'Louie' is the first show I've come across that I absolutely refuse to let myself wait for DVD to see. It's the first show that I don't sit down to watch with the sole anticipation of having it either cheer me up with comedy or shock me with dramatic twists. 'Louie' is simply something I watch because it feels like I'm gaining life experience from it, which is impressive considering Louis C.K., or at least the Louie character's self-proclaimed life goals are to raise his kids and hold his title as World's Best Masturbator.
It's also impressive considering that I, and I'm sure many viewers, have already experienced nearly every situation this show covers, from being forced out of the house with no plans to being on a date with someone who thinks less of you for doing the right thing despite saying that he/she valued righteousness. So what's to gain from reliving these unpleasant situations every Tuesday evening?
Great shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm bank on this question by allowing the main character to vengefully act on his everyday irritations only to have it bite him in the ass by the episode's end. This way you can laugh at the absurdity while saying, "I know what he's feeling, man," followed by, "but I'm sure glad *I* didn't act on it." It's a winning formula because the audience always comes out unscathed. 'Louie' makes that show look like it's playing too safe (which it isn't, by the way.)
If the Louie character ever acts on his irritations, he does it in a way that almost feels like he's seen Curb, and thus trying to avoid any unnecessary harm while still following his gut instinct. In other words, he's a coward sometimes, just like we are. Curb's Larry David states in interviews that his eponymous character is more like him than he is. Louie is simply Louis, and perhaps, Louis is simply everybody, and PERHAPS that can be a little discomforting. But that's okay, because at least, just like when we look back on mistakes or simply situations that we wish we could have handled differently (so that we could've gotten laid that night), it's almost always hilarious. The difference here is that it's *always* hilarious. . . though it's still unbelievably discomforting.
For that, I'm more than happy to not save my ass on this one. Enjoy chewing on it, critics.