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Louie (#110 of 25)

2014 Emmy Winner Predictions

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2014 Emmy Winner Predictions
2014 Emmy Winner Predictions

Glancing over this year’s Emmy nominations is to marvel again at just how much the television landscape has changed in 20 years. Back in 1993, The Larry Sanders Show became the first cable TV program to be nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series. Only one non-network sitcom has ever claimed that award (Sex and the City in 2001), but the sheer number of nominations and wins that cable programs garner each year continues to signal the future of television programming. And one of the more pressing questions that will be answered this year is whether the Emmys are ready to embrace online TV creators such as Netflix with prizes in its top two categories for either House of Cards, nominated for 13 awards, or Orange Is the New Black, nominated for 12, more than any other comedy. Elsewhere, the sense of “importance” with which Ryan Murphy’s The Normal Heart has been greeted by critics and audiences has made nearly ever miniseries or movie category a no-brainer to predict. And while the Emmys, unlike the Oscars, have never been known to drive pundits and viewers alike to fits of nail-biting anxiety, at least a few of this year’s drama races have been turned upside down by the recent plagiarism claims that have plagued Nic Pizzolatto, possibly exposing True Detective as the emperor who’ll arrive at the Nokia Theatre on August 25 with the least amount of clothes.

Louie Recap: Season 4, Episodes 13 & 14, “Pamela Part 2 & 3”

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Louie Recap: Season 4, Episodes 13 & 14, “Pamela Part 2 & 3”

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Louie Recap: Season 4, Episodes 13 & 14, “Pamela Part 2 & 3”

Louie concludes its fourth season by wrapping up the “Pamela” storyline, though the minimal role “Part 1” plays in either parts two or three suggests it could have started and stopped on the same night. “Part 2” references Louie (Louis C.K.) and Pamela’s (Pamela Adlon) unnerving last encounter in a phone call where the two quickly mention the moment and move past it when Louie asks her out on a date. He takes her to an art gallery filled with various pieces of anti-art, including a bag of shit titled as such, a square canvas painted all-black and called “Jews,” and a button connected to a speaker that blares a recording of the n-word, but at this point the series has enough scenes of Louie and Pamela proving their compatibility with like-minded sarcasm that for them to make fun of a pretentious art exhibit is low-hanging fruit.

Louie Recap: Season 4, Episodes 11 & 12, “In the Woods Part 1 & 2”

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Louie Recap: Season 4, Episodes 11 & 12, “In the Woods Part 1 & 2”

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Louie Recap: Season 4, Episodes 11 & 12, “In the Woods Part 1 & 2”

The first part of “Pamela” ended with a disturbing attempted rape that dealt a severe blow to Louie’s (Louis C.K.) image as an awkward yet ultimately benign man. Instead of moving on to the final two parts of “Pamela” to see how Pamela Adlon’s character now views her friendship with Louie, the series diverts to the extended two-part episode “In the Woods,” in which Louie catches his daughter, Lilly (Hadley Delaney), smoking pot. Soon, however, his parental fury gives way to an extended flashback about his own youthful indiscretion, complete with his own dalliance with drugs.

Louie Recap Season 4, Episodes 9 & 10, "Elevator Part 6" & "Pamela Part 1"

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Louie Recap: Season 4, Episodes 9 & 10, “Elevator Part 6” & “Pamela Part 1”

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Louie Recap: Season 4, Episodes 9 & 10, “Elevator Part 6” & “Pamela Part 1”

“Elevator Part 6” takes the aesthetic premise of Louie, in which the world around its protagonist matches his passive, fatalistic outlook, to its logical extreme. As Louie’s (Louis C.K.) stress over his finite relationship with Amia (Eszter Balint) and his kids’ educational future reaches its limit, the hurricane mentioned throughout the six-part saga at last makes landfall in New York. Weather reports, the only reliable source of comic relief in this increasingly sad, tender storyline, note that everyone in western Brooklyn has already died, and that the occupants of the borough’s northern section will be dead by tomorrow.

Louie Recap Season 4, Episodes 7 & 8, "Elevator Part 4" & "Elevator Part 5"

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Louie Recap: Season 4, Episodes 7 & 8, “Elevator Part 4” & “Elevator Part 5”

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Louie Recap: Season 4, Episodes 7 & 8, “Elevator Part 4” & “Elevator Part 5”

Parts four and five of “Elevator” devote nearly half their running times to extended digressions. This is hardly an unprecedented occurrence for this shaggy-dog series, but the increasing cohesion of the “Elevator” storyline makes the disruption more noticeable than usual. Specifically, both sequences call attention to Louie’s (Louis C.K.) extreme passivity in life, offering insights into the ongoing issues he faces with his unruly daughter, Jane (Ursula Parker), and his increasingly serious relationship with Amia (Eszter Balint).

Louie Recap Season 4, Episodes 5 & 6, "Elevator Part 2" & "Elevator Part 3"

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Louie Recap: Season 4, Episodes 5 & 6, “Elevator Part 2” & “Elevator Part 3”

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Louie Recap: Season 4, Episodes 5 & 6, “Elevator Part 2” & “Elevator Part 3”

Last week, the prospect of the largely self-contained “Elevator” being the first of a six-part epic seemed dubious. But the conclusion, with Amia (Eszter Balint) bringing Louie (Louis C.K.) a pie as thanks for helping her aunt, Evanka (Ellen Burstyn), did hint at one possible path for moving forward. Sure enough, the second installment begins with Louie at the grocery store, buying food of a far higher quality than the series ever shows him eating, and he returns not to his own apartment, but the old woman’s, delivering the food as a thank-you present for Amia’s own display of gratitude.