Louie Season 5 Episode 6 Review: “Sleepover”

Louie

I love how responsible a show like Louie feels, both in its big moments and small. Whether trying to make a specific point about fatherhood, or a larger condemnation of human behavior as a whole, Louis C.K.’s self-awareness to his impact (or in some cases, lack thereof) on the world around around him is a fascinating thing. As a man of his age with children and a respected cultural voice, he’s a person whose immaturity comes in direct contrast with his position in the world, as a father, a brother, an adult, and a respected member of the creative community. And although “Sleepover” is easily the most lighthearted episode of the season, there are still interesting subtle hints of C.K.’s overarching philosophies at play in the episode.

At numerous points in the episode, Louie is presented with a number of choices easily marked by two options: the mature choice and the Louie choice. In some situations, he makes the right call: backing off his daughter when she makes a good point and allowing her a little freedom to travel around the city, or offering to pick up his brother from prison even though he’s currently babysitting eight of Jane’s friends during a sleepover. All of these mature decisions are balanced out by things like Louie having phone sex with Pamela during said sleepover, and Louie’s inability to articulate what Lily is missing when she Googles the plays she’s watching on the stage in front of her. The various segments of “Sleepover” are a continuation of C.K.’s normal self-portrayal of a man stuck in the middle of his life, in the space between ‘young’ and ‘old,’ between experienced and wise to the world – and without being mired down trying to make some Big Point as some episodes of Louie tend to to, “Sleepover” just lets itself have fun.

From Louie’s playful, revealing conversation with Pamela (who clearly misses him, even as she tries to be happy and actually date another man) to Bobby’s neutered description of why he got arrested (told in black-and-white silent film, accented by voice over), “Sleepover” remains as poignant as ever in the smallest moments, be it a response Louie sends to text (“Dogs.”), or little images like Louie answering his bedroom door with a baseball bat to keep the pack of screaming ten year olds out of his way. After the brash nature of many episodes this season, the lightheartedness of “Sleepover” is a much-needed change of pace for Louie, one of those laidback “day in the life” episodes that still maintains the important undercurrents of personal and societal reflection, even as Bobby’s telling stories about goats and Louie’s fumbling to explain what “raped” means to a ten year old. If that’s not brilliant television, I don’t know what is.

Other thoughts/observations:

– While it fits in with Louie’s normal toothless responses, I would’ve hoped to see Louie push his daughter a little more on her attempts to justify Googling the play she was watching.

– It appears Broderick, Lithgow, Close, and Cera are all on Broadway right now (or have been recently), which makes the opening scenes nice little meta references. Are they performing material from all their own shows, or are they acting out one particular script?

– What really happened to Bobby? “I went to a massage parlor for a happy ending, place got raided.”

– The moment Louie tells Sasha her parents are getting divorced is golden.

– Bobby and Louie’s conversation about yogurt is hilarious.

– Weird Child Names on Louie, 2015 edition: Tranquilitae, Afghanistan, Sasha. Three quality entries.

– love how the kids are falling asleep to a cartoon of a screaming cube.

– Louie: “I miss the s*** out of your stupid t**s.” Pamela: “They’re pretty stupid… they flunked out of t** school.”

– “At least if you have no opinions you can’t be wrong.”

[Photo via FX]

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