Friday, August 3, 2012
Louie - "Barney/Never"
What makes an asshole? Are people born that way or is it a learned behavior? If you've seen Louis' evil child bit from his Beacon Theater special, you'll know he rests the blame squarely on the shoulders of permissive parents. I happen to have mixed feelings about this. After reading a recent story in the New York Times about psychopath children, I've realized that some parents just have shit luck and end up with empathy-lacking forces of destruction. Life is like a box of chocolates...if some of those chocolates turn into serial killers.
Of course, I am also of the opinion that about half of all asshole children are just the result of shitty permissive parents. Kids are growing and learning constantly; and they have no frame of reference for wrong and right except what they learn from their elders. They will continue to do bad things until trained otherwise. When the people responsible for training them decide, "fuck it, do what you want; it's all good," the kids will give in to their basest impulses. And the Never segment of last night's Louie episode wonderfully illustrated this point. Yes, Never's mom thinks she's helping her child's self-esteem by allowing him to do whatever he goddamn well pleases, but she forgets that it means Never will forever be cut off from meaningful relationships because no one can stand him.
Which brings us to the other big theme in the episode: mortality. More specifically, the ways that we will be remembered when we die. With the Barney segment, I was actually reminded of the previous episode "Telling Jokes/Set Up" and the conversation at Papaya Dog between Louie and Allan Havey over the dead hack comedian. Sometimes we don't have any control over the way we're remembered. If a comedian happens to die during the period when he's using a hack routine, he's forever remembered, if it all, as a hack comic. The lucky people die during their peaks, and are forever remembered as geniuses.
Some people, however, have perfect control over the ways they'll be remembered. When you treat everyone like shit you can't be surprised (or care, because you're dead) when no one shows up at your funeral. Interestingly, dead asshole Barney Ross (the grown-up version of Never), though hated and funeral-ignored by loved ones, was mourned by a tittie bar. This asshole, who cheated everyone he knew, who treated everyone like shit, did decide to form bonds with the dirtbags at a tittie bar. He was incapable of meaningful relationships; he could only bond with the people with whom the basis of the bond was sex and commerce. That sure says some kind of something.
By the way, sorry for the lack of a plot description this time around, but I did want to point out that, oh yeah, this is perhaps the funniest episode of Louie to date.
For such a funny episode, "Barney/Never" sure begins on a dour note. No stand up, no bouncy opening music. Just a whole mess o' European art film in a cemetery.
I love the flights of fancy on this show. Louie must watch a child named Never because his mother is having her vagina removed—an elective surgery. And Never can't eat anything with Carbon in it; it's all from China.
Holy shit, cameos everywhere up in here: Artie Lange, Opie and Anthony, Jim Norton, Amy Schumer, JB Smoove, and I'm sure I'm missing others. Just a shitload of Louis' comedy pals.
I love child agent Doug. It looks like he's on a prom date.
Artie Lange running from the leaking truck and yelling "Holy shit, run" caused me to laugh harder than...well, I honestly can't remember the last time I laughed that hard. To my roommate, I'm sorry if I woke you.
I love that when Louie told the rug-stealers they were stealing his rug, they responded with the finger. Good old New York hospitality.
I can't wait to get a vasectomy.
We here at KL5-FILM would like to state that we would never disparage the fine city of Kansas City nor its denizens. It is a wonderful town to take the family on vacation or to settle in. Please visit Kansas City.
"I'm pretty sure Barney was the biggest piece of shit I ever knew."
"What's you price for flight and finding Mr. Right? You'll be all right tonight."
"You wanna eat it raw?"
"In a bowl. I have it like that a lot. I like it."
"Did you just throw my rug out the window?"
"I diarrheaed in the tub."
"Because you eat raw meat and you shit in the tub and you wreck everything."
"My mom says that any choice I make is ok because I love myself."