11/24/2014  
Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special on DVD Dec 9Field Of Lost Shoes on DVD Dec 2What If on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 25Hart To Hart: Season 3 on DVD Dec 9The Simpsons: Season 17 on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 2Robin Williams Remembered - Pioneers of Television on DVD Dec 2Kung Fu Girl / Whiplash on DVD Dec 2

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special on DVD Dec...
Field Of Lost Shoes on DVD Dec 2...
'SNL's' Michael Che talks Bill Cosby: 'I forgave Kramer...
What If on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 25...
Hart To Hart: Season 3 on DVD Dec 9...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE (BLU-RAY)...
AIN'T IN IT FOR MY HEALTH: A FILM ABOUT LEVON HELM (BLU...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
DARK SHADOWS: THE GREATEST EPISODES COLLECTION - FAN FA...
JACK KEROUAC - KING OF THE BEATS...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

RR Rich Rosell

AFTER.LIFE...
MYSTERY TRAIN (BLU-RAY)...
PANDORUM...
GONE WITH THE WIND...
PARIS, TEXAS (BLU-RAY)...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

JU Jeff Ulmer

THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

HBO presents
Lucky Louie: The Complete First Season (2006)

"You know, I hate talking to you, 'cause you're a guy that either just did, or is about to do, some stupid sh*t."
- Jerry Minor (Walter)

Review By: Ross Johnson   
Published: January 29, 2007

Stars: Louis C.K., Pamela Adlon
Other Stars: Michael G. Hagerty, Kelly Gould, Jim Norton, Laura Kightlinger, Jerry Minor
Director: Andrew D. Weyman

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nudity, adult themes, language)
Run Time: 06h:03m:00s
Release Date: January 30, 2007
UPC: 026359336423
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B BAA B+

DVD Review

Lucky Louie debuted in 2006 as HBO's first multi-camera sitcom. Calling it a "family" series isn't quite right; although it's about a family, it's certainly an adult-oriented show. Reviews, as I recall, were fairly dismissive. I watched the first episode, willing to give HBO a chance on just about anything and was fairly diappointed myself. The pilot struck me as flat and a little too enamored of its own naughtiness (lots of masturbation jokes). I never bothered with it again, which is probably what happened with a lot of people. The thing is, while it never gets great here in its first (and apparently last, having not been renewed) season, it does get much better along the way.

Louie (writer and stand-up guy Louis C.K.) is an often out-of-work auto mechanic raising a four-year-old daughter with his wife Kim (Pamela Adlon). The premise doesn't get much more complicated than that: there are a couple of neighbors who pop in now and again, and a few truly weird buddies. The only real twist is that Louie is usually the one watching the daughter, even if he isn't all that great at it. The supporting cast (including comedians Jim Norton and Laura Kightlinger, and character actor Michael G. Hagerty) is uniformly solid, but the leads are great. Louis C.K. is charmingly hapless, and Pamela Adlon is a real find. I wasn't familiar with her before this, but I hope that, if nothing else, this series brings her some deserved attention. She's funny in a way that's entirely unforced, and manages to feel more like a neighbor than a fictional creation (it might just be her—she's no less funny in the commentary tracks).

For a sitcom that so often strives to be ground-breaking, Louie is surprisingly old-fashioned in many regards. Maybe that's intentional, as a means of setting off the more risqué aspects, but it can make it feel a bit stale. A lot of the jokes are of the "husband does something stupid, wife gets mad" variety that have been a TV staple for decades. Louie has to go on a diet in one episode, drinks too much in another, tries to make up with Kim after letting the "C" word slip. In episode two, Kim has her first-ever orgasm at 37, having previously preferred to get things over with quickly so that she can watch TV. Not to say that there aren't plenty of husbands who enjoy sex quite a bit more than their wives, but there's nothing really new in the suggestion. (In fairness, Kim, not Louie, is the family breadwinner). Those traditional elements put an awful lot of pressure on the writing to be fresh. Similarly, the minimalist sets and video (rather than film) create an immediacy that puts the jokes front and center, and they're not always up to the task. Many fall flat, while others get laughs solely by being naughty. There are at least a couple of instances of male nudity, and they're laugh-out-loud moments, but mostly just because of the novelty.

Then again, there's certainly something to be said for doing something that's never been done. In one of those moments, Louie leaps out of bed after sex. Unlike almost every other instance of TV sex, he's naked. And, you know, it was kind of refreshing not having to figure out at what point a guy slipped into pajamas before getting up for chips. (Sorry, kids, no female nudity. This time, only the boys take it off…) When Louie spends the rent money on a Frankenstein doll on eBay, Kim rightly curses at him like a sailor, and it does make their world seem just a bit more like our own. There's also a ton of potty-ish humor, and, let's face it, good potty jokes are funny. HBO did the mature sitcom thing with Sex and the City, but it wasn't a live-audience, family-based sitcom like this. Cable freedom gives Lucky Louie a chance to take on subjects that others wouldn't touch, and they go for it.

Mostly what this has is potential. It's really hard to judge a sitcom that has only run about half of a traditional network season, but by the second part of this set, it really begins to develop a confidence and voice that are now unlikely to be fulfilled.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio16:9 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Louie is shot entirely on video, and that crispness is transferred well onto the discs. The show doesn't have a huge budget by any means, but HBO has done right by it with a clean presentation.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Spanishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Like the video transfer, the 2.0 audio track is clean and effective. The show is almost entirely dialogue-focused, and everything here is crisp.

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Documentaries
4 Feature/Episode commentaries by Louis C.K., Pamela Adlon, Jim Norton, Rick Shapiro, and exec. producer Mike Royce.
Packaging: unknown double keepcase
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Unaired episode: "Clowntime is Over".
Extras Review: HBO has ponied up for a few nice extras for Louie, especially considering their uneven track record for bonus material on even their most popular shows. There are four audio commentaries, three on the first disc and one on the last episode. They're all pretty well done, featuring cast members Louis, Pamela Adlon, Jim Norton, and Rick Shapiro, as well as executive producer Mike Royce. They're all pretty funny people in real life (i.e. commentary land), so the tracks actually add a bit to the episodes. My favorite is the one on Kim's O, which involves the leads riffing on the episode's several sex scenes.

Next is a great featurette, A Week in the Life of Lucky Louie. In about 20 minutes, it offers a concise overview of the process of putting together a sitcom. From the table read, costuming, rewrites, set construction, etc., it's one of the best run-downs of the week during which a half-hour episode is put together. It helps that the example used is Long Weekend, one of my favorites from the set.

There is also the unaired episode, Clowntime is Over. It's a middling episode at best, but still a very nice inclusion.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

Lucky Louie never achieves greatness, but it does manage to teach the old sitcom dog a few tricks, even if it does that mostly by amping up the potty humor, swearing, and male nudity. It's tough to recommend wholeheartedly, since it really only begins to hit a stride toward the end of its short run. Still, Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon are charming and funny leads, and the show is definitely good for a few laughs along the way.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

comedy, drama, television, saturday night live, michael che, bill cosby, cameron diaz, music, beyonce, 7/11, american music awards, sunday, movie, hunger games: mockingjay-part 1, danny strong, christian toto, john nolte, sarah seltzer, documentary, action, foo fighters, beat the bots tour, 2015, sonic highways, fenway park in boston, wrigley field in chicago, citi field in new york, rfk stadium in washington d.c., chris pratt, guardians of the galaxy, dave chappelle, shailene woodley, ansel elgort, steve carell, michael sam, celebrity, judi dench, esio trot, bbc, philomena, dustin hoffman, richard curtis, horror, sci-fi, james bond, christoph waltz, daniel craig, ralph fiennes, ben whishaw, naomie harris, miley cyrus, patrick schwarzenegger, adore you, arnold schwarzenegger, maria schriver, family, the big bang theory, mrs. wolowitz, carol ann susi, breast cancer, jennifer actress, plunging neckline, movies, christopher nolan, big hero 6, interstellar, gone girl, st. vincent, andy dick, arrested, tmz, stolen necklace

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store