LOUIE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Comedian Louis CK headlines a new show about the quirkiness of his life. Using a blend of stand-up moments and sketch comedy, Louis CK brings his comedy to life in loosely themed episodes, dealing with everything from dating to fatherhood to drugs. All 13 season one episodes of this FX comedy are presented on two DVD/Blu-ray flip discs.
WHAT I LIKED
While I’m not as much into stand-up comedy as I was back in the 90s during my college years, I do enjoy a good comedian. Louis CK has been around for a long time, long enough for me to remember watching his earlier stand-up bits while I was in college in the 90s. He definitely had the chops for it, and he maintains a depressing enough exterior lifestyle to pull of his brand of humor.
The delivery of the show is far from original, basically presenting itself as a sketch version of the “Seinfeld” model. However, the fact that “Louie” airs on FX gives him the freedom to deliver some of his more edgy material to a television audience.
The sketches are hit-or-miss. When they hit, they’re hilarious, including a brilliant dating mishap in the pilot episode, an attempt to remake “The Godfather” with Matthew Broderick as well as a few hilarious cameos with Ricky Gervais.
Still, my favorite parts of this show come from the stand-up routine, which is when the show’s star is at his most comfortable. Some of the bits are contrived and set up, but that ends with an even funnier result.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The biggest problem with this series is that the sketches get so dark at times that we lose sight of the comedy. This happens in about a third of the episodes, and it usually appears around a somewhat political topic. For example, an early episode features Louis playing poker with some comedian friends, and it leads to an unnecessary and unfunny rant about homosexuality and intolerance by a couple of the guys. It’s times like these that the show pushes into preaching mode, and I just don’t have a taste for that.
The discs are presented as flip-discs, which has the DVD encoding on one side and the Blu-ray encoding on the other side. Consumers can choose the case to resemble a DVD or Blu-ray, but the content is the same inside. While I like flip-discs on principle, it just increases the possibility of scratches and damage to the disc, so handle with care.
Both the DVD and Blu-ray side include the special features of deleted and extended scenes, plus audio commentary on select episodes by Louis CK. An additional featurette from Fox Movie Channel, “Writer’s Draft,” is included.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of Louis CK’s sardonic and often depressing comedy.