Season five of Louie on FX has regained the consistency that season four somehow lost, albeit in bizarre, spectacular, and, as always, painful fashion.
What that means is titular character, Louie, the creation of comic, Louis C.K., consistently failing to rise above the mediocrity around him and falling face first into every conceivable hassle that confronts and confounds him on this FX show. Louie’s footing in this world is a slippery, muddy, one-step-forward, two-steps-back, fall on your face, in the muck, kind of world. It is the world of the born loser, a perpetual black cloud over his head, moping through life while seemingly helpless at the merciless dysfunction and stupidity that surrounds him. Welcome to Louie on FX.
This entire FX show is an paean to Murphy’s Law. In effect, if not fact, it is an axiom of Murphy’s Law known as Louie’s Law. Edited for time and space, after all Louie’s world is New York City, Louie’s Law simply dispenses with the contingency of “if.” In Louie’s Law the outcome is not contingent. Thus, Louie’s Law simply states, “Things will go wrong.” It is the spectacular fashion in which this happens that Louie viewers are privy to. Can I say we are much the richer for it? More like, better him than us. Oh, the disasters that befall poor Louie.
It is supposedly funny to watch someone slip and fall on the ice, and viewers watch Louie do it over and over again. Yet, it is so bad that Louie can slip and fall on the ice and end up covered in sewage. Somehow it always devolves into the worst possible scenario. And Louie always keeps it real, too. These things not only can happen, they do happen. But ever so rarely, things get so bad they are actually good, and the pendulum of dysfunction swings back in Louie’s direction for the good, for once, as he dodges it instead of getting hit smack in the face.
This season when Louie had to bail his “brother” (who are these people, anyway) out of jail, the jailhouse call came right in the middle of his daughter’s birthday slumber party. Louie is left no choice but to take the entire party to the police station. Disaster is writ large as the preteen party rampages into the police station. The uncooperative police give Louie the hurry-up and wait routine. However, after a few minutes of girls run amok, replete with screaming, crazy carrying-on, non-sequitur confessions, and hats put on incoherent drunks, somehow the officer in charge clears his busy desk for Louie. Getting the girls out of the police station is no longer secondary to keeping the drunks and creepers in jail. Everybody heads home, great new stories to tell, and brother out on bond.
But this is keeping it real. Consider it Louie’s gift to you. Keep it in your back pocket for when you really need it. I’ve seen it work even in court at criminal docket calls. You have probably seen it work elsewhere. When you just gotta get out of something, nothing works faster than a bunch of screaming, unruly, uncontrollable kids, or a wailing bloody-murder baby, inappropriate to the staid setting, to get you a much needed hall pass and reprieve for another day. Every dog has its day and in Louie’s world the rare victories are sweet indeed. Somewhere in the back of Louie’s mind, his ever present, “Oh, my God,” exclamation, which can mean a thousand things in Louie’s woebegone world, this time meant just one thing: “Bingo.”