'Louie' Recap: Country Drive

Jul 21, 2011 | 8:15pm EDT

S02E05: Sometimes a television show hits a little too close to home and such was the case with this week's Louie. Was it as funny as some of the other episodes this season? Unfortunately not. But did it induce traumatic flashbacks on par with 'Nam vets? You'd better believe it.

I grew up in the South and I went through plenty of those excruciating long drives through the country like Louie's two daughters. And because it was the South there were plenty of talks about how racism was bad and all these old relatives we were visiting are from a different time and all that fun stuff. Louie definitely comes from a place close to home for Louis C.K. and I shudder to think of the journey that inspired this trip. So while the main action didn't satisfy me, the peripheral stuff sure did. You've gotta love Louie rocking out to The Who (and they probably spent their entire music budget on those rights) and the lovely elderly actress playing his Aunt was stellar. Couple that with a hilarious tag where she won't tell him how old she is made this one of the sweeter episodes of Louie we've seen. And yes, even with Aunt Ellen's fate at the end it was still sweet.

"The fact that you're alive is amazing so you don't get to be bored." - Louie


That’s what makes recapping Louie so excellent. Practically nothing happens. He literally drives his girls to his aunt’s house and then she dies. That’s it. Sure there is some stuff in between there, his daughter is bored, the aunt is a racist and there’s some air-guitaring, but overall the show is one of the simplest and most minimalistic shows out there. And I think that’s what makes it one of the best things out there. Louis CK writes, directs, produces, and edits the entire thing himself, so of course he makes it as simple on himself as possible, but that lightness adds to the show by eliminating distractions.

Take for instance the first half of the episode in the car. There are two “jokes” in this. The first is when Louie tries to explain that there is absolutely no reason why she should be bored because the world and her mind are so expansive that there is always something for her to discover. As with most of his philosophies it falls on the deaf ears. The second is after he rocks out to The Who. He goes all out on the air guitar and drums and his kids are unphased although this is the most emotion we’ve seen from Louie. But then he points out the goose and his kids go crazy. It's simple, easy, with plenty of set up and yeah, this is a fantastic show.

"Would you like to have a n****r toe?" - Great Aunt


The episode might not have had that many laugh-out-loud moments as previous ones, but it was as sweet and simple as a great Louie episode should be. That look on Louie’s face as he looks at his dead aunt, how he’ll have to explain it to his kids, call everyone, and basically just deal with all this was all at once heartbreaking and funny. It was basically the perfect ending to the episode.

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