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Featured TV on DVD Review: Louie: Season One

June 19th, 2011

Louie: Season One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Louie is Louis C.K.'s second TV show after the tragically short-lived Lucky Louie. Louie could almost be called a sequel to that series, as it is also an auto-biographical show, of sorts. I seriously hope much of it is fictionalized.

The Show

It's hard to describe the plot of the show without giving away spoilers. Then again, there's not a lot here that is a spoiler in the traditional sense of the word. It's basically his life being a stand-up comedian and a divorced dad. Most episodes are split into two generally unconnected stories. For instance, the pilot episode starts with Louis C.K. being a chaperone for his daughter's class during a field trip. The second part has him on a first date. There are also segments of his stand-up routine that blend into these bits, but for the most part, they don't bridge the segments together. Occasionally there's only one story that carries through the entire episode, or the first story flows into the second (the first part is about air travel and the second part is about doing a show out of town).

Topics and tone are all over the place, but in a good way. You never know what you will get going into an episode. You could get a really serious discussion of gay slurs and the effects they can have. You can also wind up with really over-the-top broad humor (the scenes with Ricky Gervais as Louis's inappropriate doctor had me laughing so hard I had to pause the show a few times). They range from some that have been handled many, many times before by lots of comedians, like air travel, to deeply personal stories, like his childhood religious education.

The only consistent aspect of the show is the quality. There's not a single episode that isn't worth watching more than once.

The Extras

Extras start with audio commentary tracks on 11 of 13 episodes with Louis C.K.. They are solo tracks and later in the season there are a few more pauses, but overall it is still worth checking out. Next up is 34 minutes of deleted / extended scenes, with introductions by Louis. Finally, there's 4-minute preview, but it's mostly fluff.

The Blu-ray has no additional extras, but it looks amazing. The film was shot with a RED camera, so it's coming from a digital High Definition source, which explains the amazing level of detail. The blacks are deep, the colors are great, there's literally no complaints. The audio is not quite as good. The dialogue is very clear, while the surround sound speakers are mostly relegated to providing the score.

I don't like flipper discs, which is what you are stuck with if you do grab the TV show on High Definition. That said, it only costs 11% more, which is a fantastic price.

The Verdict

Louie: Season One is absolutely worth owning and the Blu-ray is worth the upgrade from the DVD despite my personal opinion with regards to flipper discs.

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