by Alex Greenberger
The beginning of the two-parter called “Daddy’s Girlfriend” opens with a question from one of Louie’s daughters that goes as you might have expected–“Daddy, why don’t you have a girlfriend?” To those of us who have been watching “Louie” week by week, the answer is pretty obvious—because Louie constantly gets himself into uncomfortable sexual situations—but his daughters are unaware of his sexual exploits, and thus Louie embarks on a search to find a girlfriend, a journey that will last into the next episode as well, as this is only the first part.
The first part of “Daddy’s Girlfriend” is more proof that Louis C.K. knows how to enliven material that might otherwise be trite with his style. Seeking a significant other is a pretty standard theme for many sitcom episodes, but C.K. does it his own way in this one.
C.K. is a really amazing director, and “Daddy’s Girlfriend” seems to be one of the best showcases of his talent yet. The middle third of the episode is marked by imagined black-and-white fantasy sequences in which Louie peruses his daughter’s school to search for potentially dateable teachers. It’s not the use of black-and-white that makes this sequence work beautifully. It’s more the use of a repeated musical motif and the way reality bleeds into fantasy. Watching these pretty reveries fade into awkward sexual encounters is pretty fascinating and hilarious.
However, C.K.’s marvelous direction extends beyond that. C.K. works best when he’s brash and biting, so naturally, one of the best sequences of the episode happens after the credits when C.K. shows us more of the reality show he’s watching at one point. The reality show is, of course, a satire of shows like “Big Brother” and “Survivor,” and the cast of characters C.K. has written into this (a lame, homesick 20something; a knife-wielding flamboyant man; a bro who enjoys threesomes) are just so brilliant. Verbally summing up what C.K. has done with that sequence is hard to do, but suffice to say that it is a mini-masterpiece of comedic verité stylization.
“Daddy’s Girlfriend (Part 1)” also features the wonderful Parker Posey as a bookstore salesperson. Posey’s character is one in line with all those other cute indie girls—you know, the dreaded Manic Pixie Dream ones—but Posey brings something new to the table. She’s really loveable, especially when she jokes about being a lesbian and nearly ruins Louie’s day.
What’s even better is that Posey will also guest star in next week’s episode, which means two things: 1) Good things might finally start happening to Louie, since she said yes to his offer for a date, and 2) Another celebrity guest performance. Both of these things are great for “Louie,” though I can only assume that next week, Posey’s character will turn out to be something of a sexually perverse maniac and that C.K. will continue to amaze with his skill as writer and director.
Alex Greenberger is a staff writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.