“Something is Wrong” about Louie
Namely, you’re not watching it.
Louis C.K. is one of the funniest people on the planet. His humble demeanor and good-will towards others mix with his sharp comedic tongue, delivering some of the finest jokes I’ve ever heard. With his show Louie now in its third season on FX, Louis C.K. takes comedy beyond simple slapstick jokes, tired plots, and laugh tracks and takes a real look at life and all the mistakes and hardships that come with it.
Something Is Wrong begins with probably one of the funniest masturbation jokes I’ve heard in a while as Louie describes the difficulty of masturbating in his older years because when he does he can’t fully see his penis, seeing it only as a blur and leading him to think that he needs glasses as his vision isn’t the best. This moves on into a joke about how old men with money should think of buying a new penis and it brings up the humorous image of Louis C.K masturbating with some Frankenstein-Penis with old man glasses. It’s a brief comedic moment before we get into the meat & potatoes of the Season 3 premiere.
We begin with Louie meeting his girlfriend (Gaby Hoffmann: Field of Dreams, 13, Uncle Buck) at a cafe. Instead of it being a date in the beginning of the relationship, we start with the end of the relationship. We learn that they’ve been dating for about 6 months and it certainly shows from great acting on both parts. The little nervous ticks between both, the way they know how to push each other’s buttons, shows great chemistry between the two and it makes the eventual break-up even more hurtful. To make it even more squirmily uncomfortable, Louie is too passive-aggressive to start the break-up himself so Gaby has to essentially break-up with herself and Louie never chimes in a single rebuttal, which I guess meant it was indeed time to separate.
Immediately after, playing off the title, Louie leaves the cafe only to have his car destroyed by the city because it’s in the way of a construction site. This prompts Louie to have some sort of mid-life crisis and go buy a motorcycle (as if that could go wrong). While a normal person would be discouraged by the shop attendants graphic and disgusting details of every bone fracture, bruise and cut he’s received from riding on a motorcycle, Louie buys one along with the required leather jacket and helmet, of course. For a while it’s good and Louie is out speeding around town enjoying himself before being reminded that motorcycles aren’t for older gentlemen as a group of young bikers come blazing past him, doing all sorts of tricks and going at speeds that Louie obviously would never go. His distraction leads to an eventual crash.
Louie ends up in the care of a doctor who doesn’t hide his disgust for people on motorcycles, talking constantly about how stupid it is. He leaves with minor damage physically, but definitely comes out with some emotional damage. His (ex) girlfriend returns to his home to pick up her laptop and upon learning of his condition decides to at least help him out by cooking him something to eat. This leads to probably one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. Even though earlier in the episode he decides to leave her, with this new problem it seems that Louie is desperately in the need of some kind of affection and asks Hoffmann to “Stay” in a confused, lonely, sort of needy tone. This sets Hoffmann off on him, delivering a cruel, yet necessary monologue about how if he goes with her to her family’s for Thanksgiving as earlier proposed, it would lead to them eventually becoming a couple again and that would lead to misery. “Do you realize that you might be wasting four years of both of our lives because you can’t say, ‘Bye, see you?’ right now because in this second that feels weird?” basically telling Louie to stop being a bitch and man-up before storming out of his house.
One thing I love about Louie is that the whole show could just be a simple slice of life story but it’s those monologues or pieces at the end that set up this universal idea that is explained. It makes the whole show feel like a message. Louie can’t see past his own neediness. He tends to want to live in the now but his girlfriend focuses on the future and does what’s best for both of them. Louie is probably one of the funniest shows on television right now, but that doesn’t stop it from teaching important life lessons as well.