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August 02, 2010

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Ben Owen

Thanks 99, you summed up my feelings about this really well--both the shock of seeing this on a basic cable sitcom, and the importance of the point itself. I think maybe this loops back to the point Anne was making about using the position of paranoid despair as the starting point. Louis CK is just about as despairing a character as you could imagine, at least as he appears on the show, obsessed with death and the collapse of his body. I love that--it's funny cause its terrifying. But what has made the show even better is that it isn't content with nihilism. In Troy Patterson's review for Slate he described some kind of moral core beneath it all, and I think that's right. From his position of terrible shittiness, Louis actually can start to imagine different ways of doing things in the world (hence the sequence above, plus jokes at his own expense about homelessness and starvation) not out of any particular liberal do-gooder impulse, but simply because he's tired of the bullshit and feels he has nothing to lose.

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