Louie: “Untitled” Season 5 Episode 5 Review

Photo Credit:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXi1tq59n5c

Louis CK has got to be laughing at how many times he got us with the same scare gag.

“Untitled” is like a 20 minute horror film written to live in the world of Louie made by an artist that seems to revel in torturing his audience. The setup was easy enough. Louie picks up Lilly from a sleepover and fails to help the host’s newly single mother move a fish tank. The woman breaks down saying how difficult the adjustment has been, but all Louie can manage is to put a blanket over her head. He falls asleep in the cab and we’re forced to watch his guilt-ridden nightmares.

It’s a more basic arc than we’re used to on Louie, with him just having to go back and help out the woman to stop his bad dreams. But the episode is a lot more focused on being creepy, though in very silly ways. It’s a tone only this show can pull off.

More than anything, this episode seems like a chance to take Louie‘s surrealist humor to the next level and create some really unsettling sets and costumes. The naked man with the weird eyes that keeps jumping at Louie throughout will surely be haunting my dreams tonight. But the show also gives us time to look at how silly the thing that keeps scaring us is. Despite the horror tactics, “Untitled” is still very much a comedy.

Louis CK isn’t hiding the fact that he wants to scare you and that he’s having a lot of fun doing so. There’s not a better moment here than when he’s talking to his doctor and the weird Gollum-ish creature hops up and the doctor just says, “Sorry.” This is the type of artist/audience interaction that Louie excels at better than any other scripted show on TV.

So now we know Louis CK would probably make a pretty solid horror film. But “Untitled” also represents something so special about Louie, the fact that it can be whatever it wants and explore new styles while still feeling like the same show. It’s infectious when you feel an artist having so much fun getting you scared. Like you’re a kid again having sleepovers with your friends watching scary films you’re probably too young for. Grade: A

 

Some Other Notes: 

– Some point when I have time, I’d love to go side by side with the cinematography here and that in A Clockwork Orange. Knowing Louis CK’s inane ability to emulate different styles, I bet there are a ton of callbacks and homages.

– In one of the few scenes before we head into bizzaro dreamland, Lilly and Jane both show signs of maturing and having their own ideas. Within a minute or so of each other, Jane is fighting for lobster rights and Lilly calls one of the most celebrated horror films of all time artistic. Louie’s reaction to both proves he’s nowhere near ready for his two little girls to grow up.

– Parks and Rec. and Girls alum Jon Glaser guest starred this week as a fellow comedian that thinks Louie’s terrible joke about beekeeping is absolutely hilarious. He’s somewhat typecast here, but really takes advantage of the surreal humor when he gets a chance to.

– In one dream, Louie humps a guy with a creepy rabbit head on, only to later get humped with the rabbit head on himself. Part of me thought this was an homage to that one scene in The Shining, another extremely disturbing film from Stanley Kubrick’s catalogue. You know which scene I’m talking about if you’ve seen it.

– Sweet dreams!

 

By Matt Dougherty

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