“A La Carte” is a much better episode of Louie than “Pot Luck”. It didn’t all work for me, but there were parts of it that were funny, and also parts of it that were true to life. Louie is pretty comfortable doing his thing: going grocery shopping with his daughters, doing his comedy and briefly hosting an open mic night and hanging out with Pamela. This is the happiest we’ve seen Louie since the end of “Elevator”, and it’s a nice change. Louie is content, which is strange, because so much of this show is about those sadder moments in life and finding the humanity in them, as well as the humour. Unless of course your jokes are really really bad.
I love Louie. I haven’t seen all of it, just the pilot, most of season four and now the season five premiere, but it’s one of those shows that either clicks or it doesn’t. It’s annoying that the Comedy Channel doesn’t fast track it from the US, where the fifth season finished a couple of months ago, but I don’t mind because there’s not much on at the moment, and also it’s worth the wait. As an episode of television, “Pot Luck” is fine, but it’s not peak Louie, if that’s even a thing. Apparently a lot of people didn’t like season four, but between “So Did the Fat Lady”, which deservedly won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Writing – discussions of whether this is a comedy or a drama notwithstanding – and the six-part “Elevator” story, it was one of my favourite shows on television when I was watching it last year. This is all to provide context, because I didn’t dislike “Pot Luck”, but I also didn’t love it. We have expectations and when they’re not met we get disappointed, and in the case of Louie, it’s because we know that Louis C.K. can do so much better.