Louie Louie Louie: Country Drive

As Season Two of Louie continues on FX, John S and Josh will be offering NPI readers their reactions to each episode. At the end of the season, they will rank the episodes. Get excited.

Josh: “Country Drive” was probably my favorite episode of the season so far. C.K. is willing to do things that seem totally inappropriate for a thirty-minute show (well, more like twenty-three minutes) like having Louie dance and bob around to “Who Are You?”* in the car for several minutes.** C.K. continues to brilliantly capture the reality of the parent-child relationship: Louie cannot comprehend his daughter’s boredom and his daughters seemingly don’t react at all to their father’s performance in the car. There is a lot of talking (and acting) past each other in adult-child interactions and these are two examples of just that. The broader theme of age difference making communication difficult was continued with Great-Aunt Ellen: while the old-people-saying-offensive-things bit was not all that novel, I enjoyed Louie having to confront the difficulty of explaining Ellen’s behavior to his kids. This situation seems to present a common struggle for many parents, but, thankfully, this is a struggle that likely will not exist a generation from now.

*The choice of song definitely played some role in how much I liked this episode.

**Did anyone else think Louie was going to get in an accident or, at least be stopped by police? The fact that no such accident or stop happened made the scene better: it was C.K. telling us that the scene really was just about him having a good time. 

John S: Even though I’m not as big a fan of The Who as Josh is, and so probably wasn’t as enamored by the song choice, I still thought that scene was brilliant. Particularly good was the way it was shot, capturing both Louie’s enthusiasm and his daughters’ indifference in the same frame. It wasn’t just Louie’s intensity which made the scene so funny for me, and it wasn’t even his daughters’ boredom; it’s that neither of them even comments on it after it happens. There’s just a long silence until Louie points out a goose. Josh was right that this was a particularly good episode, primarily for capturing the father-daughter relationship. I especially enjoyed the extended “I’m bored” bit at the episode’s beginning. It seemed like an example of something annoying that kids do, but which Louie is obviously used to. Just like Louie’s dancing, her complaints don’t get a response until she demands one. And while I agree that the scene with Aunt Ellen was well-worn territory, it fit nicely into the episode’s illustration of how trying to broaden kids’ horizons often fails spectacularly. C.K.’s stand-up bit about Huck Finn always using the N word, which was one of my favorite bits of the season, was a great conclusion to that theme.

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