May 05 2014

Six Incredibly Progressive Moments from Louie (Part One)

Published by at 11:00 am under Lists,Television

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Louis C.K is the man. He really is. He doesn’t have to even try, it is just how he is seen now. Do you even realize how he got there? By forcing people to become more progressive in their thinking. Meaning “a person advocating or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas.” He really is, and the best part is, no one seems to notice. They are too busy watching his FX show Louie and his stand up and laughing to realize he is also fostering changes in the way people think about some very taboo subjects. In this article I will explore just what social norms he has scoffed at, and how he helps us mature in our own thoughts by witnessing some of these moments. Here are six incredibly progressive moments from Louie. Please note, this is only part one, as there are dozens upon dozens of these moments on this spectacular show.

Season One-Episode Ten (Progressive about Race Relations)

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It’s okay, Louie. The world NEEDS that guy right now.

So in this season one episode, Louie sees an African American woman working at a grocery store and he immediately becomes smitten with her. She is not the least bit interested, but he finds it his duty to try to win her over. What is progressive here is that she ends up calling him out at the end of the episode. She pretty much just says “you want your one black conquest” and then you just get on with your life. It is something that white men never hear, but it was brave and audacious for Louie to put himself at the center of that. The irony being that another black woman is leaving the building, sees Louie, and then the show cuts to them banging like animals. Hilarious stuff that undoubtedly causes the conservative audiences to shrug and cower in fear.

Anyone who has watched all three seasons know the race thing will be coming back, and will be dealt with even more progressively next time. I wont even touch upon the reveal in season three that Louie had a black ex-wife that was never knew was black (and it is never made mention of or made an issue of). That was so progressive on this show’s part, it deserves its own article.

Season One -Episode Eleven (Progressive about Organized Religion)

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God is dead. My whole life is a lie. We have all been there.

So the God thing is kinda messed up. To teach kids (and all people) that Jesus Christ died specifically for YOUR sins is a heavy burden to put on a child. In this episode, we see the impact this had on a young Louie and some of his friends. They do not take comfort in that thought, but rather, are tormented and haunted by the brutality of it. What makes it so progressive is it shows the affect it has on kids but how those affects carry over into adulthood.

As it is, the Christianity-Catholicism thing is pretty insane, but that is my opinion. Thing is, this episode simply showed me that I am not completely alone in that theory.I am glad Louie wasn’t afraid to “go there”. This kind of things fosters discussion, which in turn, fosters change.

Season Two-Episode Two (Progressive about Wounded Adult Sex)

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Louie is right. You will end up in bed with seriously messed up people sometimes. Be prepared. 

Listen, there is a small chance you may meet someone wounded one day. Actually, a pretty big chance. The chance you will meet someone who is really messed up by their past, and you may not know that until the throes of passion. Sounds insane, but trust me. And trust Louie.

In this episode, Louie meets a woman who wants to have emotionless sex with him. She cites they are both adults and can handle it. She also thinks it better than them getting tied up in some relationship. They are both single parents, and it seems the adult thing to do. But as the episode goes on and on, we see she has a bit more baggage than he thought.

Flash forward, they are screwing, and she starts getting and kinky and freaky. It starts with her wanting Louie to spank her, but by the end, she is weeping, doubled over on the bed, saying “I’m sorry Daddy” over and over. It is a hugely uncomfortable moment, but an undeniably progressive one. With obvious hints that this woman may have been abused and Louie now has no idea what to do is something you just don’t see on sitcoms. Trust me, this shit happens in real life, and it is brave of him to shine a light on it. You think it is for laughs, but it isn’t. It to incite the kind of awkward laughter that gets you to think. This is what the world needs right now.

Season Two-Episode Eight (Masturbation)

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He is celebrating the fact that I recognized his masturbatory effort.

Yes, I masturbate. Guess what, most likely you do, too. But oddly enough, this makes people uncomfortable. Not me, mind you. Other people. But in this episode, Louie staunchly defends the act of masturbation, and does so on TV against a stunning young lady who seems to think it is amoral. It may seem baseline in the sense that masturbation should not be taboo in this day and age, yet it is. It takes a show like this to hold up a mirror sometimes and show us how weird it is that we are freaked out by so many things we have no place being freaked out about. Simple facts of life we should all be used to by now.

There is also a little twist in this one I will not spoil. Let’s just say the girl on the opposing side is not nearly the prude she portrays herself as initially.

Season Two-Episode Nine (Suicide)

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He looks in this pic how life makes most of us feel.

Guess what? Someone you love or have loved and cared about at one point in your life is going to kill themselves. I am sorry, but it’s true. I have lost handfuls of family and friends to it. Sad, but suicide is a huge aspect of life no one deals with. Well, Louie does.

In this episode, Louie runs into an old friend who he used to be really close with. The man is a drunk and a bit of a mess because his life has been a failure (in his opinion). At one point, he tells Louie that this is it for him. He is gonna do one last set and then when he gets home, take his own life. Just the subtle, tortured ways Louis C. K conveys the helplessness of being mad and sad at the same time, yet not knowing how to address it, is the stuff of Emmys.

He does end up addressing it, and tells the friend that is a bullshit, selfish, and coward thing to do, and he wants nothing to do with it. They then go their separate ways, and we are never really sure the fate of the friend.

Yeah, that happens a lot in real life, too. An incredibly well played and moving episode.

Season Three-Episode Three (Blurring Lines Between Gay and Straight)

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That is his “Whatchyoo talking about, Willis” face.

This is where Louie took it to the next level. Though this stuff had been touched on before, never quite like he did it here. In this episode, Louie is off to Miami to do a show. Being old and out of touch, he has no idea what to do with his down time. This is when he ends up meeting a Cuban-American (male) lifeguard who, believe it or not, unintentionally sweeps Louie off his feet. You can tell by how C. K plays it in this episode that he is starting to cop feelings for the dude. Yup, mainstream show sent out to mainstream audiences, and it implies its lead may have fallen in love with a man. Bam, progressive television at its finest and most brilliant.

I will not ruin how this episode plays out, but it stands as a glaring testimony to the fact that Louie is the most progressive show on TV right now. It also cements the solid fact that Louis C.K is easily one the coolest, smartest motherf*ckers alive right now, straight up. People ask me what religion I am sometimes, and I always answer “the school of C.K.” People either get it or they don’t. If they don’t, I don’t want those people in my life, anyways. They are probably conservatives. Conservatives  don’t know how to have fun. The best writers always say never end with a generalization that could alienate half your audience…

                                                                                 The End (for now…)

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If you dig my theories on C.K, head on over here and read about why I think romance movies doom our relationships to fail. Then go over here and talk to me about our patriarchal society and what we can do to change it. Well, that or video games. Up to you.





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4 responses so far

  • Steve

    Shouldn’t your religion be “The church of C.K”? Kidding o’course. Louie really is continuing his hero George Carlin’s legacy by continuing to push the boundaries. Carlin is one of the few great comedians that completely revamped things in terms of law, culture, and of course, language. Louie is certainly doing a great job of doing the same. As much as I’d like to say South Park has been doing the same thing as Louie in terms of boundaries/progression, live action just translates with people better than a cartoon that, when not doing hilarious and intelligent social commentary, is nothing but fart jokes lol.

    TLDR: Louie’s the man. Can’t wait for season 4.

  • David R

    I keep hearing about this show; might have to actually give it a watch sometime. Truthfully, C.K. (and Carlin, the guy who he’s most often compared to) seems to miss the point sometimes, even as he’s saying some really valuable stuff. He strikes me as the type who defaults to being cynical and destructive about everything, which is a valuable perspective to hear but not one I can really adopt to any significant degree.

    Like, the way he talks about race relationships or religion… really incisive to a point, but he tends to take a semi-limited slice of the reality and extrapolate it to represent the whole of the situation. It makes the message stick but catches a lot of other stuff in the crossfire. Same thing with Carlin, I’d say. Ultimately I like C.K. better, though.

    Still really like listening to his stand-up. Like I said, a perspective I need to hear from time to time. And he’s, y’know, funny.

  • Thomas

    Isn’t his name LouiS C.K.?

    • Remy Carreiro

      Louis in real life, Louie on show. Differentiated between them in writing. On the show, I assume he is named what the show is named, which is LOUIE.

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