I wasn't the biggest fan of last year's ambitious Louie season, and even though I will always give someone credit for attempting something different, there's also a lot to be said for doing what you do best and, you know...trying to be funny. Louis CK is hilarious, and inherently so- I missed the laughs of some of his earlier season episodes, and there were times last year when I seriously wondered if all the elite critical praise had gone to his head and he was so determined to create "art" that he forgot or maybe just didn't want to be funny anymore at all.
Well, after this newest season I have to consider whether he himself took a step back and thought that same thing, because these eight episodes were some of the simplest, cleanest, funniest episodes of the entire series, and for my taste, this was a season of perfection and Louis CK at his absolute best. It was a shortened season, but for this brief run he returned to the roots of the series. Each episode includes the typical Louie vignettes and occasional flights of fancy and moments of weirdness, but something huge was included here that was mostly missing last year, and those were the laughs. That's right, this season was hilarious, and I laughed out loud multiple times during every episode. There was no overarching theme this time, it was simply Louie trying to be funny as well as poignant, the way the very best of the first and second season episodes accomplished so effortlessly.
With that said, there's no real way to describe the season, except maybe to list some of the highlights. With this year especially, you remember moments over the course of the run, even compared to overall episodes- there's an all time classic cold open here where Louie and his daughters have race home from the grocery store because Louie knows he isn't going to make it into a public restroom (yeah, that's right, for number two). There's also another great moment with the kids when Louie has to explain how and why he got beat up on the street by a five foot tall blonde girl, and then Lily's slumber party where Louie tries to stay out of the girls' way as he attempts to have phone sex with off/on love Pamela. This was really the girls time to shine this year as CK has kept the same actresses in the roles since the start of the series (two of the few recurring characters on the show) and now it's obvious how much they've begun to age as they hit adolescence and they continue to get more screen time. Pamela Adlon of course is back, as she and Louie attempt a fairly disastrous sting as a couple before going back to being friends, but as always she gets her own moments to kick ass and steal every single scene she's in (there are those who can't stand her, but she is my absolute hero in her awesomeness), and then there's the alway outstanding guest stars booked for this season. Particularly Michael Rapaport, stands out in the third episode as an old cop friend Louie can't stand who insists on taking him out, and I'm almost positive that his role here will land him at least an Emmy nomination, if not a win outright (which makes up for his less than impressive turn on Justified last year).
Finally, Louie capped off the season with a two parter of him traveling through some of the red states for a tour which is not received well, and coming across a lowbrow comedian who lives to tell fart jokes, which Louie pretends to hate, only to eventually break down in tears and admit he loves being funny more than anything else and that pretending comedy is art is where things get messed up in the first place. Um, if that's not an endorsement of my own view of this series, whose artsy turns I've sometimes loved, other times not, and Louie's own contradictory feelings about the comedy he creates, than I don't know what is. As is usually the case, a season of Louie defies description for the the most part- I can only tell you that I loved every episode of this run and that it contained some of my all time favorite Louie moments. A stellar effort, and I remain a devoted fan. What else is there to say?