As a woman, watching Louie serves as both a helpful and of times horrifying venture into the male psyche. Unlike Entourage, which was an unrelenting eight-season nightmare of feeling trapped in a boy’s club house, Louie is a strange, enlightening peer into the mind of an adult heterosexual male, but one you actually want to revisit.
During last night’s Louie, for instance, we learned the absolute worst thing a man can hear (“You’re bad at sex”) and the best (“Yes, I’ll go out with you.”) Additionally, having sex with Scarlett Johansson would be the best thing to happen to them and the worst thing to happen to her.
Now in its third season, we’ve had a pretty good idea of what’s going on in Louie’s head. That being, what’s going on in the heads of most red-blooded heterosexual American males: women. We know that Louie can think, and say, some pretty wonderful things about women (Pamela, what were you thinking?) and some things you wish you didn’t know.
In “Daddy’s Girlfriend, Pt. 1” we figured out pretty early that Louie had love on the brain. Or, at the very least, getting back into the dating game. It’s no surprise, really. During last week’s episode “Miami” it was obvious Louie was looking for companionship in his life, to find someone to connect with. So, while having lunch with his daughters they ask him when he’s going to have a girlfriend. “Come on, get yourself a girlfriend” Lilly insists in her adorably whiny way. (I loved the brilliant parallel of this scene from realism, like a father talking to his sharp, inquisitive daughter played by Hadley Delany about the pronunciation of “tyranny” to using them as the projection of his own thoughts when Lilly proclaims, “He’s just gotta find the right girl.”)
There’s a line in the brilliant Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that’s always stuck with me. When Jim Carrey “first” encounters Kate Winslet, his voice over asks “Why do I fall in love with every woman I see that shows me the least bit of attention?” What perpetual heartache. Louie seemed to have the same syndrome, or at least sees every woman as a potential nice girlfriend to bring home to meet his kids.
Louie first has eyes for comedian Maria Bamford (best known for her outrageous voices and those ubiquitous Target commercials at Christmas) after watching her act at the Comedy Cellar. Mustering up the courage to stammer out an invite to get a drink, Maria obliges. Did anyone else catch that she wanted to meet him on the corner rather than in front of the club? Oof. Things don’t exactly go according to plan after asking her, post-coitus, to come over for dinner and meet his kids. She tells him that’s the last thing she would want to do and also, he’s bad at sex. Oof.
Still, Louie is not thwarted by the rejection, instead he seems more than determined than ever to continue his quest to find a mate. Of course since Louie lives in Louie’s brain, things go into overdrive. He fantasized about every woman he see, including every teacher at his daughters’ school. Fate, as it would have it, then brings Louie to a quaint bookstore, where a lovely, kind woman (played by the great Parker Posey) catches his eye.
But Louie doesn’t let his imagination run away with him, instead he finds a way to talk to her and soon he finds out that not only is she attractive (or as he later puts it “cute as hell”) but incredibly sweet and smart and funny. Even better, she loves kids. Or, at least, can provide him with insight of what it’s like to be a girl going through a phase. If it’s scary peering into the mind of an adult male, Louie counter-argued there is nothing scarier than a father finding out what’s going on in his daughter’s head as a young woman. Say what you want about how “offensive” Louis C.K. is, but there’s no question this guy, at the core, is a big ol’ softie who loves his kids like crazy.
After their meet-cute and helping him pick out books for his daughter, Louie comes back and gets up the nerve to ask her out. Earlier in the episode, we cut to some of Louis C.K.’s stand-up. In addition to a segment about trying to teach a 10-year-old about prejudice, he did an almost Seinfeld-ian bit about the self-congratulatory fist bump one only does during a game of tennis, or when someone says yes to you asking them on a date. And Louie, because no matter how awkward he may make things, is a truly good guy at the core, soon has his own tennis victory.
If women learn something from this show, I can only hope men do, too. Particularly on the right way to ask a woman out, because Louie got that one down pat. At least if he’s asking a delightful Parker Posey out. Louie marveled to her at how hard it must be for beautiful women, what with men always wanting one thing. (Or, as he put it, “torpedoing towards your vagina.”) He sincerely told her she was “nice and decent and horribly cute.” She, like any woman in her right mind, obliged him for a date. Louie wasn’t the only one doing the tennis fist bump, I was doing one for him. In the words of Louie’s new love interest, “Nice job on the asking out.”
Posey is, thank goodness, returning to the show next week for the aptly titled “Louie’s Girlfriend Pt. 2.” Judging from their wonderful chemistry and rapport with one another (serious kudos to Parker Posey who turned out a charming performance) and the fact that Louie does deserve a kind, clever woman, here’s to hoping there’s a part 3 or 4 or 5. Don’t Louie this, Louie.
What did you think of last night’s Louie? Were you just as charmed? Did you wish that reality show they were watching on TV was real? Did it take you until the stabbing to figure out that it was fake. (Guilty.) Does it amaze you that Louie can make a charming New York romance, on par with the likes of Woody Allen and Nora Ephron and then effortlessly throw in social commentary about the absurdity of reality television? It amazes me. Share your thoughts on the episode below.