The third season of Louis C.K.’s FX show, Louie, spans 13 episodes and is a mixed bag of really strong great episodes, mixed with a few so-so ones that really seem kind of pointless. Despite the range of quality in episodes, one thing that is very noticeable is that Louie has a lot of friends in showbiz, and there are a crap ton of cameos throughout the season. Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Robin Williams, Susan Sarandon, Paul Rudd, David Lynch, Artie Lange, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, Jay Leno, being some of the most notable.
One of the good story arcs for the season is from Episode 4 & 5 “Daddy’s New Girl Friend Part 1&2″ where Louie is trying to date this girl who works in a book store. Over these two episodes you see Louie go through the awkward process of getting up the nerve to ask her out, as well as their fairly random date. Louie is a show where most of the time stuff doesn’t work out for him, and his life is fairly depressing, so it’s nice to root for his happiness in these episodes.
So we have great episodes like “Daddy’s New Girlfriend” then we have episodes where nothing happens! Episode 7 “Ikea Piano Lesson“, Louie goes to go to Ikea with some crazy ex of his, Louie finds out he has crabs and goes to the pharmacy, Louie then visits a friend who he hasn’t spoken to in 10 years because they were fighting, only to realize he actually apologized to this person 5 years ago and forgot. That’s it. That’s what happened.
Episode 8 “Dad“. Louie’s uncle visits him and says Louie should go visit his father in Boston because his dad misses him. Louie hasn’t seen his father for two years and doesn’t really want to, so he avoids going. But then Louie becomes stressed out about the idea of not visiting his father, and starts vomiting and forming rashes from anxiety about putting it off, so he just decides to go to Boston and do it. Louie then flies to Boston, knocks on his fathers door, and then runs away before his dad answers. End of episode! Not that funny, not much happened. Waste of my time.
Episode 9 “Looking for Liz Lilly Changes“. Louie goes to the bookstore looking for the girl he dated earlier in the season, but she no longer works there. So he attempts to search for her for half the episode, never finding her. Louie is then at home with his daughters, it appears one of them has ran away from home, so Louie phones the police, but it turns out his daughter didn’t run away, she was just reading in the closet. So nothing really happened, another waste of an episode!
So up to this point I was kind of disappointed in the season, but the next story arc was really fantastic. Episode 10,11 & 12 “Late Show Part 1-3” are all about Louie being told by CBS that David Letterman is retiring from the Late Show, and that CBS is thinking of Louie as well as Jerry Seinfeld to replace Dave as the host. It’s a long shot that Louie will get the job, as Jerry is the strong favourite. But over the three episodes you witness a Rocky-esque underdog story of Louie trying to against all odds prepare to host a test Late Show and do well. It’s a story that really sucks me in, and I found myself having to watch all three episodes in one sitting. I won’t spoil the conclusion, but it’s a very fitting ending.
Last episode of the season titled “New Year’s Eve” was just perfect. The episode was a masterpiece in a way, even deserving of an Emmy. While not terribly funny, the episode is actually kind of dark and depressing, yet it is heart-warming and gives a message of hope. In the episode, Louie has Christmas morning with his girls and watches them open their presents. While watching their happy faces he remembers all the shit he had to do to get them those presents and all the wrapping involved. Then Louie’s ex shows up with her new husband, and takes the kids away to go on a vacation for the next few weeks, so Louie spends the remainder of the holidays in his apartment “all alone” fairly depressed. His sister invites him on the phone to come do stuff with her over New Years, but Louie declines. Louie then has a dream sequence of his girls in their early twenties at a restaurant talking about Louie and how alone and sad he is as an old man. Louie then decides he doesn’t want that for his life, so he wanders the city in search of companionship. Louie is on a bus, and happens to run into his love interest from the book store from earlier in the season. Which is great, so you are thinking maybe Louie can finally be happy with her. Of course his bookstore love interest DIES INSTANTLY! Haha, you’ll see what I mean. While maybe that female character didn’t have to die so suddenly, somehow it works for the story. So then Louie decides to go on a trip himself for the rest of the holidays, and picks a kind of random location. On his trip, Louie in an unexpected way finds the human connection and happiness he is searching for.
Season 3 of Louie overall did not disappoint. While the show itself is not on the same level as other great modern day comedies such as Curb Your Enthusiasm, and while certain episodes of this season were real duds, overall I must say I did enjoy it, and would definitely recommend it to others.