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on June 3, 2014
Unlike the other reviewers, my discs play the shows without technical problems. However, unlike the other seasons on dvd, it bleeps out the "bad" words and has absolutely no special features. So while I love the shows, I don't get to hear Louis CK's often insightful commentaries and - most galling - I am treated like a child by having some of the content censored. I assume that this is due to the fact that this is a "video on demand" product instead of being an "official" dvd release. But it's really not any cheaper than an official release - why is that? A bummer. Hoping for an "official" dvd release soon. 5 stars for the show, 1 star for the presentation (which gets in the way of enjoying the show).
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on May 30, 2014
For the last few years 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has been using Amazon's CreateSpace venue to produce hundreds of titles, many of them being current seasons of popular TV shows. These sets include DVD-R discs (essentially your basic writable DVD-R you can buy at any office supplies store), pixilated cover art and recycled, flimsy casing.

I am not completely opposed to the entire MOD (made on demand) process, because, it's a way to get hard to find titles back in print again (or to get low demand titles available to those whom want them) with low cost to the studios who own the rights. For example, The Warner Archive Collection does a great job with their releases, providing movies, TV shows and even Blu-Ray discs with nice cover art and packaging. I've never had a problem with their products because they have a specific branch of their home entertainment department dedicated to these releases. The same goes for Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Universal Vault Series of DVD-R releases.

Now, this is not the case with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, since they use the CreateSpace account that Amazon has. From what I understand, CreateSpace manufactures the titles, and they are then listed as Amazon Exclusives. CreateSpace is not a division of the Fox Home Entertainment branch (just like with Paramount- they too use Amazon and CreateSpace and have just as many issues with their titles as Fox- anyone who has tried to get seasons 2 and 9 of Rugrats, know this very well).

The first release I had purchased through the Fox/Amazon/CreateSpace deal was The Killing - Season 2, and had to return my order three times before giving up. The discs were damaged from being improperly manufactured (the episodes would freeze or not play) and each of the three discs were scratched from being improperly inserted into the case... and again on each of the replacements that were sent had the same issues.

Now with reports of Louie - Season 3 (the discs are blank or simply don't play episodes) and Last Man Standing - Season 1 (missing entire episodes that are listed on the back cover- *I am not told this issue has been fixed*) having massive issues that stem to the discs themselves not being burned correctly, something NEEDS to be done here. These releases are NOT worth the list price of $30. That price is the SAME price as regular DVDs and Blu-Rays... It's totally insane that we are expected to pay that kind of money for a decidedly subpar product, that is also being carelessly created.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, in this case, needs to step in and right this, but in all honesty, the real people to blame for the issues with these products are AMAZON and CREATESPACE.

WE DEMAND THAT YOU TAKE THE TIME AND EFFORT TO SUPPLY US WITH A PRODUCT WORTHY OF OUR $30 BUCKS. IF DVD-R IS WHAT WE MUST DEAL WITH TO GET THESE TITLES, THEN MAKE SURE THEY ARE BEING PROPERLY MADE. THIS IS JUST GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE. TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY HERE! CHECK TO MAKE SURE THE FIRST BATCH WORKS PROPERLY, ALL THE EPISODES ARE INCLUDED, THERE AREN'T DAMAGE TO THE SETS WITH MULTIPLE DISCS!

If other studios and companies can use this format and be successful at it SO CAN YOU. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

ON A SIDE NOTE:

Season Three of Louie is fantastic and gets a total 5 Star rating. It's one of the best comedy/drama series on TV. If you don't want to deal with the DVD-R format, and you have access to Netflix, Seasons 1-3 of Louie are currently (as of 5/30/2014) streaming on the site.

UPDATE #1:

I have a replacement copy coming on Wednesday (June 4, 2014).

To specify the problem with my copy of Louie - Season 3, the first disc was not encoded (or I guess Burned, is a better term since they are DVD-R discs) correctly. The menu would come up, but if you selected "Play all episodes" or chose a specific episode, the disc would just restart itself back to the Fox logo and then back to the menu. The second disc was perfect. I even tried disc one in my MacBookPro and opening in it VLC Player to see if maybe it was just an error with the common devices (for me a Sony Blu-Ray player) we are playing the discs on... but no luck. They are simply being manufactured wrong. I just don't understand how this keeps happening, over and over and over...

I am going to call Fox on Monday and ask them about the process they take to get their titles made through Amazon/CreateSpace. How much of it is out of their hands and how much is Amazon/CreateSpace responsible for the errors. I want to really get to the bottom of this problem for the sake of everyone who wants to own physical copies of TV shows and films... since they will be quickly going all digital. I will update my review with more information when I get it...

This has not been a one time, one title problem... this has been happening for tons of their releases. It's just simply NOT OKAY.

UPDATE #2:

I have placed calls into Amazon (for which they have sent me a replacement) and could not inform me of anything. I have called Fox Connect and they also had no information to give me. I even called the 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment offices in Los Angeles, California, and again, got nothing. I also tried to get in contact with CreateSpace but you can't access their customer service information without being a registered, paying client of theirs.

I see that the product is now under review, which is good, since that means Amazon is taking steps to fix it. However, my replacement copy was sent before the item was taken off sale for review, so I guess, there will be yet another update coming...

UPDATE #3:

I just received my replacement copy, on schedule (June 4, 2014), and naturally, it was defective as well. I figured as much since it was sent out before the item was taken off the site for review. I had no choice but to sent back both copies and accept a full refund. I do very much want to own Louie - Season 3 on DVD and I do plan on buying it again, so hopefully the problem will be resolved quickly and I will be able to get a working product...

Now, I'm expecting to go through his whole process again since I am taking yet another risk in ordering The Killing - Season 3 through the same Fox/Amazon/CreateSpace DVD-R program. You might think me crazy for doing this and not waiting until others have received their copy and have reported that it works fine/has any problems... but alas... I will be the guinea pig for you all... if you are interested in the quality of that product, check for a review of that set at a later date when mine arrives and I am able to properly test the product...

I still don't have a good feeling about it...

Till then, I hope this was helpful and I hope Fox/Amazon/CreateSpace can work together to figure out the issues with their joint products... this on going problem has been ignored for way too long and needs to be addressed on EVERY TITLE THEY PRODUCE. PERIOD. Make sure when buying any DVD-R title, especially seasons of TV shows, you do your research to make sure your money will be well spent. And please, if you find a title that has issues, do your best to let them know so we collectors will be able to get proper, working, long lasting items.
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on April 30, 2015
I resisted watching "Louie" for a long time, and I have no reason other than when someone becomes a critics' darling I'm like "ugh," and I want to run in the opposite direction. But that's just contrarianism; I'm working it out with my therapist... Anyway, I finally gave in and have not been disappointed. What mainly impresses me is the structure, the camera work, and the cinematic elements of the show. I feel like once you dial in that stuff, you can be a lot more forgiving about having dumb plots (which "Louie" often does). I enjoy the "love letter to NY" aspect of the show, and I like how certain things are left unexplained, testing the audience's expectations of what TV shows should be. I'm also impressed with the way "Louie" shows that middle aged, not-so-perfect people actually have sex. Quel surprise! My only critique of this season is that it didn't have the literal comic relief of his stand-up breaks in amongst the existential despair. Don't know if he puts that back in in later seasons, but I hope so.
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on October 23, 2015
This guy isn't just a very funny stand up comedian, he's also a fine actor and really fine director ...and he edits well, too. What a show-off! And, hey, whoever does the casting, probably Louie C.K., is an artist. The guest stars are almost always brilliant and I know from experience that actors who feel free enough to get that good stuff out there usually do so because the director has enabled them to relax and create! So, Louie? Great job, and one day I hope to do your show.
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on October 15, 2013
I've always enjoyed Louis CK, but this new series is far beyond anything I ever expected. Sure, there are tons of laughs. I mean sitting-by-yourself-laughing-out-loud kinda laughs. But the thing that I enjoy the most is the subject matter and the ability to balance between painful and profound circumstances and really great comedy.

There is always an affection for the characters even in the most troubling and embarrassing situations, and the casting decisions always draw you in.

Another nice touch is how other comics, large and small, come through the show and make it feel like a genuine portrait of the profession.

Love this show and season three.
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on August 4, 2012
I know that "Louie" is billed as a comedy, and that some people may be turned off on some of his episodes because they don't make you bust a gut laughing every second of every minute. As a viewer, though, you need to keep in mind that this is as close as anyone is going to get to a "stream of consciousness" from a comedian.

The very nature of a comedian's talent is to take the slices of life we all endure, and then distill the essence of the experience so that we can then identify with it and laugh at it as a shared experience. That's what comedy is -- laughing at our shared experiences -- and that's what makes Louie CK so funny: he does this (seemingly) like second nature.

It's not second nature though, because to be genuine, the distillation process must come from real, dark and sometimes sad experiences and memories. I, for one, am glad to know that Louis CK is out there, and am in constant awe of the way he can show us both sides of the coin -- both the comedy and slices of life that come to inform it.

Was this episode side-splitting comedy? No. But I'm going on record as saying that here we see Louis CK and Parker Posey delivering a breathtaking, true-to-life, sometimes fun, mostly dark, and perfectly nuanced performance in this (what could be called a) short film about two people searching for a connection.
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on August 26, 2012
I look forward to each new episode in Season 3. Part of what I like about this show is how it balances Louis as a really sincere and loving father (even when he is giving his kids the finger behind their backs when they p*** him off) with his no-holds-barred adult life, filled with odd people who often have bizarre sexual tastes. Some of the later episodes are playing less for laughs and more for very intimate portrayals of the complexities of true intimacy with another person and the sometimes-very-thin wall it shares with perversity. The two episodes showing him meeting and going on a date with the marvelous Parker Posey were beautifully rendered (she should get some sort of big old prize for the way she transformed her role in a special way I know I've never before seen on a small screen). My wife is not a fan at ALL: he curses around his kids (they take no offense and hardly seem to notice) and some of the almost-always-sexual situations are over the top, but hey this is Louis CK. This season definitely feels like a move forward toward different ways of presenting itself: black-and-white episodes, unique and varying camera angles, and impressionistic portrayals all suggest to me that he is refusing to get bored with the same-old same-old "stand-up, story, stand-up" format of past seasons. Louis is raunchy and touching, callous and vulnerable, intelligent and stupid, accepting and horrified by growing older, and torn between an almost overwhelming love for his girls and a desire that they had never been born. He fights a constant battle between his big and little head. I'm glad to see some briefly-sketched characters get back on camera (his gay neighbors, for instance). Not every episode is gold, but I'm hooked and look forward to each episode so I can get to know him and those around him a little better.
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on October 16, 2012
I came to Louie late by purchasing seasons at Amazon just in the past month. After devouring Season 2 as my starting point, and watching 3-4 episodes at a time on my Kindle Fire, I quickly polished off Season 1. Now I have just a couple left to go for Season 3, and will have to wait along with everybody else for 2014, since the show is going into creative hiatus. Season 3 strikes a balance between funny and surreal or "hyper-real." It's this latter aspect that makes the show genius, because it gets at how our imaginations work. Even as we live through common experiences our minds imagine crazy "what if" scenarios that Louie brings to life.

I loved the Girlfriend episodes Pt. 1 and Pt. 2, especially Parker Posey portraying a spontaneous, beautiful, surprising and fascinating love interest who is a little bit dangerous, and holds deep despair. I hope Lois CK keeps pushing the envelope of humor that blends in the uncomfortable and poignant. If you want a standard sitcom then this might not be for you. But if you want to laugh with your jaw dropping at Louie's reactions and willingness to be sucked into other character's strange happenings, then drop the dollars for this season.
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on June 8, 2015
I don't know if the girls are his real daughters or not but it seems real. Louie is not just the average father, he is a role model. It is refreshing to see him play out the scene when he catches is oldest daughter smoking pot. Although he gets angry, he doesn't stay that way and because of that he doesn't destroy his relationship with his daughter. Louie obviously respects her as a person that he loves and wants to protect.
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on April 10, 2014
All through seasons one, two, and three I stayed enchanted with Louie. I got all excited when I viewed the 3 part series about him being up for the David Letterman slot. What a refreshing choice if he would really consider that. I would be first in line to see every show...can only imagine the questions his guests would be confronted with. GO FOR IT, LOUIE C.K.!!! I'll be waiting to buy your season 4, but wish you would think about throwing in your hat for the late night gig! A loyal fan.
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