"Poker/Divorce" S1 / E2
- A- Community Grade
Hey y’all, I did not realize that FX was running new episodes of Louie back-to-back last night so I figured I would re-watch the second episode and write it up this morning. I apologize for the lateness.
In my last post, I wrote that each new episode of Louie is radically different than the last. That’s certainly true of this episode, which opens with some of the frankest talk about massive moving gay circle jerks in the history of basic cable. Scratch that: I’m pretty sure that this episode of Louie features the only frank talk about massive moving gay circle jerks in the history of basic cable, unless there’s an unusually explicit episode of The Suite Life Life Of Zack & Cody I’m unfamiliar with.
The first short film elevated the bawdy guy talk-talk of Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn to the level of art. It took the form of a poker game that quickly turns into a game of comic one-upmanship that climaxes with C.K giving a lengthy, hilariously deadpan explanation of how exactly a mother’s ass could be jammed so full of cocks she found in the dumpster that the respective cocks compress to form sort of a pink diamond.
This leads to a graphic discussion of gay sex and anonymous circle jerks that segues into an unexpectedly moving and insightful exploration of the nature and history of homophobia and the power of words to hurt. That’s part of the genius of Louie: C.K has figured out a way to shift gears radically without his show becoming tonally incoherent. It moves from quiet moments of human connection to bawdy irreverence seamlessly and effortlessly. That’s pretty remarkable.
The second short film offers a similarly masterful combination of bawdy comedy and pathos as C.K, feeling lonely and more than a little lost after signing his divorce papers, goes Facebooking in search of the cigarette-smoking, Peppermint Schnapps-swilling bad girl who rattled his teenage mind and left an indelible impression on his youthful psyche when she asked him to whip out his cock when they found themselves alone in the woods together.
C.K didn’t have the guts to go through with it but clearly always wondered what would have happened it he did. In his mind’s eye, the tough girl grew up to be a ravishing middle-age woman, the perfect rebound fuck. So he seeks her out and discovers that she’s grown up to be a zaftig wife and mother who doesn’t remember him too vividly. In this deeply melancholy sequence, the passage of time takes on an almost physical presence. The past and the present collide when C.K decides to go for it anyway, and the two engage in the frenzied make-out session that should have taken place twenty-five years ago when they were young and beautiful and sex was still a glorious mystery.
The second short film is sad and thoughtful and oddly sweet so of course the episode ends with stand-up about fucking a monkey in an apocalyptic world of the future. Such is the nature of Louie: expect the unexpected.
—In his interview, C.K hinted that we may be seeing a lot more of DiPaolo in the future. I would very much welcome that. He proves an excellent comic foil for C.K