"Dogpound" S1 / E8
- B+ Community Grade
A few days back my girlfriend went on a retreat and I found myself at home alone for the first time in several weeks. I planned to luxuriate in my freedom and independence but after about five minutes I found myself thinking, “Fuck. I miss my girlfriend. I can’t wait until she comes back.”
Louie found himself in a similar predicament this evening when his children left for a week with their mother. At first C.K indulged in all of his most forbidden vices: namely eating so much ice cream in such a disturbingly sensual fashion that he lapsed into an ice cream coma.
Then his peaceful, calorie-rich idyll was interrupted by voluminous clouds of pot smoke from his next-door neighbor’s apartment. When he went over to politely ask him to stop his neighbor began speaking in Zen koans. That, or he was just really high and fucking with C.K. He was at once friendly and weirdly antagonistic, dickish and cryptic.
The show nailed all the details of stoner life (or so I would imagine), from the mattress tossed haphazardly on the floor to the jug of cheap vodka C.K unwisely samples to the woman passed out indelicately in a sprawling heap. C.K is known in some circles primarily as the man behind the stoner classic Pootie Tang, an album sampled by no less a luminary than Madlib on Jaylib’s Champion Sound, but tonight marked the first time his character actually got high. He got more than high; he got way too fucking high and began to lose his grasp on reality.
In a veritable repeat of Pootie Tang, partaking of a motor bong sent our hero into a surrealistic realm where nothing made sense, people spoke in an unintelligible dialect and the world transformed into a crazy sensual daydream. The episode had a loose, shaggy, vaguely linear narrative but it mostly subscribed to weird stoner logic where everything seems both strangely interconnected and completely random.
It was through the looking glass time as C.K stumbled blearily out into the world and became fixated on the idea of getting a dog. At a pound he watches an employee stroke an old dog in a manner both hypnotic and vaguely creepy and decides to get a dog that dies more or less upon reaching his apartment.
Tonight’s episode broke many of the show’s quasi-conventions. In lieu of two short films, sometimes connected, sometimes not, it offered one overarching narrative, tonight’s episode offered one narrative that ran through the entire episode. In lieu of a constantly changing cast it brought back a pair of semi-regulars—Lucky Louie costar Pamela Adlon as C.K’s potential love interest and the actor who portrays C.K’s brother—only to discard them in the early going.
It fucked around with audience expectations and delivered a never-ending string of inspired non-sequiturs. It felt throughout like a weird dream, the kind you’re semi-sorry you have to wake from.
—“I’m not going to be a bag of shit like I always am.”
—Josh Hamilton, the star of the show that inspired NBC’s Outsourced, which I totally wrote about today for our fall TV preview, played the prankster stoner. Is that, like, trippy or what, man?
—“Unless you’re too busy wearing those shorts.”
—“You gay? Why not?”
—“His mother died two minutes ago.”