Louie's Season 3 Premiere: Older and Blurrier

Louie S03E01: "Something Is Wrong"

It took Louis C.K. all of one second into his Season 3 premiere "Something Is Wrong" to mention jerking off, one of the comedian's favorite topics of conversation. But he talked about it from a "getting older" perspective—as in, how wanking it as an older man differs from spanking it as a 22-year-old Puerto Rican track star. It's his way of talking about his permanent state of adolescence, how behaviors don't get different as you get older, they just get more difficult. Ending relationships, recapturing glory days, finding your dick. It's all tougher post-40.

"Something Is Wrong" wasn't as funny as past installments of of FX's cutting-edge, art-house, nuanced, delightfully deliberate Louie (update: the episode was funnier the second time around), but it had all the other hallmarks that set this series apart from the rest of television. It's real situational comedy, where the situation is often funnier than any punchline. I've always felt that the proper way to watch Louie is A) without commercials (thank you, screener DVDs!), because the show is immune to standard TV pacing, and B) by really putting yourself in Louie's shoes, because just as he does in his stand-up, Louis C.K. does such a fantastic job putting his perspective on camera. This is empathy humor at its best.

The tone of the episode seemed to focus mostly on Louie being stuck in a state of post-divorce adolescence-recapturing. The scene in the restaurant with April, his current not-quite-girlfriend-more-like-plaything, was incredible. Here's Louie eating a plate, not a bowl, of ice cream, sitting opposite a woman who correctly thinks he wants to break up with her. She carries the conversation (we've all been there, right fellas?) all the way through to a discussion of breaking up while Louie does his best impression of a beanbag chair, not quite giving in completely but certainly not resisting that much. It's probably the same way his 17-year-old self would have broken up with a girlfriend. And when she gives him the opportunity to break up with her via his preferred method of indifference, he still comes off as a spineless schlub. I loved her line, "Here, why don't you eat this salad when you're done with your ice cream?" But it was Louie's victory because he can tell himself it wasn't his fault because he didn't do anything. This is apathy humor at its best.

Free from the shackles of April and ready to take on the world, Louie made the obviously stupid decision to buy a motorcycle on a whim and the results were predictably tragic for a man who thought he'd taken out a new lease on life but forgot that life really enjoys taking all sizes of dumps on him. Louie wiped out, mostly on his own volition after being emasculated by hot-shot motorcyclists, and slid a few dozen feet to the base of a parked truck. He can't even crash cool. This is injury humor at its best.

But when April returned to his place (just to pick up her laptop) and noticed his limp, Louie took the opportunity to inflate his accident into a more manly shaped incident and said he got hit by a truck. He immediately regressed into a pampered baby once April offered to help him out, and we saw Louie come full circle. He tried out the two-wheeled mid-life crisis solution, wound up in a hospital, and realized that life is easier when it comes to him. Or in this case, knocks on his door because it forgot its laptop. But frustrated April threw her arms up in the air when Louie suggested they get back together and left. This is pathetic humor at its best.

Louie Season 3 began with a reminder of who Louie is. In the coming weeks we'll see how Louie responds to his foray into temporary manhood, and if what Louis C.K. told us yesterday is any indication, for once, Louie won't take things lying down. At least not until he's finished his plate of ice cream.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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It's was alright... not the best of "Louie", but still very watchable.



People mentioned one of the two big WTF moments of the episodes - Louie's car getting pancaked. But how about Louie's ex BEING BLACK? Did you guys miss that one? Hi ex-wife, the mother of his two caucasian daughters, is a hot black chick! Can someone tell me how in the name can a ginger and an african-american managed to produce blonde, blue eyes children?

WTF indeed...



And this is why I will watch a so-so episode of "Louie" over anything else against it on any other channel. You just don't know what to expect, which is amazing nowadays.

Also, it's straight-up hilarious most of the time.
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Very nice article, Tim. (yes, I give credit when it's due.)



I think people haven't read it because of the headline.



I thought you were going to pan it like you like to do to shows you don't like. So I waited until I watched it before I read your article.



(I also waited to read it because you are spoiler prone, probably because you're a thoughtless...blurry...just kidding)
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Good thing his kids weren't waiting for him in the car :D
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When he said I was hit by truck I laughed very loudly freaking myself out) I love Louie. Best show in comedy absurd genre. When they crushed his car it was hillarious absurd scene. It reminded me previous season scene on subway. Glad that this refreshing show is back.
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Ugh, sorry my comments were so long, I'll put them up as a review. Glad you dug the ep tho, Tim.
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Louie's stand up bit at the beginning of this ep was priceless, I could not stop laughing... right up until the actual episode started, then I did. Because it wasn't good.



This was the "nothing's funny and nothing happened" episode, the only part of the non-standup of this episode that caught me was the confusion about the sign (both the in-story one and the one at the end). This was a real snore, the cinematography wasn't as good as the first seasons even, and the writing just felt like over-trodden territory that had nothing to say - although watching him wipe out on that bike was kinda good, that looked authentic when that bike slid into that truck so hard, I wonder if they expected it to hit so hard.



His moping through several scenes also lacked punch or statement for me, the joke is he's letting it all wash over him while he feels just outside of control of the situations - ok, that's whatever, but it seemed like there wasn't enough of a point behind it.



The motorcycle purchase felt very inauthentic to the character after seeing how cautious he was about being there for his kids, there was no driving force at all behind his choice, not even to get laid or feel alive, just the thinnest possible connection of needing transportation after his car got smashed in the silliest way possible (it was a great shock moment, but felt more like a dream sequence the way it paid off at the end).



The reveal of the wife also added exactly nothing to tje episode for me. Everything she said could have been conveyed on Louie's side of the camera. There seemed like a missing punch to the situation's comedy and statement, like it was apathetic to both sides of the scenario.



This isn't the first time Louie hasn't been a home run for me, I don't expect it to be the worst thing ever and the show is ruined and all that internet nonsense, but a season premiere sets the tone for the viewer, their expectations come from there, and that's what didn't sit well for me.
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I had totally the opposite experience.



I liked the blurry thing in the stand up act but after that it was pretty tacky, and not in a good way. (I was also annoyed by the old lady in the audience background grinning like she was being paid by the tooth.)



While I agree that the rest of the episode was not ha-ha funny (until the last scene on the couch), I loved this episode for it's understated intelligence)
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love louie. the bit at the end with the sign was perfect! and the break-up scene. it makes me think of all the moments i had later thought of the perfect thing to say at the moment.
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Dude, when Louie's car was crushed I was like 'WHAT THE FREAKING INSANE HELL IS GOING ON!!!?'
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It was an awesome WTF moment! Almost as good as the chick getting into a helicopter and flying away just as Louie leans in to kiss her!!
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I laughed out loud all the way through the ensuing commercial break after this scene.

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Definitely one of those surreal let's just put this in moments to show how shitty Louie's life can be. And all it cost them was the price of a mid-sized sedan.
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That car looked so immaculate, that really is what sold the "WTF" moment for me. It didn't look like a wrecked car repaired for a TV stunt, it looked fresh-off-the-lot and then SPLAT.
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