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July 23, 2012

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99

I think there are two separate things here that get conflated. One: Louis C.K. is a kind of sloppy filmmaker. The disappearing jacket thing and other small things like that are the work of a sometimes sloppy filmmaker, particularly one who is pretty much an auteur and working under a pretty tight turnaround time. This is not worth real defending or critiquing. It's simply human sloppiness.

Two: Louie is actually not a traditional sitcom or even a traditional TV show. The narrative gaps, the sudden changes in given circumstances or character relationships, these fall under that heading. And I agree that it can be frustrating, but it's not really sloppiness. Louis C.K. has long spoken of the show as being short films. Each one is its own thing, with a few recurring characters, but shouldn't be treated as a larger narrative. He casts and writes as the needs of telling that one story demands and lets everything else go. Which I do think is pretty brave for someone working in television (the same way I think that Ryan Murphy is brave for what he's doing with American Horror Story).

I think giving him a pass on the general sloppiness is one thing, but I think he earns a pass on crafting a show out of short films rather than a single, cohesive narrative.

Joseph Jordan

I just view every episode as self-contained, or largely so, anyway. Certain stories exist in a universe in which certain other stories have already happened, other ones don't. He's not skating on narrative consistency; he's just not interested in narrative consistency of that sort and looking for it is a mistake.

Malachy Walsh

It's sloppy.

On the other hand, as you point out, the show delivers on other, more important, promises.

And so you'll overlook the slop... Until one day, you won't.

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