'Louie' gets lost in translation
July 13th, 2012
02:45 PM ET

'Louie' gets lost in translation

Unlike other shows, "Louie" takes place in the real New York. A city devoid of glamour, where businesswomen and homeless men sweat side-by-side on subway platforms, and old men eat club sandwiches in dimly lit diners.

On Thursday's episode, Louie explored the back alleys and bodegas of another city. In Miami for a hotel gig, he retreated to his room to eat in bed, with only the hushed weight of his loneliness as company.

At the beach, the sight of his broad, freckled back amidst the tanned and toned beach bodies spoke loud and clear: Louie did not belong here.

But maybe he could. If he weren’t so alone.

Then, buff young lifeguard Ramon mistakenly thought Louie was drowning and came to his rescue. Later that night over drinks, they bonded over their mutual Latin heritage.

The next day, they meandered around town, chasing chickens through the street.

On the dimly lit back porch at a family party that night, Louie thanked his new friend. “I’ve been coming to Miami for 20 years, I never saw it. Not like this.”

Theirs was the kind of connection that comedians must make on the road all the time - a passing acquaintance that exists in a brief moment, in one specific place. But Louie wasn’t ready to let Ramon fade into his memory, and he called Janet to tell her he’d be staying in Miami a few extra days. She suspected he met someone, and his denial was weak.

The next day, Louie sought out Ramon, who delicately revealed his suspicion over drinks. Neither man even uttered the word “gay” because to label the looming anxiety would be to validate it. Louie stammered, and it was so awkward. Wasn’t it just so awkward?

On stage, Louie joked, “Heterosexual men have a big burden that we put on ourselves. Which is that we want to be identified as heterosexual men. We’re the only ones that care.” Louie lamented that this fear prevents men from being able to do nice things, like spend a lovely few days with another man without the risk of riding the giddy high of a new friendship too long, eventually crashing into the hard reality of societal norms. Sorry, guys - that’s a huge bummer.

This episode was sort of  like Sofia Coppola's “Lost in Translation," and even employed her wordless visual lyricism. But Louie lacks Coppola’s effortless cool, so his story ended on a painfully uncomfortable rather than mournfully mysterious note.

When Louie recalls Ramon on some lazy summer night, his cheeks will likely flush with embarrassment. And that’s a shame. I hope he manages to smile, once the blush fades.

What did you think of last night’s episode? Straight men, could you relate?

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Filed under: Louie • television • TV recaps

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Marilyn

    I like Louie, his show is depressing, funny and real life somewhat. I would like to see him in some movies. Tired of the same old comedians that make these senseless comedies every year. Hope he wins a grammy.

    July 21, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Michael Calaiizzo

    There is a big hngover here.

    July 16, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. You guys are making his point for him

    Yes, he's a comedian (and his stand up is in fact hilarious) but some of you seem to want to hold him prisoner to that. If you're looking for simple stories with obvious jokes and [here's where you're supposed to laugh] moments lined up one after the other, then go watch 99% of the rest of what's on TV.
    Louie is doing so much more with his show than that, and there are funny moments, but he also tells real stories and makes you experince more than just , "HAHA YAAAAAY FUNNY!!!"
    This episode was excellent, by the way. SO UNCOMFORTABLE, but makes a great point in a way that I've never thought of before.
    I enjoy what he's doing with his show, and so do a lot of other people. For those who don't get it, it's their loss.

    July 16, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. Courtney

    This episode is typical of the tone of Louis C.K.'s comedy, and it fits in quite well with this particular show. He's not necessarily supposed to be portraying bite-sized wisdom to be dished up on a weekly basis. 'Louie' is a character study. These random glimpses into the daily workings of a divorced, middle-aged man who never quite fit in anywhere. It's not supposed to be pretty and end consistently on a happy note. It's like life in that way. He puts on television the unpolished view of our world, and we can consider ourselves lucky if we can find a way to reflect on our own existence because of it.

    July 15, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. James Franco

    Not funny. Lame. Like the chewing gum scene in Elf. Makes me want to hurl. Bleccch!

    July 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sarah

    I love Louie! The show was so funny in a sad way. he is a sad man who, finds the world a kinder place in Miami.Too bad for him that he gets judged.The "drowning" scene was funny

    July 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John

    I enjoyed this episode. It captured a limitation in how Americans relate to each other and the awkwardness that results. It's like watching an interpersonal car crash. You don't want it to happen but you can't take your eyes off of it. I think it's genius tv.

    July 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Erin

    I am a huge fan of Louis CK – especially his parenting bits. The show is more complex than it looks, which is fine for me, but I admit it doesn't always elicit the same kind of laughs his stand-up does. It does make you feel uncomfortable in a way that makes you examine or question a lot of our daily, modern life and relationships, and I appreciate that whether or not I find it funny.

    July 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Leigh

    From the beginning so many people called his show the funniest thing on TV so I watched it several times. I just don't get this guy. He comes across (to me) as a very angry white man. He is divorced, but he truly loves his children and he cooks good food for them when he has them. His routine is nothing but anger and dirty language. His obsession with anal stuff comes out often. I like a good laugh as much as the next person, but I just don't get his humor at all.

    July 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • caniacgurl

      I love Louie. He is not angry and what does him being white have to do with it? He is trying to portray himself as a normal guy making his life as a comedian. His humor is a little dry but isn't life's humor that way? And his discomfort with meeting people makes it kind of cute. I have watched his show since the beginning and saw him live right before he got popular. He just makes dude jokes and if you don't like it, don't watch it.

      July 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • hangover

      That's because you're a reTARD.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Get Real

      @hangover: & you are a failed abortion.

      July 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |

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