole it's funny, but it's not - it's just spending time with an asshole. Which is why I tried with Louie CK for a few episodes and gave up; the show mistakes aholery for funny.

In every comedian there's a mixture of funny:a-hole. You can't have too much of the latter without ruining the former. The ratio is too much aholery in the writing and the characters, not enough of the funny.

However, there was one scene that stood out as incredibly funny: Louie's on a date and they both need to use the bathroom at a restaurant. While his date is in the bathroom, someone comes banging on the door and complains that they've got to take a dump. His date comes out and is very indignant, mistaking the rude customer for Louie. Extremely funny, mostly for his date's reaction.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:43 AM on May 20, 2011


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