Creator: Louis C.K.
After his first show bombed, Louis C.K. refused to come back unless he was able to get complete creative control. FX gave him that power and with it has come a hugely successful comedy that has garnered award after award.
The show is about a fictionalized version of himself, a stand-up comedian who is successful enough to have it as his only job, but not successful enough to be famous or give his daughters the life he wants them to have. The premise isn’t that original, but Louis uses the platform to do plenty of brutal, honest, original, and sometimes sweet story lines that would not exist if he didn’t have full creative control. Non-sequiturs are the norm. Random scenes are sometimes the best, like when he takes a girl home from the club who is turned on by how old he is or when Stephen Root is his dentophobic dentist who…takes advantage of him.
Louis’ acting has improved significantly and he also cast some pretty good people. The girls he got to play his daughters are dynamite. Two episodes they dominate are two of my favorites. In one, Louis loses his daughter his New York City and is terrified, only to find out she was hiding in the closet the whole time. The second one involves him going on a USO tour with a duckling that his daughter hides in his suitcase.
The fifth season which ended earlier this year was the weakest one for me, partly because he brings back the relationship with Pamela which has grown stale. I also didn’t feel the comedy in general was as sharp. Even then it was an above average show and Louis had overworked himself a bit between the show and his national standup tour. He’s taking a longer break before season six. Hopefully he comes back stronger than ever.