Review: Louie Season 1 Blu-ray/DVD

STUDIO: Fox | DIRECTOR: Louis C.K. | CAST: Louis C.K.
6/21/2011 | PRICE: Blu-ray/DVD combo pack $39.99
commentary, featurette, deleted and extended scenes
NR | 281 min. | TV comedy | 1.78:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1/ DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 | English, Spanish and French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Program | Audio | Video | Overall

Louie TV scene

Louis C.K. is Louie.

Louis C.K., the sad-eyed, red-goateed comic who has never met a funny line too poor in taste to say out loud, is the star and creative force behind the F/X comedy series Louie, which returned for its second go-round two days after season one was released on disc.

Largely based on his real life as a stand-up comic and divorced father of two, Louie is comprised of mostly outrageous and usually hilarious vignettes hatched from his comedy bits, which are interspersed between segments a la Seinfeld.

Many of the shorts are grounded in Louis C.K.’s own experiences, he notes on his commentary tracks accompanying all but two of the 13, 22-minute episodes, at least until they veer off into wild fiction. This is free-form storytelling; some bits have no logical ending. (One such sequence finds a prospective girlfriend dashing off into a waiting helicopter to escape a bad date.) In some cases, consistency goes out the window in service to the jokes Louis C.K. wants to tell. The only goal, it seems, is to evoke laughter – and poke fun at the comedian’s reputation as a perennial loser.

Set in New York City, the show’s fabric is strewn with small but memorable turns by actors representing all walks of life, along with some familiar faces and cameos. (Cemetery Junction‘s Ricky Gervais as Louie’s doctor and Election‘s Matthew Broderick as himself are particularly fun).

When you’ve stopped laughing at the episodes, you can laugh anew at the comic’s audio tracks. He was so unprepared to do them, he admits, we’re lucky that he can even remember some of the actors’ names, and he’ll tell us to go “IMDB” someone when he can’t recall the movie in which they appeared. He even takes cell phone calls during the recording session.

Other extras include the short and self-promoting The Writer’s Draft from Fox Movie Channel, and some deleted and extended sequences.

If you have the stomach for Louis C.K.’s no-holds-barred schtick, if jokes about sodomy, death and self-gratification roll off of you, you’ll find a lot of out-loud laughs on this set.

Bring on season two.


Buy or Rent Louie: The Complete First Season
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About Gary

Gary Frisch has been contributing laserdisc, DVD and Blu-ray reviews to Video Business magazine, Home Theater Magazine, Home Theater Buyer’s Guide, Stereophile Guide to Home Theater and the DVD Guide for more than 14 years. He still has a collection of more than 40 laserdiscs, along with a working auto-reverse LD player, but thinks Blu-ray is da bomb and anxiously awaits the original Star Wars trilogy so he can buy it for the fifth time.