Friday, September 28, 2012
Louie - "New Year's Eve"
And so Louie continues its reign as the preeminent scholar of all things loneliness. Actually, with last night's episode, Louie has shown that any other attempts to document this subject would prove pointless. It was so thorough an exploration of the subject that it, honestly, put to shame even previous episodes' efforts to explore loneliness. It's one thing to show our hero eat himself into a shame/sadness coma; it's quite another entirely to watch a flash-forward dream of his daughters lamenting the fact that they were cursed to be raised by such a lonely sad-sack. Everything about this episode was a punch in the gut.
With last night's episode Louie also proved one of the best jugglers of tone on the television landscape. After so many scenes of loneliness, it was a relief to see Louie dust himself off and make an effort to make an effort. He was gonna visit Mexico with his sister's family. And wouldn't you know it, Liz just happened to be at JFK as well. Oh what happenstance. I honestly got excited to see them embrace.
Well, almost embrace. When Liz's nose started gushing blood, I was so startled by the horrifying image that I thought this another dream sequence. No, this shit was real. And so we had an emotional send-off to Parker Posey's character. Not that any of the other doctor's in the hospital are aware. They are all just happy to run off and watch the New Year's ball drop. But such is life: we are all just side characters in other folks' life stories.
But then we get to China. Now I just wanna point out that I've heard some complaints throughout the run of this series that Louie has an unfortunate tendency to venture into sappy schmaltz territory. I've never been one of those complainers because I've always felt that most of the emotional moments on this show have been well-earned, but I can understand if people aren't in to that sort of thing. If the China finale didn't move you, however, fuck you.
After a harrowing series of events, Louie decides to go to China. After arriving, he tries to find directions to the Yangtze River: it seemed such a magical, happy place in the story he read to his daughter. But then he gets there (maybe) and sees that it's naught but a small stream. Even this proves a disappointment—that is, until he finds the happy family that is only too happy to invite him to dinner.I'm not gonna lie, the sight of Louie connecting with this family—especially after such a long series of depressing moments—left me bawling like a child. Louie is rarely afforded moments of victory on this show, but when they occur they really strike a chord.
Jesus Christ, how can a comedy make me cry this much?
OK, this episode settles it, this has been the best season of Louie to date. Period.
When I was a wee tyke, my parents bought me a Dukes of Hazzard Big Wheel for Christmas. The night before they stayed up late carefully placing all of the numerous stickers on the trike. When I got it, the first thing I did was peel off all the stickers. I was an asshole.
A lot of things get thrown out of windows on this show: water bottles, rugs, Christmas trees.
That was some great REM acting from Louis.
Now this next thing I'm kinda reluctant to bring up because I already reveal way too much of myself on this blog, and it's so relevant to this episode that you'll think I'm making it up. But here goes, anyway. Last night I had a dream that took place a couple decades in the future. In it, my siblings, their spouses and fully grown children were gathered for a family reunion. I arrived alone and was then asked why I never amounted to anything in my life, why I was still stuck in a dead-end job. I immediately woke myself up. I miss the kinds of nightmares I had when I was a kid; monsters chasing me through haunted houses was so much more fun. (By the way, just so people don't worry, I'm really not as much of a lonely depressive person as this story would make it seem. I'm honestly a generally happy person. I brought it up only because it was shocking that I had this dream the night before seeing this episode.)
I can't remember if any of the previous sisters who've appeared on this show were named Debbie. Meaning, was Amy Poehler (Yay, Amy Poehler, by the way) playing a new sister, or was this another case of using a different actress to play the same role?
"Shit on my father’s balls."
"Are you all by yourself?"
"Do you have to say, ‘all?’ Can’t I just be by myself?"
"Yo, is this the funny man?...Funny man, listen up, we’re taking the kids down to Mexico."
"Now I got you a first class ticket out of that left wing Kennedy airport."
"Hi, Jane, it’s so great to see you."
"Why didn’t he try harder to be less alone? How are we gonna know when we get to be this age, not to be alone?"
"We’re probably kinda fucked up from having that kind of a dad."
"Go ahead and put that gun in your mouth."