63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very funny series, cancelled too soon
"Lucky Louie" got a whole sackful of lousy reviews when it premiered on HBO, and most of them seemed to take issue with how crass the show's tone was. Since I had just recently subscribed to HBO and was determined to watch ALL of their typically excellent original programming, I decided that I would watch the first episode, despite the bad reviews.
Published on November 19, 2006 by Bryant Burnette
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Redundant Louis
I finished watching the first season of Lucky Louie this week, and to say the least I'm quite disappointed. It's not really awful but, oh, I don't know, it's so complicated. Louis CK is great, he's one of the greatest comedians I've ever seen. He's not much of an actor but neither is Jerry Seinfeld or Larry David or Mitch Hedberg, comedy is not necessarily about acting...
Published on June 5, 2007 by DL Nels
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63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very funny series, cancelled too soon,
This review is from: Lucky Louie - The Complete First Season (DVD)"Lucky Louie" got a whole sackful of lousy reviews when it premiered on HBO, and most of them seemed to take issue with how crass the show's tone was. Since I had just recently subscribed to HBO and was determined to watch ALL of their typically excellent original programming, I decided that I would watch the first episode, despite the bad reviews.
Half an hour later, I'd been laughing for nearly half an hour. This is a FUNNY show. Yes, there is a lot of profanity; yes, there are some uncomfortable bits involving how inadvertently racist the main character is. But so what? It's nothing compared to "Deadwood," I assure you of that.
There's nothing here that's exactly groundbreaking or revolutionary; it's really a very normal sitcom in the vein of something you might have seen in the late '70s to mid-'80s. The plots are typical of that genre. But the characters talk like real people (or at least like real people I know; maybe you don't know people like this, but I certainly do), and they kind of act like real people, too. At least, Louie and Kim do; the other characters fall more in the vein of the typical wacky sitcom character. They're kind of like potty-mouthed Kramers.
Somehow, for me, what all this adds up to is a VERY loving portrayal of a marriage. Louie is constantly doing something incredibly boneheaded to make his wife, Kim, slackjawed with astonishment. The specifics may well be flights of fancy, but the reactions seem very genuine. This, to me, FEELS like a real married couple. They don't necessarily like each other very much, but they definitely love each other. That may sound like a contradiction, but you may change your mind after watching these DVDs.
The actig is generally strong. Louis C.K. is sort of in the same tradition as Jerry Seinfeld and Ray Romano in the sense that while you can't exactly make a claim for him being a great actor, you also can't imagine his show without him in it. Pamela Adlon -- who also does Bobby's voice on "King of the Hill" -- is terrific as Kim; she's sharp, sexier than heck, and very funny in a put-upon sort of way. The aforementioned wacky sitcom characters are played by Michael G. Hagerty, Jim Norton, Laura Kightlinger, and Rick Shapiro, and they are all very, very funny.
Also definitely worth mentioning are Jerry Minor and Kimberly Hawthorne, who play Louie and Kim's African American neighbors. There is a very funny dynamic between these two couples, in which Louie tries VERY hard to make friends with Walter simply because he's never had a black friend before. Naturally, Louie overcompensates and ends up being more of a racist by accident than many men manage on purpose. Some of these scenes are just hysterical, mostly because of Minor's droll performance. In some episodes, you can see that he is so put upon by his wife that he tries to put up with Louie, just so he'll have someone else to talk to. This is all handled in a manner close to perfection.
To sum up, I think this was a pretty terrific show. It's VERY funny, touching in an unexpected sort of way, and in its own fashion it's up to par with the rest of HBO's intimidatingly good output. I'm confused as to why critics didn't find this to be the case, and I'm hopeful that the DVDs will help the show find the audience it deserves, even if it IS after the fact.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: THIS SHOW IS HILARIOUS,
This review is from: Lucky Louie - The Complete First Season (DVD)Lucky Louie is unlike any show that I can think of that combines extremely crass language and behavior with shockingly witty writing and superb acting by the entire cast. I don't know who the brainiac at HBO is who (a) marketed, and (b) decided to cancel, this show but he's the one who should be cancelled. This show has cult classic written all over it. Who knows, maybe HBO will pull a Family Guy.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest thing to come from HBO since From The Earth To The Moon,
This review is from: Lucky Louie - The Complete First Season (DVD)While the only thing those two have in common is HBO's backing, I loved both of them. Lucky Louie was great mainly because it wasn't like any other show out there. Most of it was basically Louie C.K.'s stand up being acted out, but it was very funny. In order to enjoy it you had to understand that alot of it makes fun of the standard format a sitcom has while talking about subjects that most can't or don't. Like most shows it was only getting better with as each episode aired. I hope the between the dvd release, the re-airing on HBO next month, and the save louie petition ( which i know you ca access through jim norton's myspace account) that HBO will see it made a mistake and just like fox with family guy, bring the show back to the viewers who loved it so much.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic show!,
This review is from: Lucky Louie - The Complete First Season (DVD)This was a refreshing show. Very raw/raunchy humor. I loved it! Jim Norton is amazingly hilarious as usual. I was laughing though every show. Why did HBO cancel simething so great? :(
Also, what's all this talk about james norton? What's going on??
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you don't like this...You must be offended by humor.,
This review is from: Lucky Louie - The Complete First Season (DVD)This show has to be the most original sitcom ever made. It contains "real" conversations that "real" people would have. Most people have never heard of Louie C.K., but little do you know that you have probably laughed at many things he wrote, whether it was on The Conan O' Brian Show, Saturday Night Live, The Late Show With David Letterman, or The Chris Rock Show. He is also an acclaimed Stand Up comedian, Director, and Producer. It is sad HBO didn't sign the show to a second season, but at least some people were lucky to watch this gem. Lucky Louie started right after Dane Cook's Tourgasm, and after 3 episodes of both, I wasn't really interested in Tourgasm any more. I recommended this show to several people, who all started to watch every week and loved it. Despite the lack of budget the show had, which you could tell by the stage sets, the character's and the dialogue carried you past noticing anymore. I highly recommend this box set. You will not regret it. I honestly can't believe someone calling themselves a writer/filmmaker has never heard of Louie C.K.!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you get scared, take something to settle your stomach...,
This review is from: Lucky Louie - The Complete First Season (DVD)Lucky Louis was the best comedy show HBO had going, and they are fools for not picking this up for a second season. I guess they really don't care what the people paying for their service want to see. Like Steve from Yellowstone said, "That's terrible, I'm sorry" when he heard the show was cancelled. As an older gentleman, my cluster of skin tags were quivering with anger when I found out about HBO's foolish decision.
To all: Please buy this DVD, fire up a nice java log, and crinkle the night away to the sound of your own laughter..(followed by your tears of shame)
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frank is frowning,
This review is from: Lucky Louie - The Complete First Season (DVD)Why in the world would HBO cancel this? This show hit the nail right on the head. What is HBO thinking? The actor that played that chinless meaty breasted friend Rich has a definite future in the business. Does anyone know anything about that li'l fella?
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real comedy for real people,
This review is from: Lucky Louie - The Complete First Season (DVD)Louis CK is a genius and everyone on the show was hilarious, even that annoying little girl. This show was the real deal that didn't hold any punches or avoid any jokes just to be safe. Oh, and don't overlook the elderly. Hopefully this isn't the only season and HBO wakes up and brings it back for more. It has to be one of the best sitcoms I've ever seen.
24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tussle, Tussle...,
This review is from: Lucky Louie - The Complete First Season (DVD)The boy who struggled to strive during his early years; against developmental delays, down syndrome and the horrible 'Monster Rain'. James Norton has had an uphill battle throughout the years, but with the release of Lucky Louie on DVD, maybe he can enjoy his last days viewing his performance while drinking chicken soup via a straw in the hospital room that will be his cave for what remains of his life. While his T-Cells dissapear, the young lad will continue to have the finest trannys to look at due to his good friends Sam and Than. James has given us so much in his short life. I had the pleasure of being in a large shopping bag while we both shared moments in a bathroom stall when I was 6. I good ole tussle at the end of the day, I ran back to my mommy as she shopped in Bed, bath and Beyond, but his lasting image will forever provide me with long lasting moments. Thank you Jimmy. This DVD will help me remember you, your hairless mule and the fine candy you provided me...
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A realistic sitcom marriage,
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This review is from: Lucky Louie - The Complete First Season (DVD)For many HBO subscribers, Lucky Louie was a show they loved, hated or tried to get into. While some of the situations took unrealistic jumps (one week they're paying all their bills at a check cashing joint; a few weeks later, they're shopping at Whole Foods and have a bank account), that wasn't the selling point or the main idea of the show. In many sitcoms, marriage is portrayed as this sickly sweet, conflict-quickly-resolved arrangement with stilted dialogue and trite conclusions, but not one of Louie's episodes ended in this way. In fact, profanity/nudity aside, the depiction of marriage and parenting is one of the most honest that's come across my television.
In "Discipline", Louie and Kim are faced with the dilemma of how to discipline their child. It's not an easy situation and it's not resolved by the end of the episode, though by that point you know enough about the characters to understand that they are going to keep trying to teach their kid how to behave properly. That, to me, is realistic parenting - a combination of resolve, frustration and pragmatism.
Such a great show and such a shame it ended too soon.
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Lucky Louie - The Complete First Season by Louis C.K. (DVD - 2007)